Answered By: Sarah Purcell
Last Updated: Jan 09, 2017     Views: 29

We recommend you find the home page of the website where the PDF is hosted, and locate the webpage on the site where that PDF can be downloaded from. This often gives you the information you need, such as date, author, and publisher.

For example, the PDF of this article has only the author and title, and can be found as a PDF on Google. By looking at the URL, you can see that it is hosted on You can also see that it has been categorised as a Reflection (by looking at what comes after the /). To find the missing details, you just need to go to the Reflections Papers page where this PDF can be downloaded. The date and author are there (scroll through to find it or use CTRL+F to search the page) - and you can use that URL for your reference too. 

Remember, when researching and reading for your academic work, it is your responsibility to make sure you know where the information as come from - who wrote it, how old is it, is it credible, reliable and valid? If you cannot determine the website where a PDF came from, the PDF may not be a reliable source.