Check to see if the the PDF is written by an individual, set of authors, or an organization or company. If it is not written by an individual or a set of authors, use the name of the organization or company responsible for creating the PDF in place of the author’s name. Continue with the title of the PDF, version (if there are different versions available), the publisher (only include if the name of the publisher is different than the name of the author or the title), the publication date, and the location (usually a URL if found online).
Part of the confusion involves the mishmash of mainstream magazines, newspapers, blogs, and literary journals that all publish short nonfiction. It’s great to have more venues now, but journalistic editors and literary editors assess nonfiction features differently. I’m always thinking of provocative titles and leads, about cluing in readers quickly to the focus of a feature. While I appreciate the emotional wallop of good flash fiction and memoir, the literary compression that’s so much a part of flash can undercut clarity of purpose and meaning in nonfiction.