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APA 6 Citation Formatting

Web Resources Basics

There are varying rules for citing information found on the web. Often websites don’t list authors or dates, and the reference must be adapted accordingly.

Some basic rules of thumb to follow for each of these elements on a website:

Author - websites frequently do not cite an individual person as an author; when it seems appropriate, use the organization as the author instead.

Publication Date - when available, use the most specific date you can find, including year, month, and day if possible. Do not use the website’s copyright date as the publication date. If you cannot find an alternative to the site’s copyright date, use (n.d.) in place of a date. For more help dating websites, see this APA Style blog post: http://blog.apastyle.org/apastyle/2010/01/the-generic-reference-when.html

Title - use the title of the specific page from which you gathered the information; if it is not obvious on the page itself, you can sometimes find it in the title bar at the very top of your browser.  Italicize a title when the document stands alone (books, reports, etc.) but not when it is part of a greater whole (chapters, articles, etc.).

If you are generally referring to an entire website, meaning that you did not extract specific information from it, you can probably skip the formal citation and simply mention the website in the text of your paper.  

Format - use this only for web resources that are not regular websites and need a little extra explanation, e.g. blogs, videos, data sets, etc.

URL - Include the full URL (pointing to the specific site you consulted) or the site’s homepage URL, whichever you think is more stable and/or informative.

*Please note, these rules do not apply to journals found on the web. If you find a journal article online, follow the rules for electronic journal articles.


Basic format

Author. (Year). Title of site [Format]. Retrieved from URL

Example

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2016, June 28). Zika virus: Symptoms. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/zika/symptoms/symptoms.html

Blog Post

Citing a blog post is like citing just about any other website, and although it may seem a little strange, you do not need to include the title of the blog in citation (for more detail, see the APA Style Blog on this topic). 

Example

McAdoo, T. (2016, April 6). How to cite a blog post in APA style [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://blog.apastyle.org/apastyle/2016/04/how-to-cite-a-blog-post-in-apa-style.html

 

If the blog does not attribute its posts to individual authors, use the name of the blog as the author instead.

Example

Freakonomics. (2010, October 29). E-ZPass is a life-saver (literally) [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://freakonomics.com/2010/10/29/e-zpass-is-a-life-saver-literally/

News Article

Example

Brody, J. E. (2007, December 11). Mental reserves keep brain agile. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com    

Wiki

Example

Psychology. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved October 14, 2009, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychology


Notes:

  1. The wiki citation includes a date of retrieval. You only need to include a retrieval date when the document you are citing is frequently updated.
  2. The Wikipedia article has no author listed, so it begins with the title of the article. When missing information, use this table from the APA Style Blog to determine how to construct your reference.

Artwork/Images (Digital)

Basic Format

Artist, A.A. (Year). Title of image/artwork [Description of format]. Retrieved from URL

Example

Carpenter, R. (ca. 1857-1860). Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston [Digital image]. Retrieved from http://ark.digitalcommonwealth.org/ark:/50959/cn69mw38z

Online Video

Basic format

Author, A. A. [Screen name]. (year, month day). Title of video [Video file]. Retrieved from http://xxxxx


Examples

New England Journal of Medicine. [NEJMvideo]. (2012, May 2). Getting better: 200 years of medicine [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qxx14RCxblg

and

Kendall, M. (2013, June). Demo: A needle-free vaccine patch that’s safer and way cheaper [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.ted.com/talks/mark_kendall_demo_a_needle_free_vaccine_patch_that_s_safer_and_way_cheaper


The APA Style Blog has more about online videos.

Government or NGO Report

Basic format

Organization Name. (Year). Title of document (Document Number or Identifier). Retrieved from URL


Examples

World Health Organization, Division of Mental Health and Substance Abuse. (1997). WHOQOL: Measuring quality of life (Document No. WHO/MSA/MNH/PSF/97.4). Retrieved from www.who.int/mental_health/media/68.pdf

and

McAlearney, A.S., & Pham, P. (2008). Executive leadership development in the U.S. health systems: Exploring the evidence. Retrieved from American College of Health Executives website: https://www.ache.org/pubs/research/McAlearney_HMRA_Report.pdf

CDC Data Set

Basic format

Author or Organization Name. (Year.) Title [format]. Retrieved from URL


Example

National Center for Health Statistics, & Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2013). National Health Interview Survey [Data set]. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/asthma/nhis/2013/table1-1.htm

See also p. 211 of the APA manual.

UpToDate

Basic format

Article Author. (Year). Article title. In Editor name (Ed.), UpToDate. Retrieval date from https://www.uptodate.com/etc


Example

Williams, J., & Nieuwsma, J. (2016). Screening for depression in adults. In J. A. Melin (Ed.), UpToDate. Retrieved February 1, 2017, from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/screening-for-depression-in-adults

Micromedex

Basic format

Article title. (Year). Micromedex Solutions. Retrieved from http://micromedex.com/
 

*Note: look for the link to View Full Document to find a "last modified" date to use for the date in the citation.


Example

Chronic fatigue syndrome. (2015). Micromedex Solutions. Retrieved from http://micromedex.com/

Lexicomp

Standalone

Basic format

Article title. (Year, Month Day). Title of Lexicomp section. Retrieved from Lexicomp. http://online.lexi.com
 

Example

Sertraline. (2015, July 27). Lexi-Drugs. Retrieved from Lexicomp. http://online.lexi.com/

*Note: use the complete date from the last updated date.


Within UpToDate

Basic format

Article Author. (Year). Article title. UpToDate, Topic number, Version number. Retrieved from http://www.utdol.com
 

Example

Ciproflaxin (systemic): Drug information. (2017). UpToDate, Topic 9053, Version 238.0. Retrieved from http://www.utdol.com

Lecture Slides

If you need to cite a PowerPoint presentation from your class but it isn’t anywhere online, treat the presentation like a personal communication with the professor as the author. If, however, the slides are posted online, follow the format for websites.

 

Examples

 

Fang, M.E. (n.d.). Finding evidence to support physical therapy clinical practice: DPT [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from https://www.library.ucsf.edu/sites/all/files/ucsf_assets/eb_dpt.ppt

 

Please note that use of lecture slides is often discouraged in assignments because they are not a primary source.

Electronic Book

When citing an e-book, whether on a Kindle or a different e-reader, including the version in your citation, as well as the URL from where you downloaded the book, or the doi if available.

Basic Format

Author, A.A. (Year). Book title: Book subtitle. [Version]. doi or Retrieved from URL


Examples

Gladwell, M. (2008). Outliers: The story of success [Kindle DX version]. Retrieved from Amazon.com

and

Brill, P. (2004). The winner’s way [Adobe Digital Editions version]. doi:10.1036/007142363X

and

McNamara, S. (2000). Stress in young people: What’s new and what can we do? [Google Books version]. Retrieved from https://books.google.com/


Measurement Instrument

Basic Format

Rightsholder, A.A. (Year). Title of instrument (Version number) [Description of form]. Name of producer or Retrieved from URL

 

Example

Franzoi, S. L. & Shields, S.A. (1984). The Body-Esteem Scale [Measurement instrument]. Retrieved from http://www.marquette.edu/psyc/facstaff_franzoi_ scale.shtml