Learn how to find the author of a website using multiple ways in this complete web guide.
When you need to reference or cite a website in your academic work or include it in your bibliography, it’s important to get information about the author. Unfortunately, this information is not always easy to find. Due to the unique design of websites, the referencing websites also aren’t able to pull in the author’s information automatically.
Besides, some websites don’t mention the name of the author in the main body of the article making the process even more complicated.
There are, however, a few ways that you can find the author of a website. By using a bit of detective work and some creative thinking, you should be able to track down the information that you need.
In this article, I will go through different methods that you can use to find the author of a website and look at why it’s important to find the website’s author for academic purposes.
Best Ways to Find the Author of A Website
There are several different ways to find the author of a website. The best method depends on the website you are trying to cite.
I will look at some of the best ways including both fairly simple and complex ways to establish the author of the website pages.
1. Check the Main Pages of the Website – About and Contact Pages
One simple way to find the author of a website is to check the main pages of the website including “About Us”, “Contact Us” and “Our Story” pages.
Most websites have “about us” or “our story” pages. This is usually a page on a website that includes information about the author or the organization that owns and operates the website. Sometimes, the author’s name or list of authors that contribute to the website will be listed on these pages.
Websites could also list the names of authors or contact person on their “contact us” pages which can be useful to identify the author of the articles.
However, these pages might not always have updated information and some websites might not have these pages visible links on all pages.
2. Check the Footer of the Website
Another, probably the most obvious way to find the author of a website is to check the footer of the website where it might have the author and publisher’s information.
Sometimes it can be useful to simply cite the publisher if you cannot establish the author of the article or the page.
The Footer also lists several key pages of the website such as the About page which could provide information about the author, such as their name and contact information.
3. Check Social Media Pages of the Website
You might be able to locate links to the social media presence of most websites and they might have information on the key author of the website.
If you can’t find the links to social media channels, try searching for the website or brand name directly on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. If the website has an account on these sites, they may list the author’s name in the bio section.
Some Twitter brand pages, for example, list authors managing the pages and articles on their website.
4. Check Whois Information of the Website
If you want to establish the key persons behind the page, you can look for Whois information of the domain name.
Head over to the official ICANN registration data lookup tool and enter the domain of the website to find the contacts.
You can also use websites like Who.is and enter the domain name (Website URL) to find the key contacts behind the website.
However, some websites use privacy tools to hide the whois information and you might not see accurate information.
If it’s really important, another technical tip is to contact the web hosting company for more information who might be able to tell you who owns the website and how to contact them.
5. Look for an Author Profile Page
Another place to look for the author’s name is on an author profile page. This is a page that contains information about the author, such as their biography, photo, and contact information.
Based on the CMS used by the websites, there are common permalink structures to directly navigate to the author page.
WordPress powered websites, for example, have this structure example.com/author and searching for these pages might be helpful.
6. Check the Article Sources on the Website
If you’re looking for the author of an academic article, you can check the article’s sources. These are the websites, books, and articles that the author used to write the website.
To find the sources, look for a “References” or “Bibliography” section at the end of the article. If you can’t find one or think the website with the article isn’t authentic, try doing a Google search for “[article name] + bibliography.” This will bring up the articles on reputable websites that list the sources used by the author.
7. Search for the Article Title on Google
Another way to find the author of a website is to use a search engine. When you use Google, for example, to find the author of a website, you will need to use quotation marks around the website’s or the specific article’s Name. This will tell the search engine to look for web pages that have the exact same title as the one you are searching for.
You can then look through these results to see if any of them include information about the author of the article on their website. This however is only applicable if the article is a popular one that is included on multiple websites.
The same academic paper can be published on many websites (as seen in the screenshot above) and this tip can help you find the author from a reputable website.
8. Contact the Website Owner Directly
Finally, if you can’t find the author’s name anywhere, you can try asking the website owner. To do this, look for a “Contact Us” page on the website and send them an email asking for the author’s name or the original source of the specific article.
Many websites include contact information on their websites, such as an email address or a phone number. You can use this contact information to ask the author for more information about their work.
Although you can get accurate and up-to-date information by contacting directly, it can be a time-consuming process and you may not get a response at all.
Nonetheless, most website owners are happy to reply if you are looking to cite them in your academic work and it’s worth trying.
Why Find the Author of a Website?
Finding the author of a website might be useful for several reasons but perhaps finding it for academic purposes is the most important one.
It’s important to establish the right author of the article that you are citing in your literary work. Knowing the author of a website can also help establish its credibility, and it can help prevent plagiarism in your academic works.
Some of the important academic reasons why you might need to find the author of a website include;
Academic Citation: When you’re writing an academic paper, you need to cite your sources. If you can’t find the author of a website, you might have to cite the publisher instead.
Credibility: Knowing the author of a website can help establish its credibility. If the website is run by an organization, for example, you might want to research that organization to see if it’s reputable.
Preventing Plagiarism: When you’re looking for information on the internet, it’s important to make sure you’re not plagiarizing someone else’s work. Citing the author of a website can help prevent accidental plagiarism.
Other Uses: The author of a website might also be helpful in other situations, such as when you’re looking for contact information or want to know more about the author’s background.
Citing Website Author In Different Citation Styles
How you cite the website’s author will depend on the citation style of your academic work. Some of the popular citation styles include APA, MLA, and Chicago style and all of them require entering the website author towards the start of the citation.
Here’s how the website author information is included in some of the popular citation styles used in academic writing.
You can make use of QuillBot, a popular citation generator tool to help you generate the citations in the right format including the website author’s information.
Follow these simple steps to use QuillBot to generate the citation with ‘Website’ as a source in the right citation style.
- Select Website as the citation source.
- Enter the URL of the website or page with author information that you want to cite.
- Choose the right citation style from dropdown (APA, MLA, and Chicago style or any other).
- Click on Cite to generate the citation in the right style that you can then include in your bibliography.
If the website’s author information isn’t populated automatically after entering the URL you are looking to cite, use the tips discussed above to locate the author’s information and include this information manually.
Citing Website Without Author’s Information and Date
It’s still possible to cite the website without any author’s information. Depending on the citation style such as MLA or APA, you might be able to skip the author’s information and cite the remaining elements.
Similarly, if you cannot find the publication date of the article, you can use the date of accessing the article or webpage.
Here’s a sample citation style that you can use without the author’s information.
“Title of Page or Document.” Title of Website, Name of Organization Affiliated with the Website, Date of copyright or date last modified/updated, URL. Accessed date.
Make sure to include the accessed date in the right format as per your citation style requirements.
You can use tools such as QuillBot, as discussed above to automatically generate citations in the right format.
FAQs on Finding The Author of A Website
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions on finding the author of a website.
How to find the author of an article on a website?
For most websites, the author’s information is usually found in the conclusion of the website, in the footer, or on an about us page.
How to find the author and date of a website?
The date of a website can usually be found in the same place as the author’s information or towards the start of any article. You can also check the source code of the page to find the published date information in metatags.
How can you cite if you cannot find the author of a website?
In cases where you cannot find the author of the website, you can cite the publication name if available or start the citation with the website’s title.
In conclusion, there are several different ways to find the author of a website and the best method depends on the website you are trying to cite. Try multiple methods discussed above to increase your chances of finding the author’s name.
I hope this guide was helpful in finding the author of a website. Remember to be creative and use a variety of methods to track down the information that you need. Happy researching!