When citing a work on a website, should I use the original publication date or the last-updated date?
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.
As the MLA Handbook notes, “When a source carries more than one date, cite the date that is most meaningful or most relevant to your use of the source” (42). Thus, if you are citing a work on the web that lists both an original publication date and a last-updated date, use the last-updated date or, if provided instead, the last-reviewed date. Providing the last-updated or last-reviewed date lets your reader know that the information you are citing is current.
For an example of a works-cited-list entry listing a last-reviewed date, see our post on crediting the reviewers of an online article.
MLA Handbook. 8th ed., Modern Language Association of America, 2016.