This page reflects guidance from the sixth edition of the Publication Manual.
For the most current guidelines, see the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.) and our Style and Grammar Guidelines page for the seventh edition.
For a passing reference to a website in text, the URL is sufficient; no reference list entry is needed.
Gussie Fink-Nottle has set up a discussion forum for newt fanciers (http://gfnnfg.livejournal.com/).
However, when you are citing a particular document or piece of information from a website, include both a reference list entry and an in-text citation. The key to creating the reference list entry is to determine the type of content on the web page. Basically, provide the following four pieces of information:
Author, A. (date). Title of document [Format description]. Retrieved from http://xxxxxxxxx
The in-text citation includes the author and date (Author, date), as with any other APA Style citation.
In-text citations consist of the surname(s) of the author(s) and the year of publication.
- If there is no author, use the title (or a short form of the title, if it is lengthy) and the year. Titles that are italicized in the reference list are italicized in text; titles that are not italicized in the reference list appear in quotation marks.
- If there is no date, use “n.d.” (without quotation marks) instead.
Author, A. (date). Title of book. Retrieved from http://xxxxxxxxx
Author, A. (date). Title of book. doi:xxxxxxxxxxxx
Chapter in an e-book:
Author, A. (date). Title of chapter. In E. Editor (Ed.), Title of book (pp. xx–xx). Retrieved from http://xxxxxxxxx
Author, A. (date). Title of chapter. In E. Editor (Ed.), Title of book (pp. xx–xx). doi:xxxxxxxxxx
The in-text citation includes the author and date, as with any other APA Style citation.
- Third-party interviews: If the interview is in a form that is recoverable (e.g., a recording, transcript, published Q&A), use the reference format appropriate for the source in which the interview is available.
- Informational interviews: If you have interviewed someone for information about your topic and that person has agreed to be identified as a source, cite the source as a personal communication (in text only):
(G. Fink-Nottle, personal communication, April 5, 2011)Personal communications do not have reference list entries because they cannot be retrieved.
- Interviews of research participants: No citation is needed for remarks made by participants in the research on which you’re reporting. Do not cite these as personal communications; this would breach the participants’ guarantee of confidentiality.
Although the Publication Manual (6th ed.) does not include specific Facebook citation formats, you can adapt the basic reference format to fit.
Although the Publication Manual (6th ed.) does not include specific Twitter citation formats, you can adapt the basic reference format to fit.
Here’s the general format for creating a reference for a video found on YouTube and other video-posting websites:
- If both the real name of the person who posted the video and the screen name are known:
Author, A. A. [Screen name]. (year, month day). Title of video [Video file]. Retrieved from http://xxxxxxxxx
- If only the screen name of the person who posted the video is known:
Screen name. (year, month day). Title of video [Video file]. Retrieved from http://xxxxxxxxx The in-text citations include the author name outside of brackets (whichever that may be) and the date.
A digital object identifier (DOI) is a unique string of letters, numbers, and symbols assigned to a published work to identify content and provide a persistent link to its location on the Internet. The DOI is typically located on the first page of an electronic document near the copyright notice and on the database landing page for the document. When DOIs are available, include them in the reference information. Place the DOI at the end of the reference, and don’t add a period at the end of it. Here’s an example:
Author, A. (year). Title of article. Journal Title, X, xxx–xxx. doi:xxxxxx
Bibliography Versus Reference List
In APA Style, include a reference list rather than a bibliography with your paper.
What’s the difference? A reference list consists of all sources cited in the text of a paper, listed alphabetically by author’s surname. A bibliography, however, may include resources that were consulted but not cited in the text as well as an annotated description of each one. Bibliographies may be organized chronologically, or by subject, rather than alphabetically.
If you have been given an assignment that asks for a bibliography, consult your instructor for more specifics about the required format.