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Citing Sources: APA Electronic Sources

How to cite print and electronic sources using APA or MLA style.

APA Electronic Sources

How to Reference Electronic Sources in APA Style

This document is a guide to citing the most common electronic sources using APA style, based on information available at APA Style Guidelines on the American Psychological Association website, and the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th edition. Many other examples and types of electronic sources are addressed in both. The numbers in parentheses refer to the section numbers in the print manual that apply to the rule described.  

Note. It is not necessary to use "Retrieved from" before the DOI or URL, as these should link to the source. Do not end a URL with a period.
A retrieval date is not used unless the contents of a page are meant to be updated over time.

Website Sources  (9.33) 

  • Provide as specific a date as is available on the webpage. This might be a year only; a year and month; or a year, month, and day.
  • Italicize the title of a webpage.

Webpage or document on a website (111 & 112)

The general format is:  Author, A. (date).Title of page. URL

Example:

Kearl, M.C. (1996). Sociological tour of cyberspace. http://faculty.trinity.edu/mkearl/ 

Webpage or document on a website with no author identified       
The general format is:
Title of page. (date). URL

Webpage or document on a website with no date   

The general format is: Author, A. (n.d.). Title of page. URL

Journal Article (10.1)

  • If a journal article has a DOI, include the DOI at the end of the reference.
  • If the journal article does not have a DOI and is not from a library database, include the URL.

Online journal article with a DOI (digital object identifier) (10.1) 

The general format is:

Author, A., Author,B., Author, C. (2000). Title of article. Title of Periodical, volume(issue),
        pp-pp. http://doi.org xx.xxxxxxxxx

Example:

Bradshaw, C. J., Brook, B. W., & McMahon, O. R. (2007, June). Dangers of 

     sensationalizing conservation biology. Conservation Biology, 21(3), 570-571.
     https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1523-1739.2007.00698.x 

Online periodical article, not from a library database, without a DOI 

The general format is:

Author, A.A., Title of article. Title of Periodical, volume (issue), pp-pp. URL

Example:

Clay, R. (2008, June).  Science vs. ideology:  Psychologists fight back about the misuse 

     of research. Monitor on Psychology, 39(6). http://www.apa.org/monitor/

Journal article found in a library subscription database

End with the page range as with a print article. It is not necessary to name the database unless it is the only place the document can be found, such as a dissertation:

Author, A.A., Title of article. Title of Periodical, volume (issue), pp-pp.

Example:

Doe, J. (2009, August). Time to act on climate change. Australian Nursing Journal, 17(2), 7-8.

Note. Check with your instructor, if in doubt. He may want the database name or persistent link to the article for ease of access.

In Text Citations

Electronic material in your text().

Use the author-date method. Any of these examples is acceptable:

Smith (2000) found that early onset Alzheimer's was linked to three genes.

Early onset Alzheimer's is linked to three genes (Smith, 2000)

In 2000, Smith found that early onset Alzheimer's was linked to three genes.

Direct quotation from an online source 

Follow the above format, including the page number as well. If the electronic source does not provide page numbers, use the paragraph number. If neither paragraph number nor page numbers are provided, cite the heading and the number of the paragraph following it, using the abbreviation para.(6.05).

Examples:

(Smith, 2000, p.45)             

(Beutler, 2000, Conclusion section, para. 1)

For a lengthy quotation of 40 words or more, omit quotation marks and display in a free standing block of text, indented about 1/2 inch from left margin, and double spaced.  At the end of the quotation, insert source information in parentheses (author, year, p.) after the final punctuation. 

For more examples of how to reference electronic sources, please see:

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th edition (BF76.7.P83 2020). Available at the Bellevue University Library.

APA Style Guidelines on the American Psychological Association website, Reference Examples

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