Referring to a website in the research paper or essay can be difficult and frustrating, but there are some techniques you can use to find the date of publication. To find out when an article or page was published, check the website and its URL for a date. Alternatively, do a simple Google search for the website using a dedicated URL handler that can reveal the date. If you need to know when the website itself was published, you can search for it source code of the website. Although you can find the publication date of most websites, you may not always find it. Below you will find the methods to be able to solve your problem.
Method 1: Using a Google Operator
1) Copy the website URL and paste it into its search box Google. Use the cursor to highlight the URL, then right-click and select Copy. Then go to the Google homepage and paste the URL into the search box. Don't hit search yet because you are about to add it to the URL.
- Make sure you copy / paste the full address.
2) Type "inurl:" in front of the page URL and press search. This is an operator that will help you find more information about the website link URL. First, place your cursor in front of the website URL. Then type "inurl:" in front of the website. Do not leave gaps. After adding the operator, click search.
- Do not include quotes.
- This may sound difficult, but you don't have to do anything special to use this operator. All you need to do is type it in and Google will handle the rest.
3) Add "& as_qdr = y15" after the URL, then search again.
Enter the cursor in the address bar of your browser after the URL you just searched. Then type "& as_qdr = y15", removing the quotation marks. Press search again to display the final list of results.
- You can copy / paste the code if it's easier for you.
Variant: You can use Ctrl + L in Firefox and Chrome or Alt + D in Internet Explorer to place the cursor in the right place in the search box.
4) Check the results to find the date mentioned in the website description. Scroll through the search results. You should see the link at the top of the page. Look to the left of the page to find the date. In most cases, you'll see it there.
- If you don't see the date there, then it may not be available. At that point, you might be trying to find the date of publication of the website by searching the source code of the site to help you decide if information deserve to be referred to as a "no date" website.
Method 2: Search the source code
1) Right click on the page and select "View Page Info". Once you click on the menu option, a new window or tab full of code from the website will open. It may seem overwhelming, but you do not need to understand it to find the date.
- Depending on your browser, the message may say "View Page Source".
Variant: The keyboard shortcut to open source code is Control + U on Windows and Command + U on Mac.
2) Open the "Find" function in the browser using Control + F or the Command + F command. The "Find" function will allow you to easily search for the source code for the date. If you are using Windows, press Control + F to open this function. For MAC, use the Command + F command to search for the code.
Variation: You can also access the "Find" function by clicking Edit on the top menu bar and clicking "Find…" in the drop-down menu.
3) Look for the term "datePublished", "publishdate" or "published_time". Enter one of the search terms and press enter. The "Find" function will search the entire code of the page to find the term search. You will then move directly to where they are information.
- If none of the search terms work, type "publish" in "Find" mode. This could highlight the posting information.
- If you want to know when a webpage was last updated or updated, look up the "modified" source code.
4) Look for the date in the year-month order. Read the part of the code found in the "Find" mode. The date will be immediately after the term you searched for. The year will be listed first, followed by the month and the day.
- You can use this date to refer to the website or to determine how old it is.