Citation questions have often arisen from students who are using web
sources that are embedded in "frames." The problem arises when the
student has located a useful web source, but notices when recording the
URL that the only address available is always the same "top-level" URL of
the website itself. The use of 'frames' is increasingly less common
nowadays, but one example of how one would encounter such pages is at 'Kaarinan kotisivut'.
This is the result of a "frames"-based website design, so that the
individual pages of the site always display within a "frame window,"
usually to the right side of a "menu window" on the left of the screen.
The problem with frames-embedded sources is that there seems no obvious
way to get the specific URL of each individual page used as a source,
which is necessary for proper citation, as the top-level URL itself is not
enough to help viewers determine which individual page(s) from where
within a large website were actually consulted.
With some sites the problem is compounded, as some web designers also
link to pages from altogether different websites, which still look within
the "frame" as if they were part of the "originating" website. Thus a
citation of the top-level URL as the source would not be accurate.
However, the solution to this problem is simple, via one of two methods:
With method #2, it is generally easier to copy and paste the source page
URL from the address bar of the page when opened as a "new window" rather
than from the 'properties' listing of method #1, which often breaks longer
URLs into two or more lines.
- Method One: In the source page within a framed website, right-click your
mouse on the text of the page. An option menu will appear. At the bottom
of this menu should appear the word "properties." Left-click on
this choice; you will then get a description of the various properties of
the page, including its specific URL. Use this URL for your citation; it
will go directly to the source page, bypassing the frames menu. (If you
want a link to the top-level frames menu, embed that URL in the
"publisher" detail of your Works Cited entry.)
- Method Two: Right-click on the link from
the upper-level 'frames' page to your source page. In the
resulting menu, one of the choices will be "open frame in new window." If
you left-click this option, the source page should open in a
separate browser window without the original "framed" information
on the left side of the screen (if it doesn't, make sure you have clicked
on part of the text and not, for example, an icon or other graphic element
in the page). The separate window will show the specific URL of the
source page in the address bar of your browser. Again, use this URL for
your Works Cited entry.
Sometimes, however, a sub-link within a frame cannot be opened in a
separate window. See an example of this (plus several other interesting
points) in the Works Cited of Johanna Seppälä's paper on Differences in the
British and American Versions of Bridget Jones's Diary.
In such a case, the only thing one can do, as Johanna had done, is to
use an author note to explain the location and background of the source