January 2 2012

Handling hyperlinks

by Barbie in APA Style

The APA Style Blog recently discussed how to handle hyperlinks in the list of references. Rather than rehashing what APA said (we recommend checking out the post; it’s a quick read), I wanted to offer a few tips with APA’s post in mind.

  • Consider your method of publication. If your school publishes theses and dissertations electronically, active hyperlinks in your document will be useful to web readers. Alternatively, if your document is going to be printed and bound, blue, underlined text isn’t going to do any good, so you might as well remove the links.
  • Be consistent. Since APA doesn’t have a hard-and-fast rule on this subject, consistency is key. Don’t hyperlink text in the body of your paper but then remove the links from URLs in your list of references. Whatever format you choose, apply it consistently.
  • Double-check your links. I always copy and paste (or click, if they’re active links) the hyperlinks in a document I’m editing. Often, I find that the URL is not longer valid. Doctoral students often spend years researching, so a link might change or a page might be deleted by the time their dissertation is written and published. Make sure your URLs are accurate whether they are hyperlinked or not.

Happy hyperlinking!