8. On Referencing and Citing the Newsletter and
Other Internet Documents,
by John M. Andresen
This is an essay on referencing and
citing Internet documents, with special attention
to citing this issue and future issues of Hopewell
Archeology. The essay begins with a true story
about an archaeologist, his conference paper,
and the archaeological community. It might
seem at first that the introductory story has
nothing to do with the Internet, but I hope
to show by the end of this essay that the story
relates to Internet citation and referencing
in several ways.
William W. Wasley was a staff archeologist for
the Arizona State Museum, Tucson, from the late
1950s to the mid-1960s, during which time he
conducted fieldwork and research within the Hohokam
culture area, located in southern and central
Arizona and largely concentrated in the low Sonoran
Desert. His previous fieldwork and research had
been within the puebloan Southwest, largely to
the east and northeast of the Hohokam area.
When Wasley began working in the Hohokam area,
the dominant thinking held that the Hohokam Classic
period (ca. AD 1150–1450, the last of four
periods) was caused by an influx of puebloan
Salado people, whose homeland was in the higher
country adjacent to and northeast of the Hohokam
area. According to the established scenario,
Salado people peacefully moved into the Hohokam
area and shared their pottery, their burial methods,
and their ideas about architecture, which eventually
resulted in the monumental architecture that
defines the Hohokam Classic period.
His staff position and the contracts held by
the Arizona State Museum enabled Wasley to conduct
fieldwork within the Hohokam area at previously
unexcavated sites, and he participated with Emil
Haury in the reexcavation of the famous site
of Snaketown. His research led him to conclude
that developments leading to the Classic period
were more gradual than might be expected from
the sudden influx of Saladoan people, and that
outside influences came from Mesoamerica to the
south rather than from any puebloan group to
the north or northeast.
In the early 1960s, Wasley had published bits
and pieces of his thinking in project-specific
reports. In 1966, he brought together all his
ideas and his database into a single paper and
presented it at the 31st annual meeting of the
Society for American Archaeology, held in Reno,
Nevada. He took along several mimeographed copies
of the report to give away; there were no illustrations.
The paper was humbly entitled “Hohokam
Classic Period” (Wasley 1966).
His paper generated tremendous interest. Some
of his ideas were considered radical at that
time; other ideas were considered new and insightful.
Wasley had presented a paper that his colleagues
could not ignore, whether they agreed with him
or not. Almost immediately, colleagues began
citing Wasley’s conference paper, sometimes
favorably and sometimes not. His paper sparked
much formal and informal discussion, and the
paper was cited throughout the 1ate 1960s and
the entire 1970s by nearly everyone writing
about the Hohokam Classic period.
Tragically, Wasley died in an automobile accident
soon after he gave his 1966 conference paper.
He did not live to refine his ideas or to participate
in the revolution he helped start. Nevertheless,
his paper was so widely cited that one could
get a good sense of what it contained by analyzing
how it was cited and by reading what others said
about it. Interestingly, there were far more
citations of Wasley’s paper throughout
the 1970s than could be accounted for by the
few copies known to exist. The spread of inexpensive
photocopying in the 1970s probably helped increase
the number copies in archeologists’ files.
But it also appears that a few scholars were
citing it without having attended the conference
or without having a copy in hand.
The continuing citation of this rare, unpublished
paper became an increasingly odd academic situation.
The Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society
resolved the problem in 1980 by publishing Wasley’s
original 1966 text accompanied by a special introduction
for historical context by David E. Doyel (Doyel
and Wasley 1980). By this time, Wasley’s
ideas no longer seemed as radical as they had
in 1966, but its 1980 publication at the very
least plugged a long-standing hole in the available
literature of Hohokam archeology.
Location and Availability
The story of William Wasley and his 1966 paper
is not unique; rather, it is an extreme example
of something common in the experience of all
archeologists. We are all familiar with the citation
and listing of conference papers presented at
national and regional meetings, and all of us
have encountered problems getting copies of all
the papers we would like to have, especially
when we have been unable to attend a particular
conference. With enough persistence, we can usually
obtain a copy of a paper that we really want,
but sometimes the presenter has no hard copies
to distribute and is usually under no obligation
to create any.
The traditional archeological literature is full
of ephemeral, rare, and hard-to-obtain documents.
Some documents exist for years only in the minds
and files of individual archeologists, as was
the case for 14 years with respect to Wasley’s
conference paper. Other, less-celebrated papers
remain that way forever. Location and availability
are closely related. If a document such as Wasley’s
1966 paper has no fixed and permanent location,
to what extent can it be considered available?
Availability in such cases depends on chance
circumstances and the kindness of others. The
same is true of the availability of the gray
The Internet has dramatically increased the quantity
of documents with questionable long-term availability.
The uncertainty in long-term availability is
the direct result of uncertain future Internet
location. Basic computer users have no control
over when a document is posted, taken down, moved
to a different location, revised, indexed, and
so on. It is entirely possible that the location
information you use today to obtain a document
will become incorrect within a year or two.
The Internet has not introduced a new factor
into the fundamental nature of the archeological
literature. Instead, the Internet has quickly
increased the proportion of ephemeral documents.
There has been a quantitative, rather than a
qualitative, change. For some purposes, it is
helpful to think of the Internet as a very large,
ongoing conference. When a person presents a
paper, whether in a traditional live conference
or in the electronic conference of the Internet,
that paper is immediately available to the attendees.
In both presentation formats, the continued availability
of each paper becomes highly idiosyncratic, with
many factors converging on a simple probability—as
time increases, the chance of locating the paper
decreases. This is equally true for the Internet
as it is for a traditional live conference.
One should apply the same judgment and standards
in citing Internet documents as one normally
applies to conference papers. The uses and citations
of Internet documents do not present any new
problems. They are the same old problems that
have been around for many, many years. The only
difference with the Internet is the quantity
of such material. It has always been the case,
and will continue to be so, that a scholar must
take responsibility for what research materials
are used and how they are used. In this respect,
the Internet has changed nothing.
Reference and Citation Guidelines
Permanency of location is an issue that has bedeviled
Internet users and creators of citation formats
for many years. There have been many attempts
to confer some sort of permanency on Internet
documents through the development and application
of complex and elaborate referencing formats.
With minute variations in formatting, these guidelines
attempt to cover every conceivable situation
one might encounter with respect to any electronic
document. Most of these guidelines require the
person applying the format to know a good deal
about the Internet. There is perhaps an even
bigger problem for the innocent reader. If you
haven’t already memorized the guidelines
for the format you are trying to decipher in
someone else’s References Cited section,
then you will have considerable difficulty interpreting
the reference itself and finding the item of
interest. There are too many such referencing
guidelines to cite and list here; Patrias (2001)
is just one example.
We have found it necessary to cite earlier Hopewell
Archeology newsletter articles in later newsletter
articles—using, of course, the same format
of academic reference listing that is normally
applied to a journal. Although all earlier issues
are available electronically, they were always
primarily available as hard copy. As such, referenced
Hopewell Archeology articles were easily cited
and formatted for listing in the References
Cited section at the end of an article.
With this issue, that situation changes. Unfortunately
for the editor, the new online-only format will
add a layer of complexity to the reference formatting
of future articles that cite something in this
issue or later issues of Hopewell Archeology.
Fortunately for the editor, there are simple
guidelines in place at the Midwest Archeological
Center to cover such a contingency. One purpose
of this essay is to introduce to our readers
to what those guidelines consist of and how these
might be applied to an online-only format, such
as we now have with Hopewell Archeology.
The most recent version of the Midwest Archeological
Center style guide is divided into several interlinked
subsection and distributed as a group of PDF
files, which all fit on a single 3.5-inch floppy
disk, and could easily be sent as email attachments,
and placed on the office intranet for easy access
by Center employees. The style guide consists
of one central file containing the core of style
guidelines with three linked, separate files
entitled Enhancing Readability (an essay
References Cited (a major topic of its
own), and Citing
Internet Sources. For
the first time, we are making this collection
available to the
The last of the files mentioned in the previous
paragraph is the subject of the remainder of
this column. For those who can’t wait,
click here to open Citing Internet Sources. Please
note that the linked file is an Adobe Acrobat
Portable Document Format (PDF) file, and you
might need to upgrade your version of Adobe Reader
to Version 6, which is available free at their
In general structure, the format for listing
an Internet source is very much like that for
a traditional hard copy book, journal, or thesis.
There is the usual author, date, document title,
series or institution name when applicable, location
details, and additional information to help the
reader locate the item. When outlined like this,
it all seems very simple, and often it is that
However, there are many kinds of “Internet
documents” with all types of authorship
situations, ambiguous or multiple dates, ambiguous
or missing document titles, location details
prone to instant and unannounced change, and
a host of other complexities that most seasoned
Internet users are already quite familiar with
and are too numerous and varied to list here.
How, then, do we squeeze unprecedented variability
and complexity into a simple, traditional format?
That question is answered in detail in our Citing
Internet Sources and discussed in general
terms in the next few paragraphs.
Guidelines Used at the Midwest Archeological
For reasons explained in detail elsewhere, email
messages and documents on CD are not part of
this discussion. An email message is treated
as a traditional personal communication, and
a document on CD is treated like a hardcopy
book or a traditional publication series. For
a fuller discussion of this issue and the underlying
rationale, refer to pp. 6–7 in the Midwest
Archeological Center’s References
Cited section of the style guide.
Perhaps the most important issue of all is that
there is nothing new about Internet citation
that hasn’t been already treated in traditional
style guides and other academic writing manuals.
Long before there was an Internet, there were
documents without titles, documents with uncertain
or corporate authorship, documents with missing,
unknown, or estimated dates, no established location,
no clear revision date, documents existing in
draft form only, and no publisher. Usually not
all for of these problems would apply to a single
document, but every archive has at least one
The Center’s guidelines make use of special
characters traditionally used to indicate special
types of information, and these special characters
can be adapted to Internet document citation
formats. Quotation marks always indicate a string
of text that has been exactly transcribed word
for word from something. Square brackets always
enclose comments or clarifications inserted by
an author, transcriber, or editor. More recently,
angled brackets have become the standard way
of enclosing Internet location information, which
is usually a web site address but might be an
ftp location or an email address.
Putting it all together, the Midwest Archeological
Center Internet Citation Guidelines use
long-standing, pre-Internet ways of dealing with
information in combination with traditional and
universally recognized punctuation. This allows
an author to create Internet reference listings
that are understandable even to those who are
not directly familiar with the Midwest Archeological
Center Internet Citation Guidelines.
A significant degree of responsibility and creativity
falls upon the author or other creator of a references
cited entry. There will be many situations when
a certain bit of information is not spelled out
for you in an obvious place, and you will have
to do a little more searching and thinking than
is normally required for creating a references
cited entry for a traditional book or journal.
The job is not as daunting as it might seem at
first, and a little bit of practice will go a
It is important to keep in mind is that the placing
of an Internet document’s reference details
into a format—any format—and listing
it within a formally prepared References Cited
section of a report does not confer any special
legitimacy on that document. Similarly, the fact
that it was found on the Internet does not detract
from its legitimacy or usefulness. The author
must make judgments and take responsibility for
what references are used and how they are used.
This has been true for as long as there have
been books with bibliographies and journals with
For further discussion and details, refer to
Citing Internet Documents introduced above. The
following example reference listing shows how
to use the Center’s guidelines to reference
Ann Bauermeister’s article in this issue
of the newsletter:
Bauermeister, Ann C.
2004 “Survey and Excavations in 2004 at
33RO1059.” [Hopewell Archeology, Vol. 6,
No. 1, Article 4] <http://www.cr.nps.gov/mwac/hopewell/v6n1/four.htm>.
Document dated September 2004; accessed October
2004. If the specific location information
fails, go to the Midwest Archeological Center
home page at <http://www.cr.nps.gov/mwac/> for
directions to the Hopewell news-letter directory.
2001 National Library of Medicine Recommended
Formats for Bibliographic Citation, Supplement:
Internet Formats. U. S. Department of Health
and Human Services, Public Health Service, National
Institutes of Health, National Library of Medicine,
Reference Section, Bethesda, Maryland.
Society for American Archaeology
1992 Editorial Policy, Information for Authors,
and Style Guide for American Antiquity and
Latin American Antiquity. American
2003 “Editorial Policy, Information for
Authors, and Style Guide for American Antiquity and Latin
American Antiquity” [PDF downloaded
from SAA web site] <http://www.saa.org/publications/Styleguide/styleGuide.pdf> Document revised 21 January
2003; accessed 05 February 2003.
Wasley, William W.
1966 Classic Period Hohokam. Paper presented
at the 31st Annual Meeting of the Society for
American Archaeology, Reno, Nevada.
Wasley, William W., and David E. Doyel
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1980 Classic Period Hohokam. The Kiva 45(4):337–352.