When should I include an access date for an online work?

Note: This post relates to content in the eighth edition of the MLA Handbook. For up-to-date guidance, see the ninth edition of the MLA Handbook.

The eighth edition of the MLA Handbook does not require that you include a date of access—the date on which you consulted a work—when you cite an online work from a reliable, stable source. However, you may include an access date as an optional element if it will be useful to others. (See the MLA Handbook, eighth edition, pp. 50–53, for more on optional elements.)

Including an access date for an online work may be especially useful if the work lacks a publication date or if you suspect that the work may be altered or removed, which is more common with informal or self-published works. Place the access date at the end of the entry:

“Orhan Pamuk: Un écrivain turc à succès.” Orhan Pamuk Site, İletişm Publishing, orhanpamuk.net/book.aspx?id=10&lng=eng. Accessed 25 Oct. 2015.