Some works are recoverable only by certain audiences, which affects how they are cited.

For example, a student writing a paper for a course assignment might cite works from the classroom website or learning management system (LMS; e.g., Canvas, Blackboard, Brightspace, Moodle, Sakai). These sources can be cited in the classroom assignment because they are recoverable by the instructor and fellow students. Likewise, an employee might cite resources from the company intranet when writing an internal company report.

When the audience you are writing for can retrieve the works you used, cite the works using the formats shown in Chapter 10 of the Publication Manual, which are organized according to reference group and category. The source element of these references includes the name of the classroom website or LMS and the URL. For sites requiring users to log in, the URL should be a link to the home page or the login page.

For example, use the following format to cite a recorded lecture or PowerPoint presentation available from a classroom website or LMS for a student assignment (see also Chapter 10, Example 102, in the Publication Manual). Because the LMS requires users to log in, provide the home page URL of the LMS rather than the full URL of the work.

Mack, R., & Spake, G. (2018). Citing open source images and formatting references for presentations [PowerPoint slides]. Canvas@FNU. https://fnu.onelogin.com/login

Likewise, use the following format to cite a report on a company intranet when writing an internal company report (see also the report formats shown in Section 10.4 of the Publication Manual). Because this company intranet requires users to log in, provide the home page URL of the intranet rather than the full URL of the work.

American Psychological Association. (2019). Policies & procedures manual. https://apa750.sharepoint.com

However, if the work is for professional publication or intended for a wider audience who will not have access to these sources (i.e., the LMS or the company intranet), cite the sources as personal communications.

Classroom or intranet sources are covered in Section 8.8 of the APA Publication Manual, Seventh Edition

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How to cite a work with a nonrecoverable source

In most cases, nonrecoverable sources such as personal emails, nonarchived social media livestreams (or deleted and unarchived social media posts), classroom lectures, unrecorded webinars or presentations, and intranet sources should be cited only in the text as personal communications.

Last updated: July 2022Date created: September 2019