What's New in the Sixth Edition of the Publication Manual?


Book has been updated to acknowledge and incorporate advances in computer technology.

  • New discussions of the creation, submission, and storage of supplemental data.
  • New guidelines for referencing electronic sources.
  • New and expanded reference examples for a variety of on-line sources.
  • Redesigned APA Style® website, expanded to provide tutorials, on-line courses, and other resources for learning APA Style.

Book has been reorganized and streamlined for ease of use.

  • Organized to describe the writing process from idea to publication, it begins with background information on ethical issues in publishing, then moves on to manuscript structure and content, then writing style and rules, then graphics and references, then guidance on working with the publisher.
  • Sample paper section has been moved up and featured to better exemplify manuscript structure and content.
  • Like discussions have been moved to one place in the book, with discussions of function followed by instruction on form.

Focus has been broadened to include readers in the behavioral and social sciences.

  • Information specific to APA has been moved to the web, where it is more broadly accessible and can be updated frequently.
  • New examples throughout the book have been drawn from publications in education, business, and nursing as well as psychology.

Chapter-by-Chapter Changes

Chapter 1: Writing for the Behavioral and Social Sciences

  • Ethics discussion significantly expanded:
    • New section on data retention and sharing
    • New section on self-plagiarism
    • Expanded section on duplicate and piecemeal publication
    • New discussion of determining authorship, focusing on student contributions
    • Expanded section, "Protecting Rights of Research Participants" additional expanded guidance on assuring confidentiality
    • Expanded guidance on conflict of interest
    • New "planning for compliance" checklist

Chapter 2: Manuscript Structure and Content

  • New section on uniform standards for reporting research.
  • Journal article reporting standards incorporated into new discussions of abstract, methods, statistical results, and discussion.
  • Three modules added with standards for describing experimental manipulations.
  • Flow chart added to describe how subjects move through study.
  • New section on meta-analyses.
  • New section on supplemental material.
  • New sample papers featured that illustrate key new rules of APA style.

Chapter 3: Writing Clearly and Concisely

  • New heading structure established to simplify retrieval and ease reading comprehension.
  • Fully revised guidelines on reducing bias in language.
  • New section on historical and interpretive inaccuracies in language.
    • Use of "subjects" vs. "participants" revisited, with "subjects" fully accepted for use.
    • Gender—guidelines for avoiding bias updated (e.g., question the use of such constructions as "opposite" sex).
    • Definitions and preferred usage for terms "transsexual" and "transgender" updated.
    • Race—avoid language that reifies race, avoid use of "minority" for "non-White".
    • New sentence added for those of Middle Eastern descent.

Chapter 4: The Mechanics of Style

  • Numbers—requirement to use numerals for numbers below 10 grouped with those above 10 has been dropped.
  • Numerals vs. words—exception has been added for using words when discussing approximations of days and months (about five days).
  • Decimal fractions—new guidelines for reporting of p values to two or three decimal places. (However, p values less than p<.001 should be reported as p<.001).
  • Statistics in text—new guideline added to include not only statistics but also associated effect sizes and confidence intervals.
  • Form for reporting confidence intervals delineated.

Chapter 5: Displaying Results

  • Expanded general guidance on determining the purpose of data displays and designing to achieve that purpose.
  • New section on confidence intervals in tables—guidance on reporting results of statistical significance in tables.
  • All new tables, focused on kinds of data being displayed.
  • New table examples added (hierarchical multiple regression, multilevel model); ANOVA table removed.
  • New section on principles of figure use and construction.
  • New section on presenting electrophysiological, radiological, and biological data.
  • New cautions about ethical ramifications of manipulating data in photographic images.

[Note that this chapter may be distinguished as much by what has been removed as by what has been added. No longer here:

Long text passage describing kinds of graphs (scatter plot, line, bar, etc)
Section on line art v. half tone
Much reduced section on preparation of figures]

Chapter 6: Crediting Sources

  • Chapter now groups rules for quoting and guidance on getting permissions with standards for citation.
  • Citations—new passage added on what to cite and recommended level of citation.
  • New guidance on in-text citations of material quoted from electronic sources with no page numbers.
  • Reference list
    • New discussion on citing the archival version or version of record.
    • New expanded information on electronic sources and locator information, with an emphasis on the DOI.
    • New guidance on what to include for publication information, with focus on electronic sources.

Chapter 7: Reference Examples

  • All new reference examples—electronic formats incorporated with print formats for each form.
  • Examples drawn from wider range of journals in social and behavioral sciences.
  • New examples for new media, including data sets and software, internet message boards, archival documents and collections, wikis, and podcasts.

Chapter 8: The Publication Process

  • New discussion of peer review.
  • New discussion of editorial decision-making process by which manuscripts are accepted or rejected.
  • Author responsibilities—new section in getting assistance on scientific writing in English.
  • Guidance on complying with ethical, legal, and policy requirements condensed in one place.
  • Condensed information on publisher policy requirements.