The current American Psychological Association (APA) style manual is the 6th edition (2010).
APA style is most commonly used in Psychology, Education & the Social Sciences.
A copy of the APA style manual is available in the Ready Reference area at the Research Help Desk on the first floor of Library:
American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Call Number: Ref. BF76.7 .P83 2010 c.2
Some useful online resources include:
APA Exposed (Harvard University Graduate School of Education)
American Psychological Association (APA) Format (Purdue OWL)
Research and Documenting Sources: APA Style: The Social Sciences The Diana Hacker site on the basics of APA style
Articles from Databases
Please note: APA states that including database information in citations is not necessary because databases change over time (p. 192). However, the OWL still includes information about databases for those users who need database information.
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/
Smyth, A. M., Parker, A. L., & Pease, D. L. (2002). A study of enjoyment of peas. Journal of Abnormal Eating, 8(3), 120-125. Retrieved from
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
Journals that are paginated by volume begin with page one in issue one, and continue numbering issue two where issue one ended, etc.
Harlow, H. F. (1983). Fundamentals for preparing psychology journal articles. Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology, 55, 893-896.
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.
Scruton, R. (1996). The eclipse of listening. The New Criterion, 15(3), 5-13.
Henry, W. A., III. (1990, April 9). Making the grade in today's schools. Time, 135, 28-31.
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.
Schultz, S. (2005, December 28). Calls made to strengthen state energy policies. The Country Today, pp. 1A, 2A.
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
Angeli, E., Wagner, J., Lawrick, E., Moore, K., Anderson, M., Soderland, L., & Brizee, A. (2010, May 5). General format. Retrieved from http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/
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.
DOI: Digital Object Identifier
The DOI is a set of numbers and/or letters given to individual journal articles.
You should include the DOI for articles retrieved online or from hardcopy
The database might give the DOI in the citation section. If not, then you may find it at the top or bottom of the first page
When you have a DOI, you do not need to include the web address
When you do not have a DOI, you must include the URL of the journal's homepage from the publisher's website. If this URL is too long, you may use the publisher's
homepage. You may have to search for this website online.
Do not use the direct URL of the article and do not use the database name or URL
(exceptions; a dissertation, an ERIC document or older JSTOR article)
Older hardcopy journals will not have a DOI, so you will cite it without one