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  APA Referencing

What is referencing?
Why reference?
Steps involved in referencing
How to cite references within the text of an assignment
How to create a reference list
Examples of types of printed references
Examples of types of electronic references
More information
Most recent APA guidelines for creating references to electronic databases

 


What is referencing?

Referencing is a standardised method of acknowledging sources of information and ideas that you have used in your assignment; in a way that uniquely identifies their source. Direct quotations, facts and figures, as well as ideas and theories, from both published and unpublished works must be referenced. There are many acceptable forms of referencing. This information sheet shows the APA referencing style. In this system the author's name is given first, followed by the publication date within the text of the assignment. A reference list at the end of the assignment contains full details of all the in-text citations.

It is very important that you check your department's or school's assignment guide as some details, e.g. punctuation, may vary from the guidelines on this sheet. You may be penalised for not conforming to your school's requirements.

Why reference?

Referencing is necessary to avoid plagiarism; to enable the reader to verify quotations; and to enable readers to follow-up and read more fully the cited author's arguments.

 


Steps involved in referencing

 

  • Take down the full bibliographical details including the page number(s) from which the information is taken.

    In the case of a book, "bibliographical details" refers to:
         author/editor
         year of publication
         title
         edition
         volume number
         place of publication and publisher.
    (Not all of these details will necessarily be applicable).

    In the case of a journal article it refers to:
         author of article
         year of publication
         title of article
         journal/serial title
         volume number
         issue number
         page numbers of the article.

In the case of electronic information it refers to:
     author/editor
     year of publication
     article title
     journal title
     the type of medium (e.g. CD-ROM, Online, etc.)
     pages or length
     "Retrieved from" statement (e.g. WWW address, supplier and name of electronic database, Email address, etc.)
     access date
(Not all of these details will necessarily be applicable.)

 

  • Insert the citation at the appropriate place within the text of the document (see examples below).

     

  • Provide a reference list at the end of the document (see examples below).

How to cite references within the text of an assignment

When citing references within the text of an assignment use only the name of the author, followed by the year of publication.

Knight (1969) recommended that psychosurgery be used for curing various psychiatric problems...
OR
It has been recommended that psychosurgery be used for curing various psychiatric problems, including depression (Knight, 1969).
When directly quoting from another source, the relevant page number(s) must also be given.

Brown, Wienckowski and Bivens (1977, p. 257) stated that "...the answers to the issues of psychosurgery will depend heavily upon specific advances...".
Works with no author: When a work has no author (including legal materials) or the author is anonymous, cite in-text the first few words of the reference list entry (usually the title) and the year. Use double quotation marks around the title of an article or chapter, and underline the title of a periodical, book or report.

Multiple authors: When multiple author citations occur as part of the text, the names are joined by the word and. When multiple author citations occur within parentheses, the names are joined by an ampersand (&).

When the work cited has 2 authors, include both names each time the reference is cited within the text, with the year of publication.

When the work cited has 3, 4, or 5 authors, cite all names in the first occurrence of the reference. Thereafter, include only the surname of the first mentioned author followed by et al. Also include the year if it is the first occurrence of the reference within a paragraph.

When the work cited has 6 or more authors, cite only the surname of the first mentioned author followed by et al., and the year of publication.

Refer to Section 3.95 of the APA Publication Manual for further details and many more examples.

Citing a Web site: To cite a Web site in-text (but not a specific document), give the address (e.g., http://www.apa.org). No reference entry is needed. A web document follows the author/date format.

Citing secondary sources: Within the text, name the original source and provide a citation for the secondary source.


Johnson and Peters' study (as cited in Wagner, 1982)...
In the Reference List include the secondary source only. See APA Publication Manual, appendix 3A, example 22, p.200.

How to create a Reference List

A Reference List contains all the references cited in the assignment. In contrast, a bibliography cites work for background and further reading.

The Reference List is arranged alphabetically by author. Where an item has no author it is cited by its title, and ordered in the reference list or bibliography in sequence by the first significant word of the title.

The APA style requires the first line of the reference to be indented as shown below.

 

Examples of types of printed references:

 


Articles/chapters in book:
Bibliographic details are arranged in the sequence:
  author of chapter
  year of publication
  chapter title
  editor(s) of book
  title of book
  article or chapter pages
  place of publication
  publisher

Article in an encyclopaedia
     Stafford-Clark, D. (1987). Mental disorders and their treatment. In The New Encyclopaedia Britannica (5th ed., Vol 23, pp. 956-975). Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica.

Article or chapter in a book
     Piaget, J. (1970). The stages of the intellectual development of the child. In P.H. Mussen, J.J. Congor & J. Kagan (Eds.), Readings in child development and personality (pp. 291-302). New York: Harper & Row.

Article or chapter in a book (no author)
     Antiviral drugs. (1989). In Van Nostrand's scientific encyclopedia (7th ed., Vol. 1, p. 202). New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold.

 


Book
Bibliographic details are arranged in the sequence:
  author/ editor(s)
  year of publication
  title of book
  edition of book
  place of publication
  publisher

Book with a single author
     Goddard, C. R. (1996). Child abuse and child protection: A guide for health, education and welfare workers. South Melbourne: Churchill Livingstone.

Book with 2 authors
     Koskoff, V. D., & Goldhurst, R. (1968). The dark side of the house. New York: Dial Press.

Book other than first edition
     Strunk, W., & White, E. B. (1978). The elements of style (3rd ed.). London: Macmillan.

 


Bulletin (corporate author)
Australian Bureau of Statistics bulletin
       Australian Bureau of Statistics. (1985). Domestic travel and tourism survey, Australia, 1973 (Catalogue No. 9216.0). Canberra: Author.

 


Journal Article
Bibliographic details are arranged in the sequence:
  author of journal article
  year of publication
  article title
  title of journal
  volume of journal
  issue number of journal
  article pages

Journal article
     Wharton, N. (1996). Health and safety in outdoor activity centres. Journal of Adventure Education and Outdoor Leadership, 12 (4), 8-9.

Journal article (no author)
      Anorexia nervosa. (1969). British Medical Journal, 1, 529-530.

Magazine article
      Posner, M. I. (1993, October 29). Seeing the mind. Science, 262, 673-674.

Newspaper article
      Summers, A. (1975, December 22-27). How women live. National Times, pp. 12-14.

 


More than one item by the same author published in the same year
     Thorne, B. M. (1972a). Brain lesions and effective behaviour in primates: A selected review. Journal of General Psychology, 86, 153-162.

      Thorne B. M. (1972b). The red nucleus and olfactory discrimination in the rat. Journal of General Psychology, 86, 225-229.

 


Personal Communication
Personal communications include letters, memos and conversations (see the Electronic Mail section below for some electronic communications). An entry is not added to your reference list, but an in-text citation is still required. You must include the initials and surname of the communicator as well as the date: 

D. Smith stipulated on one occasion that the air conditioning system was maintained far too "periodically" (personal communication, April 19, 1999).

OR

The company's policy on refunds was contrary to that of State law (L. Noel, personal communication, May 2, 2000).

 

Examples of types of electronic references:

 


Journal Article
Bibliographic details are arranged in the sequence:
  author of journal article
  year of publication
  article title
  title of journal
  volume of journal
  issue number of journal
  article pages or indication of length
  "Retrieved from" statement: 

from

(i) CD-ROM databases
Retrieved from [source] database [name of database], CD-ROM, [release date], [item or accession number if applicable]

(ii) On-line databases
Retrieved [month day, year,] from [source] on-line database ([name of database], [item no.--if applicable])

(iii) Databases accessed via the Web
Retrieved [month day, year,] from [source] database ([name of database], [item no.--if applicable]) on the World Wide Web: [URL]

Full text journal article from CD-ROM database
      La Rosa, S.M. (1992). Marketing slays the downsizing dragon. Information Today,9 (3), 58-59. Retrieved from Silverplatter database (Business Periodicals Ondisc database, CD-ROM, August 1999 release, 92-20889)

Full text journal article from on-line database
      Bowles, M. D. (1998). The organization man goes to college: AT&T's experiment in humanistic education, 1953-1960. The Historian, 61, 15+. Retrieved January 27, 1999, from DIALOG on-line database (#88, IAC Business A.R.T.S., Item 04993186)

Full text journal article from database accessed on the Web
       Schneiderman, R. A. (1997). Librarians can make sense of the Net. San Antonio Business Journal, 11(31), pp. 58+. Retrieved January 27, 1999, from EBSCO database (Masterfile) on the World Wide Web: http://www.ebsco.com

 


CD Rom (stand-alone multimedia disc)
      A.D.A.M.: Animated dissection of anatomy for medicine. (1995). Boston: A.D.A.M. Software. Retrieved from A.D.A.M. multimedia disc (CD-ROM, July 1995 release) 

 


Electronic Mail
E-mail
      Smith, R. (2001, July 30). The legend of Mark Twain. E-mail to S. Smith (smith@xyz.edu.au).

Discussion list
      Berkowitz, P. (1995, April 3). Sussy's gravestone. Mark Twain Forum. Retrieved June 23, 1996 from E-mail discussion list TWAIN-L@yorkvm1.bitnet

 


World Wide Web
World Wide Web page
      Beckleheimer, J. (1994). How do you cite URL's in a bibliography? Retrieved December 13, 1995 from the World Wide Web: http://www.nrlssc. navy.mil/meta/bibliography.html 

World Wide Web page (no author)
      Educating America for the 21st century: Developing a strategic plan for educational leadership for Columbia University-1993-2000 (Initial workshop draft), (1994). Retrieved May 16, 1995 from the World Wide Web: http://www.ilt.columbia.edu/CONF/EdPlan.html

World Wide Web page (no publication date)
      Prizker, T. J. (No date). An early fragment from central Nepal. Retrieved December 12, 1996 from the World Wide Web:http://www.ingress. com/~astanart/pritker/pritzker.html 

World Wide Web Homepage
     Curtin University of Technology [Homepage of Curtin University of Technology], (2001, February 8 - last update). Retrieved February 28, 2001 from the World Wide Web: http://www.curtin.edu.au


Videorecording
     Young, T. (Director), & McClory, K. (Producer). (1965). Thunderball [Videorecording]. USA: Warner Home Video.

 

More information

For more detailed information about the APA referencing system, and many more examples, refer to:

      American Psychological Association. (1994). Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (4th ed.). Washington DC: Author.

Detailed information about referencing electronic sources, and many examples, can be found in:

      Li, X. & Crane, N. B. (1996). Electronic Styles: A handbook for citing electronic information (2nd ed.). Medford, N.J.: Information Today.

Adapted from: APA Referencing. (2001, March). Curtin Library and Information Service.  Retrieved March 6, 2001 from the World Wide Web: http://www.curtin.edu.au/