How do I cite an ebook with unnumbered pages?

E-book readers are growing in popularity. But with the popularity comes increased confusion for the scholar on how to cite information accessed with these tools. For example, older Kindle models do not use page numbers, but have “location numbers” instead. These numbers are useful for other Kindle users, but are useless for others. The Nook uses page numbers, but other readers may not.

Here are some basic principles for citing electronic book content.
1) Give a Digital Object Indentifier (DOI) if there is one. A DOI is not universal at this time, but is helpful when it exists.

Liu, Zonglin Lewis, ed. Microbial stress tolerance for biofuels: systems biology. New York : Springer, 2012. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-21467-7.

2) Give a URL to the ebook, if the URL is brief.
Meernik, James David. U.S. foreign policy and regime instability. Carlisle, PA: Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College.

3) If using an e-reader, cite the version you are using.
Gladwell, M. (2008). Outliers: The story of success [Kindle DX version].
Retrieved from

Oleszek, Walter J. (2010) Congressional procedures and the policy process. 8th ed. [Kindle DX version].

4) If citing a direct quote, cite to a page number if available. If not available, cite to a chapter or section so that the user can more easily get to the place.

As always, if you have questions, please feel free to contact our Research Center.

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