Dr Abel Scribe PhD

4.0 APA Reference Examples

Quality of Sources. Information comes in a variety of guises. Only that information that has been subjected to peer review is considered the highest quality in scientific and scholarly research. Government agencies and private research groups are other useful sources of information. This information may be highly credible but without peer review is of unknown quality. These sources are sometimes referred to as "gray literature" (APA, 2009, p. 205). Everything else is, at most, data lacking the authority of that comes with peer review.

APA Basic Table of Contents
1.0 Mechanics of Style
  • 1.1 Abbreviations
  • 1.2 Capitalization
  • 1.3 Emphasis (Italics)
  • 1.4 Common Numbers
  • 1.5 Precise Numbers
2.0 Page Layout
  • 2.1 Title & Text Pages
  • 2.2 Headings & Lists
  • 2.3 Quotations
  • 2.4 Tables
  • 2.5 Figures & Graphs
3.0 Crediting Sources
  • 3.1 Text Citations
  • 3.2 Reference Lists

DOI (Digital Object Identifier). The DOI system was developed to permanently mark and identify digital documents. It is not unlike a library call number and URL (Internet Uniform Resource Locator) combined in its application. Publishers are increasingly assigning DOIs to journal articles whether online or in print.

  • "We recommend that when DOIs are available, you include them for both print [italics added] and electronic sources" (APA, 2009, p. 189). If the DOI is not available for documents retrieved online use the URL. If it is available for a print article include it in the reference. The DOI indicates an electronic copy is available somewhere.
  • "Test the URLs in your references . . . . If the content is no longer available, substitute another source . . . or drop it from the paper altogether" (APA, 2009, p. 192). Journal editors do check references, instructors may as well. If the document cannot be found it is not a source.
Title notations. A note is added to a reference to help identify a source when it is not a conventional article or book. This follows the title after any material in parentheses, in brackets, with the first word capitalized in plain text (APA, 2009, p. 186). Title notes

Abbreviations  Use the abbreviation p. (pp.) before page numbers in encyclopedia entries, newspaper articles, chapters or articles in edited books, but not in journal or magazine article citations, where numbers alone are used. The following abbreviations are commonly used in APA references: APA Abbreviations

Pointer  Do not drop digits from (elide) inclusive pages numbers, do not write pp. 1234-38, write pp. 1234-1238.

4.1 Articles in Periodicals (TOP)

The volume number in references to periodicals is placed in italics (but not the issue number, if any).

Annual Review:

Andresen, E. M., Diehr, P. H., & Luke, D. A. (2004). Public health surveillance of low-frequency populations.
Annual Review of Public Health, 25, 25-52. doi:[add if available]

Anonymous or unknown author:

Annual smoking attributable mortality, years of potential life lost and economic costs: United States
1995-1999. (2002). Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 51, 300-303. doi:[add if available]

Citation: ("Annual Smoking," 2002). Use heading caps when citing parts of titles in text citations. Do not use
"Anonymous" for the author unless that is the designated author expressly given in the source.

One author:

Abelson, R. P. (1997). On the surprising longevity of flogged horses: Why there is a case for the significance test.
Psychological Science, 8, 12-15. doi:[add if available]

Citation: (Abelson, 1997). APA style places the volume (but not the issue number in a volume) in italics.

Two authors:

McGlynn, E. A., & Brook, R. H. (2001). Keeping quality on the policy agenda. Health Affairs (Millwood), 20(3),
82-90. doi:[add if available]

Citation: (McGlynn & Brook, 2001).

Three to five authors:

Miller, F. G., Emanuel, E. J., Rosenstein, D. L., & Straus, S. E. (2004). Ethical issues concerning research in
complementary and alternative medicine. JAMA, 291, 599-604. doi:[add if available]

First Citation: (Miller, Emanuel, Rosenstein, & Straus, 2004); next citations: (Miller et al., 2004).

Six authors:

Mokdad, A. H., Bowman, B. A., Ford, E. S., Vinicor, F., Marks, J. S., & Koplan, J. P. (2001). The continuing
epidemics of obesity and diabetes in the U.S. JAMA, 286, 1195-1200. doi:[add if available]

All citations: (Mokdad et al., 2001).

Seven authors:

McGlynn, E. A., Asch, S. M., Adams, J., Keesey, J., Hicks, J., & DeCristofaro. A., & Kerr, E. A. (2003).
The quality of health care delivered to adults in the United States. New England Journal of Medicine,
2635-2645. doi:[add if available]

All citations: (McGlynn et al., 2003). In the reference list all seven authors.

More than seven authors:

Heshka, S., Anderson, J. W., Atkinson, R. L., Greenway, F. L., Hill, J. O., Phinney, S. D., . . . Pi-Sunyer, F. X.
(2003). Weight loss with self-help compared with a structured commercial program: A randomized trial. JAMA, 289, 1792-1798. doi:[add if available]

All citations: (Heshka et al., 2003).

Ahead of print:

Han, K., Zhu, X., He, F., Liu, L., Zhang, L., Ma, H., . . . Zhu, B-P. (2009). Lack of airborne transmission during
outbreak of pandemic (H1N1) 2009 among tour group members, China, June 2009. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 15(10). Advance online publication. doi:10.3201/eid1510.091013

All citations: (Han et al., 2009, . . .). Page numbers may not yet be assigned to these works. Use whatever information is available: (Han et al., 2009, p. 3 of 9), (Han et al., 2009, Results section, para. 2) (see APA, 2009, p. 172).

Pointer  "Update your references close to the publication date of your work, and refer to the final version of your sources, if possible" (APA, 2009, p. 199).

Group author: Print, DOI, Internet references:

Hypericum Depression Trial Study Group. (2002a). Effect of Hypericum perforatum (St. John's Wort) in major
depressive disorder: A randomized controlled trial. JAMA, 287, 1807–1814.

Hypericum Depression Trial Study Group. (2002b). Effect of Hypericum perforatum (St. John's Wort) in major
depressive disorder: A randomized controlled trial. JAMA, 287, 1807–1814. doi:10.1001/jama.287.14.1807

Hypericum Depression Trial Study Group. (2002c). Effect of Hypericum perforatum (St. John's Wort) in major
depressive disorder: A randomized controlled trial. JAMA, 287, 1807–1814. Retrieved [retrieval date] from http://www.jama.org/articles.html

Citation: (Hypericum Depression Trial Study Group, 2002). Cite the full name of a corporate author. The print original does not have a DOI, it was added through an online cover sheet later.

The DOI (Digital Object Identifier) should be added to a reference whether you use a digital version of the article or not. The DOI, when it is available, takes precedence over the URL when referencing a source found online.

The retrieval date
should only be added when referencing other than the version of record, such as an updated copy after publication.

Journals paged by issue (online):

Barry, J. M. (2004). The site of origin of the 1918 influenza pandemic and its public health implications
[Commentary]. Journal of Translational Medicine, 2(3), 1-4. Retrieved November 18, 2005, from

Conway, L. G., III. (2001). Number and age of citations in social-personality psychology over the lifespan
of the field: Older and wiser? Dialogue, 16(2), 14-15. doi:[add if available]

Add the issue in the volume (in parentheses in plain text) to these reference after the volume number.

Regular column:

Coyle, J. T. (2003). Use it or lose it--do effortful mental activities protect against dementia? [Perspective].
New England Journal of Medicine, 348, 2489-2490. doi:[add if available]

A title notation in brackets, [Perspective], follows the title to indicate this is a regular feature of the journal, and an
opinion or observational comment rather than an empirical study.

Special issue or supplement:

Seligman, M. E. P., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (Eds.). (2000). Positive psychology [Special issue]. American
Psychologist, 55(1). doi:[add if available]

Troiano, R. P., & Flegal, K. M. (1998). Overweight children and adolescents: Description, epidemiology, and
demographics. Journal of Pediatrics, 101(Suppl. 2), 497-504. doi:[add if available]

Book review:

Camhi, L. (1999, June 15). Art of the city [Review of the book New York modern: The arts and the city].
Village Voice, p. 154.

Magazine article:

Wilson, E. O. (1998, March). Back from chaos. Atlantic Monthly, 281, 41–62.

Newspaper articles (online):

Rundle, R. (2002, May 1). Obesity's hidden costs. Wall Street Journal, pp. B1-B4.

Bradsher, K. (2005, November 3). Poverty and superstition hinder drive to block bird flu at source. New York Times.
Retrieved November 3, 2005, from http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/03/international/ asia/03bird.html?th&emc=th

4.2 Books and Chapters (TOP)

Group author:

American Psychological Association. (2001). Publication manual of the American Psychological
Association (5th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

Citation: (American Psychological Association [APA], 2001); next citation (APA, 2001). Note: "Author" is used for the
publisher's name above when the author and publisher are identical, an APA quirk.

Three to five authors:

Booth, W. C., Colomb, G. G., & Williams, J. M. (1995). The craft of research. Chicago, IL: University
of Chicago Press.

Citation: (Booth, Colomb, & Williams, 1995); next citation (Booth et al., 1995).

Chapter or section in a book (online & print):

Beers, M. H., & Berkow, R. (1999). Mood disorders. In The Merck manual of diagnosis and therapy
(17th ed., sec. 15, chap. 189). Retrieved January 17, 2003, from http://www.merck.com/pubs/mmanual/ section15/chapter189/189a.htm

Stephan, W. G. (1985). Intergroup relations. In G. Lindzey & E. Aronson (Eds.), The handbook of social
psychology (3rd ed., Vol. 2, pp. 599–658). New York, NY: Random House.

Citations: (Beers & Berkow, 1999, chap. 189); (Stephan, 1985).

Edited book (two or more editors):

Friedman, H. S. (Ed.). (1990). Personality and disease. New York, NY: Wiley.

Guyatt, G., & Rennie, D. (Eds.). (2002). Users' guides to the medical literature: A manual for evidence-based
clinical practice. Chicago, IL: American Medical Association.

Edition other than the first (two authors):

Strunk, W., Jr., & White, E. B. (1979). The elements of style (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Macmillan.

Reprint/translation (one author & editors):

Ebbinghaus, H. (1913). Memory (H. A. Rueger & C. E. Bussenius, Trans.). New York, NY: Teachers College.
(Original work published 1885)

Citation: (Ebbinghaus, 1885/1913).

4.3 Reference Works (TOP)

Alderson, A. S., & Corsaro, W. A. (2000). Cross-cultural analysis. In E. F. Borgatta (Editor-in-Chief) &
R. J. V. Montomery (Managing Editor), Encyclopedia of sociology (2nd ed., Vol. 1, pp. 546-553).
New York, NY: Macmillan Reference USA.

Bergman, P. G. (1998). Relativity. In Encyclopedia Britannica (15th ed., Vol. 26, pp. 501-508). Chicago, IL:
Encyclopedia Britannica.

Croatia. (1991). In The new encyclopedia Britannica: Micropaedia. Chicago, IL: Encyclopedia Britannica.

Merriam-Webster collegiate dictionary (10th ed.). (1993). Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster.

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. (2004). OECD health data 2004 [CD-ROM].
Paris, France: Author.

Multivolume references:

Kotz, S., Johnson, N. L., & Read, C. B. (1982–1988). Encyclopedia of statistical sciences (10 vols.).
New York, NY: Wiley.

Middleton, J., & Rassam, A. (Eds.). (1995). Encyclopedia of world cultures: Vol. IX. Africa and the Middle East.
Boston, MA: G. K. Hall & Co.

Statistical abstract:

Bureau of the Census. (1993). Higher education price indexes: 1965–1991. In Statistical abstract of the
United States: 1993 (113th ed., Table 277). Washington, DC: US GPO.

4.4 Pamphlets, Monographs, & Websites (TOP)

Conference paper (published as a chapter in an edited book):

Christensen, S., & Oppacher, F. (2002). An analysis of Koza's computational effort statistic for genetic
programming. In: J. A. Foster, E. Lutton, J. Miller, C. Ryan, & A. G. Tettamanzi (Eds.), Genetic
(pp. 182-91). EuroGP 2002: Proceedings of the 5th European Conference on Genetic
Programming; Kinsdale, Ireland, April 3-5, 2002. Berlin: Springer.

Conference paper (unpublished , more than six authors):

Shrout, P. E. (Chair), Hunter, J. E., Harris, R. J., Wilkinson, L., Strouss, M. E., Applebaum, M. I., et al.
(1996, August). Significance tests—Should they be banned from APA journals? Symposium conducted
at the 104th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Government report online accessed through GPO database:

National Institute of Mental Health. (2002). Breaking ground, breaking through: The strategic plan
for mood disorders research of the National Institute of Mental Health (Publication No. 0507-B-05).
Retrieved January 19, 2003, from NIMH Web site via GPO Access: http://purl.access.gpo.gov/GPO/LPS20906

Citation: (National Institute of Mental Health [NIMH], 2002); next citation (NIMH, 2002).

Monograph online:

Foley, K. M., & Gelband, H. (Eds.). (2001). Improving palliative care for cancer [Monograph]. Retrieved
July 9, 2002, from the National Academy Press Web site: http://www.nap.edu/0309074029/html/

Homeland Security Council. (2005, November 1). National strategy for pandemic influenza
[Monograph]. Washington, DC: The Whitehouse. Retrieved November 2, 2005, from


Research and Training Center on Independent Living. (1993). Guidelines for reporting and writing about
people with disabilities (4th ed.) [Brochure]. Lawrence, KS: Author.


Dr. Abel Scribe PhD. (2006). AScribe! APA reference manager (Version 6.0) [Computer software].
Available from Doc's Web site: http://www.docstyles.com

Technical report (print/online versions):

Taylor, B. N. (1995a, April). Guide for the use of the International System of Units (SI) (NIST Special
Publication 811, 1995 Edition). Gaithersburg, MD: National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Taylor, B. N. (1995b, April). Guide for the use of the International System of Units (SI) (NIST Special
Publication 811, 1995 Edition). Retrieved June 25, 2003, from National Institute of Standards and
Technology Web site: http://physics.nist.gov/Document/sp811.pdf

Theses or dissertation:

Downey, D. B. (1992). Family structure, parental resources, and educational outcomes. PhD dissertation,
Department of Sociology, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN.

Web Pages

Department of Health and Human Services, Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. (n.d.). St. John's Wort
and the treatment of depression. Retrieved January 19, 2003, from National Institutes of Health Web site:

Dewey, R. A. (2002). Psych Web. Retrieved January 25, 2003 from http://www.psywww.com

Purdue University Online Writing Lab. (2003). Using American Psychological Association (APA) format
(Updated to 5th edition). Retrieved February 18, 2003 from the Purdue University Online Writing Lab at