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Hilton C. Buley Library

 

APA Citation Guide: Referencing Other Resources

A brief guide to using the APA Citation Style, with links to further resources.

Getting More Help

There are some great guides and services out there to help you format your citations. We especially recommend:

Basic Format for Websites

General format for websites:

When citing an entire website, but not a paricular document or portion of the site, include the URL in text. It is not necessary to include the website in the References list.

Example:

The City of New Haven website is a valuable resource for residents (http://www.cityofnewhaven.com).

For situations that require inclusion in the References list, provide as much information as possible, including the full date the web page was last viewed.

Author, A. A., & Author, B. (Year). Title of page or document. Retrieved (date), from URL of page.

Examples:

Way, T. (2009). Dihydrogen monoxide research division. Retrieved September 30, 2008,  from http://www.dhmo.org/

No author or date:

Winter protection for hydrangeas. (n.d.). Retrieved November 24, 2009, from http://www.hydrangeas.com/winter_protect.html

For more information on citing websites, see Chelsea Lee's How to Cite Something You Found on a Website in APA Style on the APA Style Blog.

Technical & Research Reports

See pp. 205-6 of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Associaton.

Technical and research reports often fall in to the category of gray literature, meaning that they may not have been published in the conventional manner. These documents may be self-published by authors, organizations, or government agencies. Examples include conference proceeding, government reports, working papers, committee or company reports, and technical reports.

Follow the format used for books as closely as possible:

Author, A. A. (year). Title of work (Report No. xxxx). Location: Publisher.

Very often there will be a corporate or agency as author:

Agency name. (year). Title of work. Location: Publisher.

 

Report with authors, Print:

Eller, A., & Olson, R. (2009). Recycled pavements using foam asphalts in Minnesota (Report No. MN/RC 2009-09). St. Paul, MN: Minnesota Department of Transportation.

Report by agency, Print:

U.S. Justice Department. (2009). Guide to the Freedom of Information Act 2009. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office.

Report, electronic:

U.S. Department of Homeland Security. (2009). Interagency Security Committe use of physical security performance measures. Retrieved from http://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/isc_physical_security_performance_measures.pdf

Works of Art

The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association contains no specific rules for citing works of art. However, any basic reference should answer the questions: Who (created it), When (was it produced), What (is the title), and Where (was it published or produced). The following excerpt by Jeff Hume-Pratuch, posted on the APA Blog, demonstrates how to create citations for various types of art work:

Just the Facts, Ma’am

A good reference contains enough information to lead your reader to the source you used, as concisely as possible. At a minimum, this should include the artist’s name, year(s) of fabrication, title of the work, any other necessary or relevant information (such as the medium), and the location of the work. Here’s how a reference might look for Christina’s World:

Wyeth, A. (1948). Christina’s world [Painting]. New York, NY: Museum of Modern Art.

But suppose you are an impoverished grad student who can’t afford a plane ticket to New York to see the painting in person. Fortunately, the museum has an excellent website where you can view the painting. In that case, use the website in the location element of your reference:

Wyeth, A. (1948). Christina’s world [Painting]. Retrieved from http://www.moma.org/explore/collection/index

If a work exists in several formats, it’s helpful to provide enough information to identify which one you’re talking about. For example, the original bronze of Rodin’s The Thinker is in Paris:

Rodin, A. (1902). The thinker [Bronze and marble sculpture]. Paris, France: Musée Rodin.

However, the artist also cast dozens of bronze and plaster copies of his model for this work, and one of them ended up here in Washington:

Rodin, A. (1902). The thinker [Bronze sculpture]. Washington, DC: National Gallery of Art.

Salvador Dali, in the Drawing Room, With a Pancake

Sometimes authors ask where in the reference entry they should put descriptive information about the size, format, provenance, life cycle, or composition of the artwork; the time, place, sponsorship, curation, and location of a special exhibition of the artwork; and so forth. The general answer is, you don’t—in APA Style, at least. If you are discussing one or two items for which this kind of information is necessary, it could be included in a footnote to the text; for a large number of works, a separate appendix with an annotated bibliography or even a catalog raisonné might be in order.

Advanced Topics

During the 20th century, forms of art emerged that play with the very notion of “art.” For example, the work that won the 2001 Turner Prize consists of an empty room in which the lights go on and off every 5 s. However, we can still cite the artwork properly, even if there’s no there there:

Creed, M. (2000). Work 227: The lights going on and off [Installation]. New York, NY: Museum of Modern Art.

Performance Art

A genre that seems particularly rich in topics for psychological study is performance art. Perhaps you were fortunate enough to be present when Nam June Paik and Charlotte Moorman performed their TV Bra for Living Sculpture, and you would like to draw on this experience for your thesis. How would a reader go to the source of this reference?

Trick question! Short of a Vulcan mind meld, there’s no way to make that experience accessible to the reader. Treat it as a personal communication (in-text citation only, giving artist and date of performance). However, if you researched the performance in a more permanent medium (videotape, DVD, etc.), use the reference for that format.

Do You Really Need a Reference?

Not every reference to an artwork needs a reference list entry. A passing reference to a facial expression “reminiscent of Munch’s The Scream” can stand on its own, for example, and there are certain cultural icons that need no explanation. (One rule of thumb: If the artwork has inspired a successful ad campaign, it’s probably an icon.) Know your audience and use your best judgment. (Hume-Pratuch, 2010)

Movies & TV

See pp. 209-10 of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Associaton.

General format for movies:

Producer, A. A. (Producer), & Director, B. B. (Director). (year). Title of movie [Motion picture]. Country of origin: Studio.

Bryce, I., Segan, A. L., & Spielberg, S. (Producers), & Spielberg, S. (Director). (1998). Saving Private Ryan [Motion picture]. United States: Dreamworks.

 

General format for TV:

Entire show:

Producer, P. P. (Producer). (Date of broadcast or copyright). Title of show [Television broadcast or Television series]. City of origin: Studio or distributor.

One show from series:

Writer, W. W. (Writer), & Director, D.D. (Director). (Date of publication). Title of episode [Television series episode]. In P. Producer (Producer), Series title. City of origin: Studio or distributor.

TV broadcast:

Lehrer, J. (Producer). (2009, November 16). The NewsHour [Television broadcast]. Washington, D.C.: PBS.

One episode in a TV series:

Dretzin, R. (Writer), & Dretzin, R., & Maggio, J. (Directors). (2008). Growing up online [Television series episode]. In D. Fanning (Executive Producer), Frontline.

Music & Podcasts

See pp. 209-10 of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Associaton.

General format for citing music:

Writer, A. (year). Title of song [Recorded by B. Artist (if different from writer)]. On Title of album [Medium (CD, record, cassette, etc.)] Location: Label. (Date of recording if not same as above.)

Examples:

Davis, M. (1991). Teo's bag. On Circle in the round [CD]. New York, NY: Columbia.

Darion, J., & Leigh, M. (1965). Impossible dream [Recorded by Brian Stokes Mitchell]. On Man of la Mancha [CD]. New York, NY: RCA Victor (2003).

 

General format for citing podcasts:

Producer, A. A. (Producer). (Year, month day). Title of podcast [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from http://xxxxxxx

Example:

Glass, I. (Producer). (2008, December 26). Scenes from a mall [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from http://www.thisamericanlife.org/Radio_Episode.aspx?sched=1276

Blogs, Email, & Online Videos

Email:

See pp. 179 of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Associaton.

Emails (like memos, personal letters, telephone conversations, and other pesonal communications) need not be listed on the Reference page. Cite them parenthetically in text only. Include the author, type of communication, and date.

For example, (C. Smith, personal communication, November 11, 2009).

 

General format for blogs, electronic mailing lists, and online videos etc:

See pp. 214-15 of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Associaton.

Author, A. A. (Year, month day). Title of post [Desecription]. Retrieved from http://www.xxxx.

The description refers to the type of post (blog, IM, etc.). Be careful to use a generic term in the description. A blog post should be described as a "web log post";  a listserv is an "electronic mailing list"; a youtube video is a "video file".

 

Blog post, example:

Aryes, I. (2009, November 23). Why California's tuition hike might be a good thing [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://freakonomics.blogs.nytimes.com/

McAdoo, T. (2009, October 19). How to cite a speech in APA style [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://blog.apastyle.org/apastyle/2009/10/how-to-cite-a-speech-in-apa-style.html

 

Online video (including YouTube), examples:

Obama, B. (2008, January 8). Yes we can [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fe751kMBwms

Lefever, L. (2009, November 11). Cloud computing in plain English [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.commoncraft.com/video-cloud-computing-plain-english?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+CommonCraft+ (Common+Craft)&utm_content=Bloglines

Social Media

Since Social Media conventions and sources change with such speed, see the APAStyle Blog's "Social Media" category for the best recommendations from the source!

Citing Tweets

Twitter has become a source of breaking news, as well as a source for rumors, memes, and trivia. This post discusses the basic formats, plus some issues. In APA style, the citation is listed under the username, not the real name, so tweets would end up under a different name in a works cited list than articles or books written by the same person.

Citing data sets

Legal citations

For laws, bills, cases, and regulations, the APA Manual refers to the "Bluebook" for legal citation. The Indigo Book and the Introduction to Basic Legal Citation are based on the Bluebook. The EXAMPLES section of the Introduction site includes examples of citing many types of legal sources: laws, cases, regulations, etc. If you have questions about legal citation, please contact Librarian Jamie Aschenbach.

Example Statutes:

42 U.S.C. § 405(a)

Conn. Gen. Stat. § 42a-1-101 ({date if needed})