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APA Referencing: FAQs

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EIT APA Guides

APA Referencing Guide - Examples
APA Referencing Guide - Instructions
APA Referencing: A Brief Guide

The APA style guide to electronic references is available through ebrary.

 

APA Referencing: Frequently Asked Questions

What is referencing?

Referencing is a method used to identify where you have obtained information and ideas from for your assignments. The American Psychological Association (APA) provides a standardised format that ensures those references are accurate, complete and useful to the reader. APA requires two elements: an in-text citation and a reference list.

APA's style rules and guidelines are set out in a book called Publication manual of the American Psychological Association, which is available from EIT libraries. See also APA style guide to electronic references, available in the ebrary database, for further guidance on referencing  online sources.

Why is referencing important?

Referencing is necessary to

  • avoid plagiarism

  • verify quotations

  • enable readers to follow-up and retrieve the cited source

If you quote or paraphrase someone else's work or ideas, you must acknowledge the author and source. If you don’t, you may be accused of plagiarism.

What is the difference between a reference list and a bibliography?

A reference list consists only of those references that are cited in your work and is organised alphabetically by author surname. A bibliography, in contrast, includes background or further reading and may also include an annotation or description of each source. Unlike a reference list, a bibliography may be organised by subject, or chronologically, rather than alphabetically. Most assignments will require a reference list only. If you are unsure, check with your lecturer. If your assignment asks for a bibliography check the format required with your lecturer.

Are footnotes used in APA referencing?

APA referencing does not use footnotes. APA is an author/date referencing system that uses in-text citations to refer readers to a reference list at the end of the work. Footnotes in APA are used only for additional content or explanatory information, or to acknowledge copyright permission status.

I have used other referencing styles such as Harvard and Chicago at other places where I have studied. Can I use these styles for my course work here at EIT?

APA is the referencing style required at EIT.

I have heard that my reference list should be double spaced. Is that correct?

APA requires that the reference list is double spaced.

Source:

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

Page: 180

There is more than one place of publication given in the book that I am citing. Which one do I use?

Where two or more publisher locations are given, give the location listed first or, if specified, the location of the publisher’s home office.

Source:

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

Page: 187

What if I have two references with the same author and the same year?

For multiple entries with the same author and date, alphabetize the entries by title in the reference list and add a suffix (a, b, c) after the year (2011a, 2011b; n.d.-a, n.d.-b)

Source:

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

Page: 178

How do I reference an article from a course book of readings?

In your course you may have been given a book of readings. This is a collection of photocopied journal, magazine or newspaper articles, book chapters and other material collated by the lecturer. Treat each reading as an original and reference according to their original type. For example, if the reading you are citing is a copy of a journal article, reference the original journal, not the book of readings.
In the in-text citation give the author and date of the original source and, if using a page number, give the page number from the original source.

Source:

Hume-Pratuch, J. (2012, September 27). How to cite course packs, custom textbooks, and other classroom compendiums[Blog post]. Retrieved from http://blog.apastyle.org/apastyle/2012/09/hot-to-cite-course-packs.html

What is a DOI?

A Digital Object Identifier (DOI) is a unique alphanumeric string used to identify content and provides a persistent link to its location on the Internet. When a DOI is available, include the DOI instead of the URL or database name in the reference. Place the DOI at the end of the reference.

Reference example:

Stultz, J. (2006). Integrating exposure therapy and analytic therapy in trauma treatment. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 76(4), 482-488. doi:10.1037/002-9432.76.4.482


Source:

What is a digital object identifier, or DOI? (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.apastyle.org/learn/faqs/what-is-doi.aspx

How do I reference an image from Pinterest?

Pinterest is a pin-board style photo-sharing website. To reference an image from this website give the name of the author (i.e. the person who pinned the image) in the form of surname and initials, but also give their first name in square brackets. For the title give the name of the image, followed by a description of the format in square brackets.

Reference Example:

Earnhart, H.[Hallie]. (n.d.). Long bob [Pinterest post]. Retrieved March 22,2013, from http://pinterest.com/pin/255790453808141636

In-text example:

(Earnhart, n.d.)

Source:

APA Style Expert, personal communication, March 27, 2013

How do I reference personal photographs?

If you are using personal photographs in your work you do not need to reference them. They will be assumed to be your own work unless you state otherwise. However you would still caption the photograph with Figure #,and the name of the photograph.

Example:

Figure 1. Jumping in puddles

Source:

Hume-Pratuch, J. (2010, April 01). There's an art to it [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://blog.apastyle.org/apastyle/2010/04/theres-an-artpto-it.html

How do I reference personal photographs from private pages on Facebook?

Content from private or friends-only Facebook pages or profiles is not retrievable by everyone and should be treated as a personal communication.

Example:

Figure 1. Jumping in puddles (B. Smith, personal communication, June 22, 2013)

Source:

Lee, C. (2010, March 19). How to cite Facebook: Fan pages, group pages, and profile information [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://blog.apastyle.org/apastyle/2010/03/how-to-cite-facebook-fan-pages-group-pages-and-profile-information.html

How do I reference a journal that has issue numbers but no volume numbers?

If the journal you are citing does not have volume numbers use the year as the volume number. This clarifies that the number following it in parentheses () is the issue number.

Reference example:

Wordsworth, A. (2010). Evaluating a post anaesthetic care unit orientation programme. Whitireia Nursing Journal, 2010 (17), 21-37.

Source:

Stephanie. (2012, January 05). Got volume? [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://blog.apastyle.org/apastyle/2012/01/got-volume.html

How do I reference website material that has no author, no year, and no page numbers?

Because the material does not include page numbers, you can include any of the following in the text to cite a direct quotation:

  • A paragraph number, if provided; alternatively, count the paragraphs down from the beginning of the document.

  • An overarching section heading plus a paragraph number within that section.

  • A short title in quotation marks in cases where the heading is too long to cite in full

Because there is no date and no author, your in-text citation would include the title (or short title), n.d. for no date, and paragraph number (e.g., "Heuristic," n.d., para. 1). The entry in the reference list might look like this:

Reference examples:

Heuristic. (n.d.). In Merriam-Webster's online dictionary (11th ed.). Retrieved from http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/heuristic

Whakawhanaungatanga (n.d.). In Maori dictionary. Retrieved from http://www.maoridictionary.co.nz/search?idiom=&phrase=&proverb=&loan=&keywords=whakawhanaungatanga&search=

Sources:

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

Pages: 171-172

How do you cite website material that has no autor, no year, and no page numbers? (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.apastyle.org/learn/faqs/cite-website-material.aspx

How do I reference an entry in an online dictionary?

See the example above for referencing website material that has no author, year, or page numbers.

How do I reference an article from an online journal that uses article numbers instead of page numbers?

If the article has a DOI, the article number is unnecessary in APA style.

Uziel, Y., & Hashkes, P. J. (2007). Growing pains in children. Pediatric Rheumatology, 5. doi: 10.1186/1546-0096-5-5

How do I reference a smartphone app?

To reference a mobile app use this format:

Rightsholder, A. A. (year). Title of Software or Program (Version number) [Mobile application software]. Retrieved from http://XXXX

Skyscape. (2013). Skyscape Medical Resources (Version 1.17.42) [Mobile application software]. Retrieved from http://itunes.apple.com

For the year, give the year that version of the software was released.
If the app is a reference work such as a dictionary or encyclopaedia begin your reference with the title of the entry followed by the year that version of the software was released, followed by the details of the software.

Diabetes. (2013). In Epocrates Essentials for Apple iOS (Version 5.1) [Mobile application software]. Retrieved from http://www.epocrates.com/mobile/phone/essentials

Source:

Lee, C. (2013, March 01). How to cite a mobile app. [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://blog.apastyle.org/apastyle/2013/03/how-to-cite-a-mobile-app.html

How do I reference an interview?

The citation of interviews depends on the nature of the interview.

  • 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).

In-text example:

(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.

Source:

Quick Answers-References. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.apastyle.org/learn/quick-guide-on-references.aspx

How do I reference information from a lecture that I attended or an email that I received?

Lecture material, including your notes and any handouts, is not recoverable by the reader and is considered a personal communication. Similarly, information contained in a personal email is not recoverable by others. Cite it in text only, give initials as well as the surname of the person involved, and the exact date.

In-text example:

(B. Browne, personal communication, March 26, 2012)

Source:

Hume-Pratuch, J. (2010, October 28). What belongs in the reference list? [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://blog.apastyle.org/apastyle/2010/10/what-belongs-in-the-reference-list.html

How do I reference Twitter?

If the user’s real name is known, provide it first in the format Author, A. A., followed by the screen name in brackets. If only the screen name is known, provide it without brackets.

Reference example:

Obama, B. [BarackObama]. (2009, July 15). Launched American Graduation Initiative to help additional 5 mill. Americans graduate college by 2020: http://bit.ly/gcTX7 [Tweet]. Retrieved from http://twitter.com/BarackObama/status/2651151366

In-text example:

(Obama, 2009)

Source:

American Psychological Association. (2012). APA style guide to electronic references. Washington, DC: Author.

Page: 33

How do I reference Facebook?

For individual authors on Facebook, provide the name in the format Author, A. A., and then include the author’s first name in brackets. For organizations or groups, spell out the full name. 

For dates that cannot be determined, use n.d. (for no date). If the date can reasonably be approximated, put ca. (for circa ) followed by the year, inside brackets. Include a retrieval date only when the date is unknown or has been approximated.
For multiple entries with the same author and date, alphabetize the entries by title and add a letter after the year (2011a, 2011b; n.d.-a, n.d.-b; or [ca. 2011a], [ca. 2011b]).

Reference examples:

Pinker, S. [Steven]. (n.d.). Timeline [Facebook page]. Retrieved March 19, 2012, from http://www.facebook.com/pages/Steven-Pinker/266872782418

Federal Emergency Management Agency. [ca. 2011]. Fire safety [Facebook page]. Retrieved April 17, 2011, from https://www.facebook.com/FEMA?sk = app_10442206389

American Red Cross. (2009, November 2.) Red Cross workers in American Samoa: 2 stories [Facebook note]. Retrieved from http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id = 178265261423

In-text examples:

(Pinker, n.d.)
(Federal Emergency Management Agency, [ca. 2011])
(American Red Cross, 2009)

Source:

American Psychological Association. (2012). APA style guide to electronic references. Washington, DC: Author.

Page: 33

When I reference something from the internet do I need to italicise the title?

Italicise the titles of reports and other documents that stand alone. If it is unclear use your own judgment to decide whether to italicise. Err on the side of not italicising.

Source:

American Psychological Association. (2012). APA style guide to electronic references. Washington, DC: Author.

Page: 32

How do I reference a book from ebrary

ebrary is a database of e-books that EIT subscribes to. Use the following format for a book from e-book subscription databases such as ebrary or Safari Books Online:

Author, A. A. (Year). Title of book . Retrieved from xxxxxx database.

Prochner, L. (2009), History of early childhood education in Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Retrieved from ebrary database.

Snijkers, G., Haraldsen, G., Jones, J., & Willimack, D. K. (2013). Designing and conducting business surveys. Retrieved from Safari Books Online database.

How do I reference a chapter from a book that I found in the ebrary database?

As with print books, if the entire book is written by the same author it is not necessary to reference the specific chapter that you used. Instead reference the whole book. However, if the chapter comes from an edited book where each chapter has a different author you do need to provide separate references for the chapters that you used. For a chapter from a book in ebrary use the format below:

Author, A. A. (Year). Title of chapter. In B. B. Editor (Ed.), Title of book (pp. xxx–xxx). Retrieved from xxxxxx database.

Stallabrass, J. (2012). E;ite art in an age of populism. In A. Dumbadze and S. Hudson (Eds). Contemporary art: 1989 to the present (pp. 39-49). Retrieved from ebrary database.

How do I reference a book from Google Books?

Unlike ebrary and Safari, Google Books is not a subscription database where the full book can be accessed.  It is an online resource available to everybody with many books restricted in the amount of content available to view unless the book is out of copyright.

Author, A. A. (Year). Title of work. Retrieved from http://xxxxx

Redman, B. K. (2013). Advanced practice nursing ethics in chronic disease self-management. Retrieved from http://books.google.co.nz

Source:

Lee, C. (2011, June 03). How do you cite an e-book (e.g., Kindle book)? [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://blog.apastyle.org/apastyle/2011/06/how-do-you-cite-an-e-book.html

How do I reference a Kindle book?

For books read on an e-reader device such as a Kindle include the e-book version in square brackets after the title. In place of publisher details give the DOI if there is one or, if there is no DOI, the URL the e-book was downloaded from.

Author, A. A. (Year). Title of book [E-reader version]. Retrieved from http://xxxxx

Author, A. A. (Year). Title of book [E-reader version]. doi:xxxxx

Silvia, P. J. (2007). How to write a lot: A practical guide to productive academic writing [Kindle DX version]. Retrieved from http://www.amazon.com

Schiraldi, G. R. (2001). The post-traumatic stress disorder sourcebook: A guide to healing, recovery, and growth [Adobe Digital Editions version]. http://dx.doi.org/10.1036/0071393722

Sources:

American Psychological Association. (2012). APA style guide to electronic references. Washington, DC: Author.

Page: 16

Lee, C. (2011, June 03). How do you cite an e-book (e.g., Kindle book)? [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://blog.apastyle.org/apastyle/2011/06/how-do-you-cite-an-e-book.html

How do I reference a thesis?

From a database:

Culbertson, J. H. (2015). Recombinant indigeneities: Māori environmental design and the architecture of biculturalism (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global database. (Order No. 3706575)

Theses obtained from a database will have an accession or order number. This is included at the end of the reference in brackets.

American institutions refer to a ‘Doctoral dissertation,’ most other countries will use ‘Doctoral thesis.’

 

From an institutional repository:

Whaanga, P. (2012). Māori values can reinvigorate a New Zealand philosophy (Master’s thesis). Retrieved from http://researcharchive.vuw.ac.nz/xmlui/handle/10063/2403

An online thesis that is not from a database or an institutional repository:

These are referenced as per the example for an institutional repository, but you also need to include the name of the institution where the thesis was completed and where the institution is located.

This information is included in the brackets with the type of thesis. For example, (Master’s thesis, Eastern Institute of Technology, Napier, New Zealand).

You do not need to include the location of American institutions, just the name of the institution. 

 

A print thesis:

Stewart, J. (2013). Stories of yesterday. Reflections on collegiality: Capturing the essence of nurses working with nurses (Unpublished master’s thesis). Eastern Institute of Technology, Napier, New Zealand.

If the thesis is only available from the respective institution then it is considered unpublished. If it was published then you would reference it like a book.

 

For further information you can consult the following EIT Guides:

APA Referencing Guide - Examples
APA Referencing Guide - Instructions
APA Referencing: A Brief Guide

or go to the Official APA Referencing Website.