Is MDN valid source to cite in academia?

I’d like to cite MDN for my thesis, but I’m afraid since it is a wiki, but since it has editor, then it must be peer reviewed. So I’d like to ask for an advice whether I should cite MDN or not.

Hi @whereistimbo, and thanks for your question.

So to be clear, are you saying that you want to use excerpts from MDN in your thesis?

MDN is published under a CC-BY-SA license; see here for more information: You are fine to use any amount of the content as long as:

  1. You provide citation with a link back to the original, in each case.
  2. You publish your version of the content under a CC-BY-SA (or compatible) license.

Let me know how that sounds. I can imagine that the second one of these points might cause you some difficulty, but let me know how much MDN content you want to use. If it is only a few quotes here and there, we can probably grant you a waiver of that condition.

To be clear I’d like to cite the definition of IndexedDB and Fetch API, would that violate the copyright/license if I didn’t quote directly, rather write it with my own words just like an ordinary final year student?

How much text I should publish? Should only the part where I cite apply, or the whole document? But I’m afraid the final work would be owned by the uni.

I would like to be able to give you permission to quote those definitions directly. It seems silly to me for us to not let you do that.

I’ve contacted my legal team about this to ask them how I should go about doing it. When do you need an answer by?

Thank you for your help, but unfortunately even if it was permitted my thesis would not be let by if I had quoted directly as plagiarism was forbidden (I doubt it would be plagiarism if I get permission, but I was encouraged to write my own understanding in my own words rather than quoting directly anyway).

I am sure that short quotations would be allowed and not seen as plagiarism, but if that concerns you, perhaps you ought to write those definitions in your own words, and then link to the relevant MDN pages for futher information?

Yes, this is what I plan to do as well, the relevant article would be cited in the bibliography section, harvard style.

cool, sounds fine to me.