APA (American Psychological Association) Style

The definitive guide for APA (American Psychological Association) Style is kept at the Reference Desk in Mullins Library:

American Psychological Association. (2009). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association. (6th ed.). Washington, DC: The Association.
Ref Desk BF 76.7 .P83 2010.

Reference List and References in Text

APA style stipulates that authors use brief references in the text of a work with full bibliographic details supplied in a Reference List. In text, the reference is very brief and usually consists simply of the author's last name and a date. The APA Publication Manual gives detailed instructions for references in text on pages 207 - 214.

What is included in a reference in text depends on many variables, including the wording of your sentence, the number of works by the same author in your full Reference List, and the nature of the source being cited.

Examples of references in text:

...In her Guide to Immaculate Academic Style, Lucy Librarian stresses the importance of proper citations (2005, p.113).

...Many experts stress the use of scholarly attribution in academic writing (Librarian 2005).

...Librarian has observed in one work that some citation guidelines are suggestive rather than prescriptive (2005a) while claiming the opposite in another (2005b).

What is most important is that your references in text are consistent and give your reader a clear idea of the source being cited.

Electronic Formats

Update: With the publication of this new edition of the Publication Manual, retrieval date is no longer necessary for most fixed forms of publication that will not be routinely updated. Retrieval date and database name should still be included for online encyclopedia entries, web pages, or other continuously updated resources.

The APA now prefers that authors provide the DOI (digital object identifier) for electronic publications, when available. DOIs are unique alphanumeric codes assigned to each unique article, chapter, book, or other publication by publishers who cooperate in using the DOI standard. Read more about DOIs...

You will often find the DOI displayed prominently in the bibliographic information for a publication. Examples:

DOI Example from a Journal Article

DOI example from a journal article

DOI Gotcha: While many publishers have routinely included DOIs for electronic publications in the last decade, you may have retrieved your citation from an index database such as Web of Science, PsycINFO, or Google Scholar. These indexes may or may not include the DOI in their citations. If you would like to locate a DOI for an article you are citing, you can use the DOI lookup tool at the CrossRef.org site.

A concluding period should not follow the DOI, if it is the last element in the citation.

If no DOI is available for an electronic publication, the APA recommends that Retrieved from (database name or URL) be added to the end of the citation. If the URL is the last element of the citation, omit the concluding period. If the database name is the last element, include a period following the database name. An easy way to remember this rule is that the final period might confuse readers about where the URL or DOI actually ends.

A tutorial covering changes in the 6th edition can be found on the APA website, along with additional guidelines, FAQs, and tutorials.

APA Examples

Below are some examples of APA citation style for a Reference List of common publication formats. You may also wish to consult our links to online APA help pages for additional information.

Article in a scholarly journal

Print

Author last name, Author First Initial. Author Second Initial. (Publication Year). Title of article. Title of Journal. volume(issue) (if issue numbered), pages.

Bass, M. A., Enochs, W. K., & DiBrezzo, R. (2002). Comparison of two exercise programs on general well-being of college students. Psychological Reports, 91(3), 1195-1201.

Electronic - with DOI

Author last name, Author First Initial. Author Second Initial. (Publication Year). Title of article. Title of Journal. volume(issue) (if issue numbered), pages. doi: number

Stankus, T. (2008, September). Turning meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products Into nutraceuticals through increasing their conjugated linoleic acid levels, part one: Reviewing the literature of benefits claimed for conjugated linoleic acids in human health. Journal of Agricultural & Food Information, 9(3), 229-255. doi: 10.1080/10496500802286152

Electronic - without DOI

Author last name, Author First Initial. Author Second Initial. (Publication Year). Title of article. Title of Journal. volume(issue) (if issue numbered), pages. Retrieved from (database name or URL).

Turner, L., Hunt, S., DiBrezzo, R., & Jones, C. (2004, June). Design and implementation of an osteoporosis prevention program using the health belief model. American Journal of Health Studies, 19(2), 115-121. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier database.

Article in a Popular Magazine

Print

Author last name, Author First Initial. Author Second Initial. (Publication Year, Month Day). Title of article. Title of Magazine,volume, pages.

Holloway, M. (2005, August). When extinct isn't. Scientific American, 293, 22-23.

Electronic - without DOI

[Note: Popular magazines with DOIs are rare.]

Author last name, Author First Initial. Author Second Initial. (Publication Year, Month Day). Title of article. Title of Magazine. volume, pages. Retrieved from (database name or URL).

Holloway, M. (2005, August). When extinct isn't. Scientific American, 293, 22-23. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier database.

Article in a Newspaper

Print

Author Last Name, Author First Name or initials. (Publication Year, Month Day). Title of article. Title of Newspaper, p. (single page) OR pp. (multiple pages).

Gorman, J. (2005, April 29). Deep in the swamp, an 'extinct' woodpecker lives. New York Times, p. A18.

Electronic - without DOI

[Note: Newspaper articles with DOIs are rare.]

Author Last Name, Author First Name or initials. (Publication Year, Month Day). Title of article. Title of Newspaper, p. (single page) pp. (multiple pages). Retrieved from (database name or URL).

Gorman, J. (2005, April 29). Deep in the swamp, an 'extinct' woodpecker lives. New York Times, p. A18. Retrieved from Lexis Nexis Academic.

Review

Print

Reviewer Last Name, Reviewer First Initial. Reviewer Second Initial. (Publication year). Title of Review (if separately titled). [Review of the book/motion picture/play Title of work being reviewed]. Journal or Magazine Name, volume, pages.

Horowitz, M. and J. Krebs. (2005) [Review of the motion picture Crash]. Sound & Vision, 70(9), 106.

Electronic - with DOI

Reviewer Last Name, Reviewer First Initial. Reviewer Second Initial. (Publication year). Title of Review (if separately titled). [If needed - add - Review of the book/motion picture/play Title of Work being reviewed]. Journal or Magazine Name, volume, pages. doi: number

Heinze, J. (1996). The ants revisited. [Review of Social Evolution in Ants.] Nature 380: 682. doi: 10.1038/380682a0

Electronic - without DOI

Reviewer Last Name, Reviewer First Initial. Reviewer Second Initial. (Publication year). Title of Review (if separately titled). [Review of the book/motion picture/play Title of Work being reviewed]. Journal or Magazine Name, volume, pages. Retrieved from: [database name or URL].

Atkinson, M. (2005, May 3). [Review of the motion picture Crash]. Village Voice Online. Retrieved from http://www.villagevoice.com/film/0518 ,atkinson2 ,63638,20.html

Entire Book

Print

Single author:

Author last name, Author First Initial. Author Second Initial. (Publication Year). Title of book. Place: Publisher.

Cochran, R. (1996). Our own sweet sounds: A celebration of popular music in Arkansas. Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press.

Multiple authors or edited work:

First Author last name, First Author First Initial., First Author Second Initial. & Second Last Name, Second Author First Initial. Second Author Second Initial.(Eds.). (Publication Year). Title of book. Place: Publisher.

Donovan, T., Gatewood, W., & Whayne, J. (Eds.). (1995). The governors of Arkansas. (2nd ed.). Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press.

Electronic - with DOI

Author last name, Author First Initial. Author Second Initial. (Publication Year). Title of book. [Electronic version]. doi: number

Rhoads, Robert A. & Howard, J.P.F. (1998) Academic service learning : a pedagogy of action and reflection. [Electronic version from Wiley Interscience]. doi: 10.1002/tl.7300

Electronic - without DOI

Author last name, Author First Initial. Author Second Initial. (Publication Year). Title of book. [Electronic version]. Retrieved from (database name or URL).

Paludi, M. A., & Barickman, R. (1991) Academic and workplace sexual harassment: A resource manual. [Electronic version]. Retrieved from netLibrary.

Book Chapter

Print

Author last name, Author First Initial. Author Second Initial. (Publication Year). Title of chapter. In Editor First Initial. Editor Second Initial. Editor Last Name (Ed.), Title of book (pages of chapter). Place: Publisher.

West, E. (1997) The Exhausted west: a last look at landscape. In J.P. Rhonda (Ed.), Thomas Jefferson and the changing West: from conquest to conservation (pp. 240-64). Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press.

Electronic - with DOI

Author last name, Author First Initial. Author Second Initial. (Publication Year). Title of chapter. In Editor First Initial. Editor Second Initial. Editor Last Name (Ed.), Title of book (pages of chapter). [Electronic version]. doi: number

Gonzales, K.P., Jovel, J.E., & Stoner, C. (2004) Latinas: The new Latino majority in college. In Anna Ortiz (Ed.), Addressing the unique needs of Latino American students (pp. 17-27). doi: 10.1002/ss.113

Electronic - without DOI

Author last name, Author First Initial. Author Second Initial. (Publication Year). Title of chapter. In Editor First Initial. Editor Second Initial. Editor Last Name (Ed.), Title of book (pages of chapter). [Electronic version]. Retrieved from (database name or URL).

Arnold, E. T. (1995) Donald Harington. In J. Giles & W. Giles (Eds.), Dictionary of literary biography, volume 152: American novelists since World War II, fourth series (pp. 82-91). [Electronic version]. Retrieved from Gale Literature Resource Center.

Entry in a Reference Source

Print

Author Last Name, Author First Initial. Author Second Initial. (if there is no author move entry title to first position) (Publication year). Title of article or entry. In Work title. (Vol. number, pp. pages). Place: Publisher.

"Ivory-billed woodpecker." (2002). In The new encyclopædia britannica. (Vol. 5, p. ). 15th ed. Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica.

Electronic

Author Last Name, Author First Initial. Author Second Initial. (if there is no author move entry title to first position) (Publication year). Title of article or entry. In Work title. Retrieved from (database name or URL).

Ivory-billed woodpecker. (2006). In Encyclopædia britannica online. Retrieved from http://search.eb.com/eb/article-9043081

Published Conference Paper

Print

Author last name, Author First Initial. Author Second Initial. (Publication Year). Title of the paper. In Editor First Initial. Editor Second Initial. Editor Last Name (Ed.), Title of Conference Proceedings (pp. pages). Place: Publisher.

Woods, R. B. (2000). The Rhetoric of Dissent: J. William Fulbright, Vietnam, and the Crisis of International Liberalism. In M.J. Medhurst. & H.W. Brands (Eds.), Presidential rhetoric: Critical reflections on the Cold War linking rhetoric and history, 4th Annual Conference, 1988 (pp. 187-298). College Station: Texas A&M University Press.

Electronic- with DOI

Author last name, Author First Initial. Author Second Initial. (Publication Year). Title of the paper. In Editor First Initial. Editor Second Initial. Editor Last Name (Ed.), Title of Conference Proceedings (pp. pages). doi: number

Chongqang, W. Daneshmand, M. (2008). On object identification reliability using RFID. In Third International Conference on Communications and Networking in China, 2008. ChinaCom 2008. (pp. 768 - 773). doi: 10.1109/CHINACOM.2008.4685137

Electronic - without DOI

Author last name, Author First Initial. Author Second Initial. (Publication Year). Title of the paper. In Editor First Initial. Editor Second Initial. Editor Last Name (Ed.), Title of Conference Proceedings (pp. pages). Retrieved from (database name or URL).

Maness, J., & Naper, S. (2006). Hurry! Hurry! r u dum? *#%@! In Virtual Reference Desk Conference 2005. Retrieved from http://www.webjunction.org/do/ Navigation?category =11842

Government Document

Print

Country/State/Country/Municipality. Name of Issuing Agency. (Publication year). Title of document. (additional identifying information - document number, Congress number, etc.). Place: Publisher.

United States. Executive Office of the President. (2006). The Federal response to Hurricane Katrina: Lessons learned. (PREX 1.2:K 15). Washington: GPO.

Electronic

Country/State/Country/Municipality. Name of Issuing Agency. (Publication year). Title of document. (additional identifying information - document number, Congress number, etc.). Retrieved from: (url).

United States. Congress. House. Committee on Energy and Commerce. (2007). Renewable fuels infrastructure. (H. Rpt. 110-306, pt. 1, Y1.1/8:110-306/PT.1.). Retrieved from: http://purl.access.gpo.gov/GPO/LPS85462

ERIC Document

Print / Microform

Author last name, Author First Initial. Author Second Initial. (Publication Year). Title of the document . (Report No. if available). Place: Publisher. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED1234567).

Salmani-Nodoushan, M. A., & Alavi, S. M. (2004). APA style and research report writing. Tehran: Zabamladeh Publications. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED490068).

Electronic

Author last name, Author First Initial. Author Second Initial. (Publication Year). Title of the document . Retrieved from: ERIC database (ED1234567).

Salmani-Nodoushan, M. A., & Alavi, S. M. (2004). APA style and research report writing. Retrieved from ERIC database ( ED490068).

Unpublished Thesis or Dissertation

Print

Author last name, Author First Initial. Author Second Initial. (Publication Year). Title of thesis. (Unpublished doctoral dissertation / Unpublished master's thesis). University Name, Location.

Linn, J.A. (2003). Active or avoidant: Two methods of resisting persuasion. (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.

Electronic

Author last name, Author First Initial. Author Second Initial. (Publication Year). Title of thesis. (Doctoral dissertation / master's thesis). Available from: (database name or url). (If available from ProQuest: UMI No. 12-12345)

Linn, J.A. (2003). Active or avoidant: Two methods of resisting persuasion. (Doctoral dissertation). University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. Available from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database. (UMI No. 31-2381)

Web Page

Electronic

Page Author Last Name, Page Author First Initial. Page Author Second Initial. Page title [nature of work - web site, blog, forum posting, etc.]. (Publication Year). Retrieved from (URL)

Sabo, G., et al. Rock art in Arkansas [Web site]. (2001). Retrieved from http://rockart.uark.edu/

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