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Referencing guide: APA

APA (6th edition) referencing style sheet

This referencing style sheet is to be used in conjunction with the Library’s General guide to citing and referencing.

The information in this guide is based on the following manual from the American Psychological Association (APA):

American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

There are standard reference formats for most types of document. Below are examples of the most common types of document you might want to reference. Each of the following gives a suggested standard format for the reference followed by examples for the different document types.

Author’s surname, Initials. (Year of publication). Title (xx ed. if not the first). Place of publication: Publisher.

  • Cowen, R. (2005). History of life (4th ed.). Oxford: Blackwell.

Title. (Year of publication). (xx ed. if not the first). Place of publication: Publisher.

  • Collins English dictionary. (2005). (7th ed.). Glasgow: HarperCollins.

Corporate author. (Year of publication). Title (xx ed. if not the first). Place of publication: Author.

  • The Open University. (2007). Understanding cardiovascular diseases. Milton Keynes: Author.

NB: When the author and publisher are the same, use the word Author as the name of the publisher.

Editor’s surname, Initials. (Ed.). (Year of publication). Title (xx ed. if not the first). Place of publication: Publisher.

  • Morgan, W. J. (Ed.). (2007). Ethics in sport (2nd ed.). Leeds: Human Kinetics.

Authors’ names. (Year of publication). Title (xx ed. if not the first). Place of publication: Publisher.

  • Fahy, J., & Jobber, D. (2012). Foundations of marketing (4th ed.). London: McGraw-Hill.

Author of chapter’s surname, Initials. (Year of publication). Title of chapter. In: Initials of first editor, Surname of first editor & Initials of second editor, Surname of second editor (Eds.), Title of book (pp. xx-xx). Place of publication: Publisher.

  • Worobec, C. D. (2012). Russian peasant women’s culture : Three voices. In W. Rosslyn & A. Tosi (Eds.), Women in nineteenth-century Russia: Lives and culture (pp. 41-62). Cambridge: Open Book.

Author’s surname, Initials. (Year of publication). Article title. Journal TitleVolume number(part), page numbers xx-xx. doi:

  • McFall, L. (2011). A ‘good, average man’: Calculation and the limits of statistics in enrolling insurance customers. Sociological Review59(4), 661-684. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-954X.2011.02033.x

Author surname, Initials. (Year of publication). Article title. Journal TitleVolume number(part), page numbers. Retrieved from URL

  • Rojas, J. C., & Gonzales-Lima, F. (2011). Low-level light therapy of the eye and brain. Eye and Brain3(1), 49-67. Retrieved from http://www.dovepress.com/low-level-light-therapy-of-the-eye-and-brain-peer-reviewed-article-EB

Author surname, Initials. (Year of publication). Title. Retrieved from URL.

  • Hopkins, D. (2008). A teacher's guide to classroom research. Retrieved from http://lib.myilibrary.com/Open.aspx?id=195309

Author surname, Initials. (Year of release in electronic format). Title. Retrieved from URL (Original year work was published)

  • Hooke, R. (2005). Micrographia. Retrieved from http://www.gutenberg.org/files/15491/15491-h/15491-h.htm (Original work published 1664)

Corporate author. (Date of publication). Title of report. Place of publication: Author.

  • Drinking Water Inspectorate. (2011). Drinking water 2010: Private water supplies in England. London: Author.

Author surname, Initials. (Year of publication). Article title. Journal TitleVolume number(part), page numbers.

  • McFall, L. (2011). A ‘good, average man’: Calculation and the limits of statistics in enrolling insurance customers. Sociological Review59(4), 661-684.

Author’s surname, Initials. (Year of publication, Month of publication Day of publication). Title of article. Title of newspaper, pp. xx-xx.

  • Gentleman, A. (2012, March 31). The rules for mums and dads. The Guardian, pp. 48-49.

Writer’s surname, Initials. (Writer), & Director’s surname, Initials. (Director). (Year of broadcast). Title of episode [Television series episode]. In Executive Producer’s Initial. Executive Producer’s surname (Executive producer), Title of TV series. Country of origin (or US State): Broadcasting company.

  • Egan, D. (Writer), & Alexander, J. (Director). (2005). Failure to communicate [Television series episode]. In D. Shore (Executive producer), House. New York, NY: Fox Broadcasting.

APA uses American terminology so please refer to Publication Manual for detailed guidance. The example below is for a doctoral thesis found on a Swedish institutional repository:

Author surname, Initials. (Year of award). Title of thesis (Level of award, Awarding institution). Retrieved from URL

  • Calborm, P. (2000). Carbody and passengers in rail vehicle dynamics (Doctoral thesis, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden). Retrieved from http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-3029

Author's surname, Initials. (Year site/document was published online). Title. Retrieved Month Day, Year, from web address.

Note: if there is no individual author you can use an organisation or corporate body name. If neither is available, use the title for author. If there is no publication date available, use no date instead i.e. (n.d.).

  • US ISBN Agency. (2004). The digital world and the ongoing development of ISBN. Retrieved February 20, 2010, from http://isbn.org/standards/home/isbn/digitalworld.asp.

The American Psychological Association uses an author-date style of referencing with details entered in round brackets. For example:

The traditional approach to human cognition is over-simplified in assuming that processing is typically serial (Eysenck & Keane, 2010).

Treatment of multiple authors:

When a work has two authors, cite both authors every time.

When a work has three, four or five authors, cite all authors the first time a reference occurs. In subsequent citations, include only the surname of the first author followed by et al. For example:

Kisangau, Lyaruu, Hosea, and Joseph (2007) found that … [first time cited]

Kisangua et al. (2007) found that … [subsequent citations]

When a work has six or more authors, cite only the surname of the first author followed by et al. and the year of publication for the first and subsequent citations.

The reference list should contain full details of all the sources mentioned in the text, arranged alphabetically by surname of first author.

Treatment of multiple authors within reference list:

When authors number eight or more, include the first six authors’ names then insert three ellipses and add the last author’s name. See:

Kisangau, A., Lyaruu, B., Hosea, C., Joseph, D., Rogers, T., Tylee, C., . . . Humphreys, L. J. (2007). Psychology. Birmingham: ABC Press
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Referencing an item not covered in this guide?

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association

You might like to refer to either the Publication manual of the American Psychological Association or the more compact version, Concise rules of APA style.

Shelf mark: 808.06615 AME (Level 3)

Concise Rules of APA Style

You might like to refer to either the Publication manual of the American Psychological Association or the more compact version, Concise rules of APA style.

Shelf mark: 808.06615 AME (Level 3)

APA style blog

APA Style Blog

The APA Style Blog is the official companion to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Sixth Edition. It provides a bank of answered questions, which you can either browse or search for. 

It has several features to help you navigate the site, whether you are just browsing or looking for an answer to a specific question. For example, you can search the blog, explore posts by category, and view the most recent posts and comments. If you can't find what you are looking for, you can also ask your question directly to the authors of the blog.

The Complete Guide to Referencing and Avoiding Plagiarism

You may also find helpful this e-book. It includes examples for APA and other styles.

Click on the image or book title to access the e-book.

Also available in print shelf mark 808.027 NEV (Level 3)