Reference List: Author/Authors
The following rules for handling works by a single author or multiple authors apply to all APA-style references in your reference list, regardless of the type of work (book, article, electronic resource, etc.)
Last name first, followed by author initials.
List by their last names and initials. Use the ampersand instead of "and."
Three to Seven Authors
List by last names and initials; commas separate author names, while the last author name is preceded again by ampersand.
More Than Seven Authors
List by last names and initials; commas separate author names. After the sixth author's name, use an ellipses in place of the author names. Then provide the final author name. There should be no more than seven names.
Organization as Author
NOTE: When your essay includes parenthetical citations of sources with no author named, use a shortened version of the source's title instead of an author's name. Use quotation marks and italics as appropriate. For example, parenthetical citations of the source above would appear as follows: (Merriam-Webster's, 1993).
Two or More Works by the Same Author
Use the author's name for all entries and list the entries by the year (earliest comes first).
When an author appears both as a sole author and, in another citation, as the first author of a group, list the one-author entries first.
References that have the same first author and different second and/or third authors are arranged alphabetically by the last name of the second author, or the last name of the third if the first and second authors are the same.
Two or More Works by the Same Author in the Same Year
If you are using more than one reference by the same author (or the same group of authors listed in the same order) published in the same year, organize them in the reference list alphabetically by the title of the article or chapter. Then assign letter suffixes to the year. Refer to these sources in your essay as they appear in your reference list, e.g.: "Berdnt (1981a) makes similar claims..."
Introductions, Prefaces, Forewords, and Afterwords
Cite the publishing information about a book as usual, but cite Introduction, Preface, Foreword, or Afterword (whatever title is applicable) as the chapter of the book.
Reference List: Articles in Periodicals
APA style dictates that authors are named last name followed by initials; publication year goes between parentheses, followed by a period. The title of the article is in sentence-case, meaning only the first word and proper nouns in the title are capitalized. The periodical title is run in title case, and is followed by the volume number which, with the title, is also italicized. If a DOI has been assigned to the article that you are using, you should include this after the page numbers for the article. If no DOI has been assigned and you are accessing the periodical online, use the URL of the website from which you are retrieving the periodical.
Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. (Year). Title of article.Title of Periodical, volume number(issue number), pages. http://dx.doi.org/xx.xxx/yyyyy
Article in Journal Paginated by Volume
Journals that are paginated by volume begin with page one in issue one, and continue numbering issue two where issue one ended, etc.
Article in Journal Paginated by Issue
Journals paginated by issue begin with page one every issue; therefore, the issue number gets indicated in parentheses after the volume. The parentheses and issue number are not italicized or underlined.
Article in a Magazine
Article in a Newspaper
Unlike other periodicals, p. or pp. precedes page numbers for a newspaper reference in APA style. Single pages take p., e.g., p. B2; multiple pages take pp., e.g., pp. B2, B4 or pp. C1, C3-C4.
Note: Because of issues with html coding, the listings below using brackets contain spaces that are not to be used with your listings. Use a space as normal before the brackets, but do not include a space following the bracket.
Letter to the Editor
Reference List: Books
Basic Format for Books
Author, A. A. (Year of publication). Title of work: Capital letter also for subtitle. Location: Publisher.
Note: For "Location," you should always list the city and the state using the two letter postal abbreviation without periods (New York, NY).
Edited Book, No Author
Edited Book with an Author or Authors
Note: When you cite a republished work, like the one above, in your text, it should appear with both dates: Laplace (1814/1951).
Edition Other Than the First
Article or Chapter in an Edited Book
Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Year of publication). Title of chapter. In A. A. Editor & B. B. Editor (Eds.), Title of book (pages of chapter). Location: Publisher.
Note: When you list the pages of the chapter or essay in parentheses after the book title, use "pp." before the numbers: (pp. 1-21). This abbreviation, however, does not appear before the page numbers in periodical references, except for newspapers.
Reference List: Other Print Sources
An Entry in an Encyclopedia
Work Discussed in a Secondary Source
List the source the work was discussed in:
NOTE: Give the secondary source in the references list; in the text, name the original work, and give a citation for the secondary source. For example, if Seidenberg and McClelland's work is cited in Coltheart et al. and you did not read the original work, list the Coltheart et al. reference in the References. In the text, use the following citation:
In Seidenberg and McClelland's study (as cited in Coltheart, Curtis, Atkins, & Haller, 1993), ...
Lastname, F. N. (Year). Title of dissertation (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from Name of database. (Accession or Order Number)
Lastname, F. N. (Year). Title of dissertation (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Name of Institution, Location.
For information about citing legal sources in your reference list, see the University of Nebraska, Kearney page on Citing Legal Materials in APA Style.
Report from a Private Organization
For foreign or translated works, a reference follows the basic APA Style templates, but you may need to add some additional information to get your reader to the source you used.
For example, here's how you would cite the original French edition of a work by Piaget (note that an English translation of the title is included in brackets):
If you read an English translation of a foreign work, the author, title, and so forth come from the version you read, with a nod to the translator:
Here's another example from a German journal. Again, brackets contain an English translation of the work's title (the article, not the journal).
Reference List: Electronic Sources (Web Publications)
Please note: There are no spaces used with brackets in APA. When possible, include the year, month, and date in references. If the month and date are not available, use the year of publication.
Citing a general website article with an author
Author, A.A.. (Year, Month Date of Publication). Article title. Retrieved from URL
Citing a general website article without an author
Article title. (Year, Month Date of Publication). Retrieved from URL
Article from an Online Periodical
Online articles follow the same guidelines for printed articles. Include all information the online host makes available, including an issue number in parentheses.
Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Date of publication). Title of article. Title of Online Periodical, volume number(issue number if available). Retrieved from http://www.someaddress.com/full/url/
Online Scholarly Journal Article: Citing DOIs
Please note: In August of 2011 the formatting recommendations for DOIs changed. DOIs are now rendered as an alpha-numeric string which acts as an active link. According to The APA Style Guide to Electronic References, 6th edition, you should use the DOI format which the article appears with. So, if it is using the older numeric string, use that as the DOI. If, however, it is presented as the newer alpha-numeric string, use that as the DOI.
Because online materials can potentially change URLs, APA recommends providing a Digital Object Identifier (DOI), when it is available, as opposed to the URL. DOIs are an attempt to provide stable, long-lasting links for online articles. They are unique to their documents and consist of a long alphanumeric code. Many-but not all-publishers will provide an article's DOI on the first page of the document.
Note that some online bibliographies provide an article's DOI but may "hide" the code under a button which may read "Article" or may be an abbreviation of a vendor's name like "CrossRef" or "PubMed." This button will usually lead the user to the full article which will include the DOI. Find DOI's from print publications or ones that go to dead links with CrossRef.org's "DOI Resolver," which is displayed in a central location on their home page.
Article from an Online Periodical with DOI Assigned
Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Date of publication). Title of article. Title of Journal, volume number, page range. doi:0000000/000000000000 or http://dx.doi.org/10.0000/0000
Article from an Online Periodical with no DOI Assigned
Online scholarly journal articles without a DOI require the URL of the journal home page. Remember that one goal of citations is to provide your readers with enough information to find the article; providing the journal home page aids readers in this process.
Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Date of publication). Title of article. Title of Journal, volume number. Retrieved from http://www.journalhomepage.com/full/url/
Article from a Database
Please note: APA states that including database information in citations is not necessary because databases change over time (p. 192).
When referencing a print article obtained from an online database (such as a database in the library), provide appropriate print citation information (formatted just like a "normal" print citation would be for that type of work). By providing this information, you allow people to retrieve the print version if they do not have access to the database from which you retrieved the article. You can also include the item number or accession number or database URL at the end, but the APA manual says that this is not required.
If you are citing a database article that is available in other places, such as a journal or magazine, include the homepage's URL. You may have to do a web search of the article's title, author, etc. to find the URL.
For articles that are easily located, do not provide database information. If the article is difficult to locate, then you can provide database information. Only use retrieval dates if the source could change, such as Wikis. For more about citing articles retrieved from electronic databases, see pages 187-192 of the Publication Manual.
Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Date of publication). Title of article. Title of Journal, volume number, page range. Retrieved from http://www.someaddress.com/full/url/
If you only cite an abstract but the full text of the article is also available, cite the online abstract as any other online citations, adding "[Abstract]" after the article or source name. However, if the full text is not available, you may use an abstract that is available through an abstracts database as a secondary source.
Author, A. A. (Year, Month Day). Title of article. Title of Newspaper. Retrieved from
Electronic books may include books found on personal websites, databases, or even in audio form. Use the following format if the book you are using is only provided in a digital format or is difficult to find in print. If the work is not directly available online or must be purchased, use "Available from," rather than "Retrieved from," and point readers to where they can find it. For books available in print form and electronic form, include the publish date in parentheses after the author's name. For references to e-book editions, be sure to include the type and version of e-book you are referencing (e.g., "[Kindle DX version]"). If DOIs are available, provide them at the end of the reference.
To cite Kindle (or other e-book formats) you must include the following information: The author, date of publication, title, e-book version, and either the Digital Object Identifer (DOI) number, or the place where you downloaded the book. Please note that the DOI/place of download is used in-place of publisher information.
Chapter/Section of a Web Document or Online Book Chapter
Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Date of publication). Title of article. In Title of book or larger document (chapter or section number). Retrieved from http://www.someaddress.com/full/url/
NOTE: Use a chapter or section identifier and provide a URL that links directly to the chapter section, not the home page of the Web site.
Online Book Reviews
Cite the information as you normally would for the work you are quoting. (The first example below is from a newspaper article; the second is from a scholarly journal.) In brackets, write "Review of the book" and give the title of the reviewed work. Provide the web address after the words "Retrieved from," if the review is freely available to anyone. If the review comes from a subscription service or database, write "Available from" and provide the information where the review can be purchased.
Dissertation/Thesis from a Database
Online Encyclopedias and Dictionaries
Often encyclopedias and dictionaries do not provide bylines (authors' names). When no byline is present, move the entry name to the front of the citation. Provide publication dates if present or specify (n.d.) if no date is present in the entry.
Online Bibliographies and Annotated Bibliographies
Point readers to raw data by providing a Web address (use "Retrieved from") or a general place that houses data sets on the site (use "Available from").
Graphic Data (e.g. Interactive Maps and Other Graphic Representations of Data)
Give the name of the researching organization followed by the date. In brackets, provide a brief explanation of what type of data is there and in what form it appears. Finally, provide the project name and retrieval information.
Qualitative Data and Online Interviews
If an interview is not retrievable in audio or print form, cite the interview only in the text (not in the reference list) and provide the month, day, and year in the text. If an audio file or transcript is available online, use the following model, specifying the medium in brackets (e.g. [Interview transcript, Interview audio file]):
Online Lecture Notes or Presentation Slides
When citing online lecture notes, be sure to provide the file format in brackets after the lecture title (e.g. PowerPoint slides, Word document).
APA format structure:
Author, A. A.. (Publication Year). Name or title of lecture [file format]. Retrieved from URL
APA format example:
Non-periodical Web Document or Report
List as much of the following information as possible (you sometimes have to hunt around to find the information; don't be lazy. If there is a page like http://www.somesite.com/somepage.htm, and somepage.htm doesn't have the information you're looking for, move up the URL to http://www.somesite.com/):
Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Date of publication). Title of document. Retrieved from http://Web address
NOTE: When an Internet document is more than one Web page, provide a URL that links to the home page or entry page for the document. Also, if there isn't a date available for the document use (n.d.) for no date.
To cite a YouTube video, the APA recommends following the above format.
Computer Software/Downloaded Software
Do not cite standard office software (e.g. Word, Excel) or programming languages. Provide references only for specialized software.
Software that is downloaded from a Web site should provide the software's version and year when available.
E-mails are not included in the list of references, though you parenthetically cite them in your main text: (E. Robbins, personal communication, January 4, 2001).
Online Forum or Discussion Board Posting
Include the title of the message, and the URL of the newsgroup or discussion board. Please note that titles for items in online communities (e.g. blogs, newsgroups, forums) are not italicized. If the author's name is not available, provide the screen name. Place identifiers like post or message numbers, if available, in brackets. If available, provide the URL where the message is archived (e.g. "Message posted to..., archived at...").
Blog (Weblog) and Video Blog Post
Include the title of the message and the URL. Please note that titles for items in online communities (e.g. blogs, newsgroups, forums) are not italicized. If the author's name is not available, provide the screen name.
Please note that the APA Style Guide to Electronic References warns writers that wikis (like Wikipedia, for example) are collaborative projects that cannot guarantee the verifiability or expertise of their entries.
For all podcasts, provide as much information as possible; not all of the following information will be available. Possible addition identifiers may include Producer, Director, etc.
For all podcasts, provide as much information as possible; not all of the following information will be available. Possible addition identifiers may include Producer, Director, etc.
Materials from Meetings and Symposia
Papers and Poster Sessions
Notice that the date field contains not only the year but also the month of the conference.
Leading up to the convention, APA staff have been blogging about featured speakers and presentations. Here's how you would cite one of those blog posts.
APA generally does not publish proceedings of the annual convention (although selected abstracts are available in the online program). However, APA often publishes proceedings of more specialized meetings. Here's an example:
Increasingly, proceedings are being made available on CD to reduce publishing costs. If that's the case with your source, just add [CD] after the title. If the proceedings are published online, substitute "Retrieved from URL" for the publisher and location.
Reference List: Other Non-Print Sources
Interviews, Email, and Other Personal Communication
No personal communication is included in your reference list; instead, parenthetically cite the communicator's name, the phrase "personal communication," and the date of the communication in your main text only.
Basic reference list format:
Note: If a movie or video tape is not available in wide distribution, add the following to your citation after the country of origin: (Available from Distributor name, full address and zip code).
A Motion Picture or Video Tape with International or National Availability
A Motion Picture or Video Tape with Limited Availability
Television Broadcast or Series Episode
Writer, W. W. (Writer), & Director, D. D. (Director). (Date of broadcast or copyright). Title of broadcast [Television broadcast or Television series]. In P. Producer (Producer). City, state of origin: Studio or distributor.
Single Episode of a Television Series
Writer, W. W. (Writer), & Director, D. D. (Director). (Date of publication). Title of episode [Television series episode]. In P. Producer (Producer), Series title. City, state of origin: Studio or distributor.
A Television Series
Songwriter, W. W. (Date of copyright). Title of song [Recorded by artist if different from song writer]. On Title of album [Medium of recording]. Location: Label. (Recording date if different from copyright date).
In-Text Citations: The Basics
Note: APA style requires authors to use the past tense or present perfect tense when using signal phrases to describe earlier research, for example, Jones (1998) found or Jones (1998) has found...
APA citation basics
When using APA format, follow the author-date method of in-text citation. This means that the author's last name and the year of publication for the source should appear in the text, for example, (Jones, 1998), and a complete reference should appear in the reference list at the end of the paper.
If you are referring to an idea from another work but NOT directly quoting the material, or making reference to an entire book, article or other work, you only have to make reference to the author and year of publication and not the page number in your in-text reference. All sources that are cited in the text must appear in the reference list at the end of the paper.
In-text citation capitalization, quotes, and italics/underlining
(Note: in your References list, only the first word of a title will be capitalized: Writing new media.)
If you are directly quoting from a work, you will need to include the author, year of publication, and the page number for the reference (preceded by "p."). Introduce the quotation with a signal phrase that includes the author's last name followed by the date of publication in parentheses.
If the author is not named in a signal phrase, place the author's last name, the year of publication, and the page number in parentheses after the quotation.
Place direct quotations that are 40 words, or longer, in a free-standing block of typewritten lines, and omit quotation marks. Start the quotation on a new line, indented 1/2 inch from the left margin, i.e., in the same place you would begin a new paragraph. Type the entire quotation on the new margin, and indent the first line of any subsequent paragraph within the quotation 1/2 inch from the new margin. Maintain double-spacing throughout. The parenthetical citation should come after the closing punctuation mark.
Summary or paraphrase
If you are paraphrasing an idea from another work, you only have to make reference to the author and year of publication in your in-text reference, but APA guidelines encourage you to also provide the page number (although it is not required.)
In-Text Citations: Author/Authors
APA style has a series of important rules on using author names as part of the author-date system. There are additional rules for citing indirect sources, electronic sources, and sources without page numbers.
Citing an Author or Authors
A Work by Two Authors: Name both authors in the signal phrase or in the parentheses each time you cite the work. Use the word "and" between the authors' names within the text and use the ampersand in the parentheses.
A Work by Three to Five Authors: List all the authors in the signal phrase or in parentheses the first time you cite the source. Use the word "and" between the authors' names within the text and use the ampersand in the parentheses.
In subsequent citations, only use the first author's last name followed by "et al." in the signal phrase or in parentheses.
In et al., et should not be followed by a period.
Six or More Authors: Use the first author's name followed by et al. in the signal phrase or in parentheses.
Unknown Author: If the work does not have an author, cite the source by its title in the signal phrase or use the first word or two in the parentheses. Titles of books and reports are italicized or underlined; titles of articles, chapters, and web pages are in quotation marks.
Note: In the rare case the "Anonymous" is used for the author, treat it as the author's name (Anonymous, 2001). In the reference list, use the name Anonymous as the author.
Organization as an Author: If the author is an organization or a government agency, mention the organization in the signal phrase or in the parenthetical citation the first time you cite the source.
If the organization has a well-known abbreviation, include the abbreviation in brackets the first time the source is cited and then use only the abbreviation in later citations.
Two or More Works in the Same Parentheses: When your parenthetical citation includes two or more works, order them the same way they appear in the reference list (viz., alphabetically), separated by a semi-colon.
Authors With the Same Last Name: To prevent confusion, use first initials with the last names.
Two or More Works by the Same Author in the Same Year: If you have two sources by the same author in the same year, use lower-case letters (a, b, c) with the year to order the entries in the reference list. Use the lower-case letters with the year in the in-text citation.
Introductions, Prefaces, Forewords, and Afterwords: When citing an Introduction, Preface, Foreword, or Afterwords in-text, cite the appropriate author and year as usual.
Personal Communication: For interviews, letters, e-mails, and other person-to-person communication, cite the communicator's name, the fact that it was personal communication, and the date of the communication. Do not include personal communication in the reference list.
Citing Indirect Sources
If you use a source that was cited in another source, name the original source in your signal phrase. List the secondary source in your reference list and include the secondary source in the parentheses.
Note: When citing material in parentheses, set off the citation with a comma, as above. Also, try to locate the original material and cite the original source.
If possible, cite an electronic document the same as any other document by using the author-date style.
Unknown Author and Unknown Date: If no author or date is given, use the title in your signal phrase or the first word or two of the title in the parentheses and use the abbreviation "n.d." (for "no date").
Sources without Page Numbers
When an electronic source lacks page numbers, you should try to include information that will help readers find the passage being cited. When an electronic document has numbered paragraphs, use the abbreviation "para." followed by the paragraph number (Hall, 2001, para. 5). If the paragraphs are not numbered and the document includes headings, provide the appropriate heading and specify the paragraph under that heading. Note that in some electronic sources, like Web pages, people can use the Find function in their browser to locate any passages you cite.
Note: Never use the page numbers of Web pages you print out; different computers print Web pages with different pagination.