APA Referencing Overview

APA referencing style (6th edition) is most frequently used within the social and behavioural sciences. However, many scientific publications also use it in their documents.

Key things to remember

The latest edition of APA citation style consists of in-text citations and a reference list, along with rules for formatting the paperwork itself.

In APA, in-text citations should be rendered in the same way as Harvard references, except the following changes:

For sources with three or more authors, all of them should be named on the first in-text citation. Et al. can be used subsequently.

First citation: Dern, Geller and Lerner (2005)

Subsequent citations: Dern et al. (2005)

In the main body of the text, authors' names should be joined with the word 'and'. However, within parenthesis, an ampersand (&) should be used:

Main body: Dern, Geller and Lerner (2005) state that food is a source of great comfort to people.

When directly quoting from a text, you must include a page number in the citation. Including page numbers in all other circumstances is not required. However, it is the best practice to do so when referring to a part of work (e.g. a paragraph or chapter in a book). When referring to an entire work that covers a single topic (e.g. a journal article), it is not required.

Examples:

Direct: '"Chocolate has an infinite variety of uses" (Davis, 2013, p.8).'

Indirect: 'As Davis (2013) notes, chocolate can be used in many different ways.'

Have a look at the following examples for various reference sources:

1. Books

Citations for books with one or two authors

APA referencing follows the following format for books with one or two authors:

Last name, first initial. (Year). Title. Edition (if not the first edition of the book). City of publication: Publisher.

For example:

Hawking, S. W. (1998). A brief history of time: From the big bang to black holes (10th ed.). New York: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group.

Jones, F. and Hughes, S. (2006). Eating Out: A Definitive Restaurant Handbook. Nottingham: Delectable Publications.

Citations for a chapter in an edited book:

When citing a single chapter in a book, make sure that you add the page range (pp.) that the chapter spans. When citing an individual chapter, you should also include the edition of the book in the citation.

Last name, first initial. (Year). Chapter title. In: Book Title. Edition. City of publication: Publisher.

For example:

Keedy, J. (1998). Experience versus Education. In S. Heller, The Education of a Graphic Designer (1st ed., p. 88). New York: Allworth Press./p>

Citations for multiple books by the same author

An author’s texts can usually be differentiated by year. They should be listed in the chronological order of their publication. If you are citing two works by the same author which were published in the same year, you should label them as 'a', 'b', 'c' and so on, directly after the year.

Last name, first initial. (Year). Title. Edition (if not the first edition of the book). City of publication: Publisher.

For example:

(Brown, G. (2011). Mexican Food. Nottingham: Delectable Publications.

Brown, G. (2015a). Chinese Food. Nottingham: Delectable Publications.

Brown, G. (2015b). Italian Food. Nottingham: Delectable Publications.

Tools for creating Vancouver Book references:

2. Articles

Citations for Print Journals

Last name, First initial. (Year). Article Title. Journal name, Volume (Issue), Page/s.

For example:

Esen, E., & Collison, J. (2005). Employee development survey report. Society For Human Resource Management, V(A), 4.

Citations for Journal Articles accessed on a website or database

In APA referencing, wherever possible you should supply the Digital Object Identifier (DOI) of the source you accessed. If no DOI is available, you should cite the URL of the source.

Last name, First initial. (Year). Article Title. Journal name, Volume (Issue), Page/s. DOI: DOI link

Last name, First initial. (Year). Article Title. Journal name, Volume (Issue), Page/s. Retrieved from: URL.

For example:

Jameson, J. (2013). E-Leadership in higher education: The fifth “age” of educational technology research. British Journal of Educational Technology, 44(6), 889-915. doi: 10.1111/bjet.12103

Jenkins, O. (1996). Unusual Recipes and Cantonese Cuisine. Culinary Research, Volume 5 (8), pp. 47-59. Retrieved from: www.culinaryresearchjournal.com/ojenkinscantonesecuisine.

Citations for Newspaper and Magazine Articles – Print or Online

Newspaper and magazine citations are rendered similarly to journal articles when they are found online; the same differences in formatting occur, as the example below illustrates.

Print: Last name, first initial. (Year). Article title. Newspaper name, Page/s.

Online: Last name, First initial. (Year). Article Title. Newspaper name, Page/s. Retrieved from:

For example:

Rosenberg, G. (1997, March 31). Electronic discovery proves an effective legal weapon.The New York Times, p. D5.

Rosenberg, G. (1997, March 31). Electronic discovery proves an effective legal weapon.The New York Times, Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com

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