Given the lack of conventions for publishing on the Web,
the MLA have produced the Draft Guidelines reproduced below recommending
conventions for providing online information about Web sites intended for use
by students, teachers and scholars in the modern languages. The intention is to
improve the ease, the confidence and the accuracy with which such material may
be used and cited.
- Sponsoring information. Indicate whether the site is sponsored by an
educational institution, academic organization, government office, museum, or
- Purpose. Indicate the purpose(s) that informed the design of the
- Contact information. Provide telephone or fax numbers, e-mail
addresses, or postal addresses.
- Update and archive notices. Provide the date of the last update, the
author of the last update, and (optionally) a revision history. It is
particularly important to provide revision histories for scholarly resources
after they are mounted on a Web site to alert readers of changes that may have
been made to a cited version of the Web site. Archives of significant earlier
versions of Web texts should be maintained by the author(s), and directions for
accessing or requesting those archives should be included in the site
- Software considerations. Note browser features or plug-ins supported
or required by the Web site. Note any provision for readers with special needs
(text-only versions, audio supplements, and so on).
- Citations and permissions. List all credits, acknowledgments, and
- Copyright declaration. Include an explicit statement of appropriate
uses for the site. Note whether users may copy and use graphic elements or
quote the text.
- Site configuration. Indicate whether a table of contents, site map,
index, bibliography, or other apparatus accompanies the site.
- Site-information tags. To aid Web searches, include a
"<Title>" tag and a "<Meta>" keywords tag in
the document head.
MLA Committee on Computers and Emerging Technologies in Teaching and
Research, 'Draft Guidelines for Providing Web-Site Information', (19 July
1998), available at: