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Legal Citation with the 10th edition of the McGill Guide

This guide provides an introduction to legal citation in Canada.

Citing Online Resources

Online Resources

As a general rule, when citing online resources, give the traditional citation for the type of secondary sources it is - whether it is an article, a government document, etc. - followed by a comma, and then "online:", and give the name of the website, and the URL. The URL should not be underlined, but it should be enclosed with "<" and ">". If the URL is long and unwieldy and the citation includes an archived URL only include the root URL.

To prevent link rot, provide an archived URL in addition to the original URL.  The Perma system is strongly recommended.  The archived URL should be placed beside the original URL, in square brackets. The Wayback Machine is an open access resource that offers an archived URL generator, please see the image below for guidance on where this tool may be found on the site's home page.

This is the citation pattern for online resources:

Traditional citation, | online: | <URL> | [archived URL].


Jillian Rogin, "Police-Generated Evidence in Bail Hearings: Generating Criminality and Mass Pretrial Incarceration in Canada" (2023) 46:1 Dal LJ, online:<>[].

There are some variations to this rule depending on the type of material being cited.  Consult section 6.18 of the McGill Guide for more details.

Legal Research Services

If you retrieved an article or other secondary material from a database such as Lexis+ or Westlaw Edge Canada, that is not available in print, you can indicate this by using the following citation (6.18.2).

This is the citation pattern for legal research services:

Author, | "title" or title | (date of the page/article) | pinpoint | online: | (legal research service) | publisher.


Practical Law Canada Corporate & Commercial Litigation, "Appeal Toolkit (ON)" (01 August 2022) online: (PL) Thomson Reuters Canada.


The following guidance is for citing materials found solely or primarily online. For more specific guidance on how to cite online video and audio aggregators (section or social media (section please check the McGill Guide.

This is the citation pattern for websites:

Author, | "title of page/article" | (date of the page/article) | pinpoint, | online | (type of electronic source) | : | <URL> | [archived URL].

Example: Ariel Katz, "Confidentiality and Privacy in Justice Cromwell's Report: Uses and Misuses" (21 April 2021), online (blog): <> [].

Citation Clarification:

A. Author

  • the author is whoever wrote the material
  • if there is no author clearly indicated cite the owner of the domain

B. Title 

  • title of the article or the page where the cited section is located

C. Date

  • include the date of publication (day, month, year) or the last modified date, which should be specified before the date, for example (last modified 8 August 2018)
  • if this information is not available include the date of access, which should be specified before the date, for example (last visited 14 May 2021)

D. Type of Electronic Source

  • provide further information of the type of source where helpful (e.g. PDF, blog)