APA Reference Models

Reference pages are a place where all of the sources you used to write your paper are provided for your readers. They are an extension of in-text citations. In fact, the reason for authors’ names appearing first in a reference entry is to make it easier for readers to connect with the source for in-text citation they read in the paper.

It is important to give credit to author’s when you use their work. Correctly citing sources is an important step in avoiding plagiarism. To find a helpful guide on what plagiarism is, how to best avoid plagiarizing, the difference between accidental and intentional plagiarism, as well as examples of correct citations, click here or find out more on our tip sheets page.

Some APA reference terms can be confusing or are unfamiliar. Such as (Eds.) for editors, but ed. for edition. To view definitions of some of these terms view our APA terminology page.

Online Sources

The online environment in recent years has created a way for efficient publishing to exist,and for research to be shared in a timely manner. Since electronic publishing is so popular, you may find yourself needing to cite online sources often.  Below you will find several examples of how to cite online sources for your reference page.

What is a DOI and When Do I Use it?

Websites change often, which means tracking down online information can sometimes be difficult, and URLs are not a reliable way to identify a source. APA seeks to remedy this with the use of DOIs (digital object identifiers). The DOI system attaches a code to published articles that provides readers with a way to access the live link to where the article was published. If the link does not work anymore for various reasons, a reader can put the code into a DOI resolver and be directed to the current link.

DOIs are normally located on the first page of an electronic article, near the copyright information. Sometimes they will be hidden underneath a button or link labeled Article, CrossRef, or PubMed; these are a few of the agencies that assign DOIs. If a DOI has been assigned to your content, you will need to include it in your reference.

General Format

The form for most of your references will be similar. You will need the the author/s names, date of publication, title of the source, title of where it was published (for example, the website), volume number, and the DOI. Of course, not all of this information will always be available to you. The following examples will explain how to reference the source correctly anyway. However, if you were to have all of the mentioned information, a general format for an electronic reference will look like this:

Author, A. A. (Date of publication). Title of article.Title of Journal, volume number, page range. doi:0000000/000000000000 or http://dx.doi.org/10.0000/0000

If a DOI is assigned then include it. If it is not, include the home page URL. Use the format:

Author, A. A. (Date of publication). Title of article.Title of Journal, volume number, page range. Retrieved from http:/www.somewebsite.com/full/url

Online Scholarly Journal (Article)

This entry will be in the same format as above. The example here uses a real source with two authors.

Herbst-Damm, K.L., & Kulik, J.A. (2005). Volunteer support, marital status, and the survival times of terminally ill patients. Health Psychology, 24, 225-229. doi: 10. 1037/0278-6133.24.2.225

Remember, if there is no DOI assigned you will give the URL in this format:

Herbst-Damm, K.L., & Kulik, J.A. (2005). Volunteer support, marital status, and the survival times of terminally ill patients. Health Psychology, 24, 225-229. Retrieved from http:/www.healthpsychology.org

Online Magazine or Newspaper Article

For an online magazine you will need the author, date of publication, article title, title of online periodical, volume number, issue number (if available).

Clay, R. (2008, June). Science vs. ideology: Psychologists fight back about the misuse of research. Monitor on Psychology, 39(6). Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/monitor/

Online Book

Some print books have electronic versions, and some books are published online exclusively. For the electronic version of a print book, you include how you were able to view the source in brackets.

Schiraldi, G.R. (2001). The post-traumatic stress disorder sourcebook: A guide to healing, recovery and growth [Adobe Digital Editions version]. doi: 10. 1036/0071393722

If the book is available online only, the format will be similar to a general online source.

O’Keefe, E. (n.d.) Egosim & the crisis in the Western values. Retrieved from                                            http://www.onlineoriginals.com/showitem.asp?itemID=135

Section/Chapter of an Online Resource

If you are truly only referencing one part of an online resource, you will cite that specific part of it. This reference will be similar to citing the full source, but will add the name of the section/chapter. If there are no editors listed, you may omit the editor section. Remember, (Eds.) stands for editors, not edition. For more tips on APA terminology click here.

Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Date of publication). Title of article. In A. Editor, B. Editor, Title of book or larger document (chapter or section number). Retrieved from http://www.someaddress.com/full/url/

Blog

You will need the title of the specific blog you are referencing, the URL, and author. The titles of online communities are not italicized.

PZ Myers. (2007, January 22). The unfortunate prerequisites and consequences of partitioning your mind [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2007/01/the_unfortunate_prerequisites.php

Author Issues

Authors’ names in APA are listed with the author’s surname (last name), followed by the initials of the first name, and middle name if provided. **The examples here are in the format of an online newspaper article. If you are referencing a different source, use the appropriate format.**

No Author

Listed If there is no author listed for your source then you will begin the reference entry with the title of your source. This will affect how you cite the source in your in-text citation as well.

Two –Six Authors

If there are two authors, list the first author’s surname and initials, and ampersand (&), and then the second author’s surname and initials. The rest of the references follows as usual.

Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Date of publication). Title of article.Title of Journal, volume number, page range. doi:0000000/000000000000

If there are three or more authors, separate the names by commas, and use an ampersand (&) before the last author.

Author, A. A., Author, B. B, Author, C. C., & Author, D. D. (Date of publication). Title of article.Title of journal, volume number, page range. doi:0000000/000000000000

More than Seven Authors

For more than seven authors, list the first six and then use ellipses, followed by the name if the last author.

Author, A. A., Author, B. B, Author, C. C., Author, D. D., Author E.E., Author F.F., … Author, I. I. (Date of publication). Title of article.Title of Journal, volume number, page range. doi:0000000/000000000000 A

Group Author

Sometimes authors will publish as one group. In this case, spell out the full name of the group.

American Psychological Association. (Date of publication). Title of article.Title of Journal, volume number, page range. doi:0000000/000000000000

Print Sources

This category includes books, reference books, and periodicals.

Books

For books you will need the author’s last name, initials, publication year, the book title, place of publication and the publisher. You will be able to find publication information about your source on the first few inside pages. In certain situations you may have more than one author, or even editors, or other unique circumstances. Be sure to find the appropriate format for those references. The basic format is:

Author, A. A. (Year of publication). Title of work: Capital letter also for subtitle. Location: Publisher.

For a chapter in a book or entry in a reference books, use the following format:

Author, A. A. (Year of publication). Title of chapter or entry. In Title of work: Capital letter also for subtitle. Location: Publisher.

Reference books typically have editors instead of authors.

VandenBos, G. R. (ED.). (2007). APA dictionary of psychology. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Periodicals

Periodicals are items published on a regular basis such as journals, magazines, newspapers and newsletters. You will most likely be referencing part of an issue, not the entire publication, so be sure to include the individual article title and the pages it appears on.

Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. (Year). Title of article.Title of Periodical, volume number (issue number), pages. http://dx.doi.org/xx.xxx/yyyyy