How should I cite a UN document?
Last Updated: Mar 08, 2024     Views: 4925

UN documents, publications and websites are frequently cited in media sources and scholarly publications. Citing sources is an important part of research and publishing. It acknowledges the intellectual work of a source and provides readers with the ability to locate and verify sources.

Citing UN documents can be challenging. We suggest citations provide as much detailed information as possible. UN materials usually have unique elements that help researchers identify the particular reference, such as document symbols.

There are many ways to cite a source. For UN documents, publications and websites, we recommend citations include (if applicable):

  • Title
  • Publication date
  • Unique identifiers, such as
  • URLs including the date of access
  • Page or paragraph numbers
  • Creator/author (often United Nations)

If you are not sure what type of material you have, if you find it online cite it as a website.

The Dag Hammarskjöld Library does not specialize in citation styles. As part of the UN Secretariat, we refer UN staff and delegates to the United Nations Editorial Manual for reference in UN materials.

Differences in citation styles mainly manifest themselves in the formatting: differences in the order, capitalization, punctuation, and presentation of the author’s name, as well as how the individual references are presented within the text. The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation is the primary English citation guide for UN documents. Many guides refer to it.

If you are an external author/researcher/student, please consult a manual for specific citation style guidelines or ask for guidance from your university writing center, course professor, university librarian, or publisher.


Mar 08, 2024     4925


Disclaimer: answers are prepared by library staff using resources available at the time of writing. This site may include links and references to third-party databases, websites, books and articles, this does not imply endorsement by the United Nations.


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