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APA 6th Referencing Style Guide

This guide introduces the APA referencing style with examples of citation styles for different types of resources.

Journal articles - online

Reference format  

Article with doi:

Author, Initial. (Year). Title of the article: Subtitle if there is one. Title of the Journal, volume(issue if used), pages.

  • No full stop at the end of a doi.

Article without doi:

Author, Initial. (Year). Title of the article: Subtitle if there is one. Title of the Journal, volume(issues if used), pages. Retrieved from https://journal home page

  • Use the journal's homepage URL. No retrieval date is needed.
  • Do not include retrieval dates unless the source material may change over time (e.g. wikis)


When citing a retrieval date:

  • Give the month for monthlies
  • Give the month and day for weeklies
  • If the journal or magazine gives a season, not a month, include that: e.g. (2008, Early Spring)


Reference list entry

With doi

Li, S., & Seale, C. (2007). Learning to do qualitative data analysis: An observational study of doctoral work. Qualitative Health & Research, 17, 1442–1452.

No doi

Bartlett, R. P. (2009). Going private but staying public: Re-examining the effect of Sarbanes-Oxley on firms going-private decisions. The University of Chicago Law Review, 76, 7–39. Retrieved from

  • Use the URL of the journal home page

No doi, no journal website

Fennimore, D. L. (1981). American neoclassical furniture and its European antecedents. American Art Journal, 13(4), 49-65. Retrieved from

  Include the database home page URL if the article is:

  • published in a journal which does not have its own home page
  • published in a discontinued journal
  • only available through an archival database such as JSTOR or ERIC

With doi, advance online publication

Von Ledebur, S. C. (2007). Optimizing knowledge transfer by new employees in companies. Knowledge Management Research & Practice. Advance online publication.

  • This article appears online before it is assigned a volume, issue or page numbers.

Cochrane Review - with doi

Blake, D., Farquhar, C., Johnson, N., & Proctor, M. (2007). Cleavage stage versus blastocyst stage embryo transfer in assisted conception. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2007(4).

Special issues

Haney, C., & Wiener, R. L. (Eds.). (2004). Capital punishment in the United States [Special issue]. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 10(4).

  • Give the editors and title of the whole issue for citing an entire issue or special collection.

Articles in a special issue

Orazi, D. C., Lei, J., & Bove, L. L. (2015). The nature and framing of gambling consequences in advertising. Journal of Business Research, 68(10), 2049-2056.

  • Cited articles in a special issues using journal article reference format.

In-text citations:

Liu and Seale (2007) said .... 
...... to stop smoking (Liu & Searl, 2007)  

One author, Multiple works published in the same year

Reference list entry:

Kasabov, N. K. (2015a). Evolving connectionist systems for adaptive learning and knowledge discovers: Trends and directions. Knowledge-Based Systems, 80, 2–33.

Kasabov, N. K. (2015b). Integrative Computational Neurogenetic Modeling. In A. W. Toga (Ed.), Brain Mapping (pp. 667–674). Academic Press.

In-text citation:

... as research has shown (Rush, 2015a).

  • If the year of publication is the same for both add 'a' and 'b' after the year, inside the brackets, in the reference list
  • Include this detail in the in-text citation
  • For references that are in press or that have no date (n.d.), use:
    • (in press-a) and (in press-b)
    • (n.d.-a) and (n.d.-b)


Find more in-text citation examples on the In-text Citation page.

Journal articles - in print

Reference format

Author, Initial. (Year). Title of the article: Subtitle if there is one. Title of the Journal, volume(issue if used), pages.

Reference list entry:

With doi:

Wilson, S., Spies-Butcher, B., & Stebbing, A. (2009). Targets and taxes: Explaining the welfare orientations of the Australian public. Social Policy & Administration43, 508-525.

No doi:

McFeely, S. (2001). Young people’s pathway to smoking cessation. Nursing Standard16(2), 39–42.

In-text citations:

McFeely (2001) said .... 
...... to stop smoking (Wilson, Spies-Butcher & Stebbing, 2009)

Journal articles - in press

Reference format

Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (in press). Title of article. Title of Periodical. 
DOI or Retrieved from http://www.xxxxxxxxxx

Reference list entry

Brey, P. (in press). The strategic role of technology in a good society. Technology in Society.

Magazines & newspapers

Reference format - online magazine or newspaper

Author, Initial. (Year, month day). Title of the article: Subtitle if there is one. Title of the magazine or newspaper, volume(issue if used), pages. Retrieved from http://the home page of the magazine or newspaper

  • Don't include a retrieval date.
  • Give the month for monthlies, e.g. (2015, November). Give the month and day for weeklies, e.g. (2016, October 2). 
  • If the journal or magazine gives a season, not a month, include the season in your reference, e.g. (2008, Spring)
  • Page numbers (if shown online): Magazines - include the numbers only, no p.; Newspapers - use p. or pp.


Reference list entry:

Magazine article (online):

Read, E. (2007, November 1). Myth-busting gen Y. New Zealand Management, 54(10), 63–64. Retrieved from

Newspaper article (online) without a page number:

Zendrian, A. (2008, April 15). CEO pay too high? The New York Times. Retrieved from

No author (newspaper with a page number):

Nuke test inquiry doubted. (2009, April 23). The Dominion Post, p. 5. Retrieved from

Newspaper articles in print:

Fleming, G. (2008, November 4). Shaking up the working world. The New Zealand Herald, p. D1.


In-text citation: 

... on nuclear weapons ("Nuke Test Inquiry" 2009)

DOIs and URLs

See the DOI and URL page - link

Articles from library databases

Some business databases provide articles analysing a special industry or product. These articles often don't have authors. Use the publisher as the author, record the date of publication and name the database in the retrieval statement. 

Reference list entry:

Euromonitor International. (2017, January 27). Coffee in New Zealand. Retrieved from Passport database.



DOI = digital object identifier

  • A DOI commonly identifies a journal article but it can also be found on other publication types including books.
  • All DOIs start with 10. and includes numbers and letters. Example: doi:10.1016/j.addbeh.2009.08.001
  • The DOI provides a permanent internet address for the item making it easy to locate.
  • You may search by DOI numbers in Library Search to locate articles.

Doi in your reference list entry:

  • Always use the DOI if available (for print or online articles and books). 
  • No full stop at the end of a DOI. 


A new citing format for DOI was introduced by APA in March 2017. The new format includes https and the prefix


Oppenheimer, D., Zaromb, F., Pomerantz, J. R., Williams, J. C., & Park, Y. S. (2017). Improvement of writing skills during college: A multi-year cross-sectional and longitudinal study of undergraduate writing performance. Assessing Writing, 32, 12–27.


Articles retrieved from library databases may include in the DOIs. This ezproxy information should be removed.

For example:

The correct URL for this DOI is:



If there is no DOI for a online journal article or an e-book, include a URL in your reference.

Use the URL of a journal home page for journal articles without DOI

  • Use the URL of the journal homepage, NOT the full URL of the article, in your reference.

Finding a journal homepage URL:

  • You could do a Google search for the journal title (within double quotation marks), e.g. "new zealand management magazine" to find the journal's homepage

  • Or, go to the Library database Ulrichsweb, search by the journal title or the journal's ISSN to find the journal record. On the journal record page, find the journal URL for your reference.

Journals without a home page and no DOI:

This can happen to some discontinued journals, or journals archived in an archival database only. 

  • Use the database home page URL in your reference. See the example in the following section.  


Use a URL of a library database:

Resources retrieved from a library database, without a DOI:

If you use electronic resources without DOI, such as an ebook or a data set or a journal without a website, from a library database, You are required to include the URL of the database homepage in your reference.

  • Do not use the full URL of the source that you retrieved from a database.



An ebook "Small town sustainability: economic, social,and environmental innovation".

The URL on the ebook page is: 

Notes on the Reference List

A reference list only lists the sources you have referred to in your writing.  

The purpose of the reference list is to allow your sources to be be found by your reader. It also gives credit to authors whose work and ideas you have considered.  All references cited in the text must appear in the reference list, except for personal communications (such as conversations or emails) which cannot be retrieved.  

A bibliography is different from a reference list as it lists all the sources used during your research and background reading, not just the ones you refer to in your writing.  

Reference list example


Alred, G. J., Brusaw, C. T., & Oliu, W. E. (2009). The business writer’s handbook. New York, NY: St Martin's Press.

Best, A. (2004). International history of the twentieth century. Retrieved from

Easton, B. (2008). Does poverty affect health? In K. Dew & A. Matheson (Eds.), Understanding health inequalities in Aotearoa New Zealand (pp. 97–106). Dunedin, New Zealand: Otago University Press.

Flesch, R. (n.d.). How to write plain English. Retrieved April 12, 2009, from /writing/flesch.shtml

​Global warming. (2009, June 1). Retrieved June 4, 2009, from

Li, S., & Seale, C. (2007). Learning to do qualitative data analysis: An observational study of doctoral work. Qualitative Health Research, 17, 1442–1452.  

Radio New Zealand. (2008). Annual report 2007-2008. Retrieved from /pdf_file/0010/179676/Radio_NZ_Annual_Report_2008.pdf  

Read, E. (2007, November 1). Myth-busting gen Y. New Zealand Management. Retrieved from


Title Include the title 'References' (one word, beginning with a capital letter, centred, and not in italics


Indent Hanging indent your references (space bar in 5 - 7 spaces for the second and subsequent lines of each reference)
Space between references In general double-space between references
Ampersand Use for 2 - 6 authors, use & before the final author
One author, two publications Order by year of publication, the earlier one first.  Same year of publication for both - add 'a' and 'b' after the year, inside the brackets. Include this in the in text citation. example: Baheti, J. R. (2001a).
URLs Remove the underlines from URLs so that any underscores ( _ ) can be seen
Same first author, different second author Order alphabetically by second or subsequent authors
Upper case letters (capital letters)

Journal title - use headline style; i.e. capitalise all the words, except articles and prepositions

Book title or article title (in a journal, magazine or newspaper) - use sentence style; i.e. capitalise the first word of the title, and subtitle (after the colon), and any proper names

Place of publication

USA publishers give the city in full and the abbreviation for the state. 
New York, NY
Springfield, MA

Publishers outside the USA: Give the city in full and the country in full
London, England
Auckland, New Zealand

Square brackets

If format, medium or description information is important for a resource to be retrieved or identified, use square brackets after the title to include this detail:  

Scorsese, M. (Producer), & Lonergan, K. (Writer/Director). (2000). You can
    count on me [Motion picture]. United States: Paramount Pictures.  


Secondary citations

A secondary citation is where you are citing information or quotes the author of your reference has taken from source that you have not read.

In-text citation:

Seidenberg and McClelland’s study, conducted in 1990 (as cited in Coltheart, Curtis, Atkins, & Haller, 1993), shows that ...
... as some studies show (Seidenberg & McClelland, as cited in Coltheart, Curtis, Atkins, & Haller, 1993).
  • Name the author of the original work in your text, cite the secondary source in in-text citation: (as cited in ..., 1993)

Reference list entry: 

Coltheart, M., Curtis, B. Atkins, P., & Haller, M. (1993). Models of reading aloud: Dual-route and parallel-distributed-processing approaches. Psychological Review, 100, 589–608.

  • Give the secondary source in the reference list.