No, it is clearly and everyone agrees, not acceptable practice to cite only the URL. You can even state in the publication that you have a copy of the exact PDF which corresponds with your reference.
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The URL allows people to find an e-copy, at least for a while.
The conventional references do not necessarily produce copies accessible through the internet, though sometimes they do.
This is the same reason why citations should still include page numbers, even though a quick Google search on the title and authors almost always finds the paper.
On the other hand, books go out of print, library subscriptions lapse, some conference proceedings are only distributed online, some papers are still preprints, and sometimes the source in question is a blog, a usenet post, a source code repository, or a Stack Exchange question.If you can not find some of the information needed, cite what is available.The following Works Cited/Bibliography examples are only guidelines; utilize the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers for additional examples.For example, I used a URL resource from the libary of congress because it was unpublished historical (circa 1890AD) blueprints scanned into their library.give the more traditional reference information as well.Stack Exchange network consists of 175 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.Visit Stack Exchange When writing a thesis, is it acceptable practice to cite only the URL of referenced research papers where they are published electronically?Books and articles are not the only subjects, sometimes you may be asked to write a critical analysis of a movie, a painting, or any other work of art.You need to analyze an author’s rhetorical methods and the overall effectiveness of the piece.Note that Bibtex has a special field for url, but you can also add it as a note. For academic publications, there is an OPTIONAL URL field you may use, but this should be in addition to citing the original conference/journal/workshop/etc.There are circumstances where a URL is the best identifier of the resource, and in those cases, you'll have to cite the URL.