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APA Style 7th Edition

MGH IHP's guide to APA Style 7th Edition

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Author - websites frequently do not cite an individual person as an author; when it seems appropriate, use the organization as the author instead. If there is an individual author, then the name of the organization goes after the title of the web page and is not italicized.

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.

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 the document title.

Site Name - If the page has named authors, insert the site name (usually the name of the organization responsible for publishing the page) after the title of the page. It should be in plain text with all major words capitalized. If the page does not have named authors, and you used the organization name as the author, leave this out. 

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

URL - Include the full URL (pointing to the specific site you consulted)

*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, A. A., & Second, B. B. (Year, Month Day). Web page title. Site Name. URL

Examples

Berlinger, J., & McKeehan, B. (2020, May 28). Coronavirus pandemic: Updates from around the world. CNN. https://www.cnn.com/world/live-news/coronavirus-pandemic-05-28-20-intl/index.html

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020, March 24). Diabetes symptoms. https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/basics/symptoms.html

Citing Web Resources that are Not Regular Web Pages

Format

Author, A. A., & Second, B. B. (Year, Month Day). Web page title. Site Name. [Format]. URL

Use of [Format]

Use [Format] if someone may have trouble finding the source without knowing what they are looking for. Bracketed format examples include: 

  • [Policy brief]
  • [Press release]
  • [Grant]
  • [Conference session]
  • [Poster presentation]
  • [Unpublished doctoral dissertation]
  • [TV series] 
  • [Audio podcast episode]
  • [PowerPoint slides]
  • [Tweet]
  • [Status update]
  • [Highlight]

Blog Post

Blog posts are treated more like online magazine articles rather than websites. When citing a blog post, the title of the article is in plain text with the first letter of the first word capitalized (and the first letter of the first word after a colon), and the blog name is in italics and title case. This formatting is different from citing websites, in which the title is italicized and the website name is not. 

Example

Manocha, R. (2018, April 2). How negative, repetitive thoughts relate to procrastination. Beyond the Mind. https://www.beyondthemind.com/how-negative-repetitive-thoughts-relate-to-procrastination/

News Article

The format for citing news articles is for online versions of newspapers and magazines, rather than articles posted only on a news website (e.g., CNN).

Example

Hall, S. (2020, February 1). Asteroid that killed the dinosaurs was great for bacteria. The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/01/science/asteroid-dinosaurs-crater-bacteria.html

Wiki

Example

Psychology. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved February 4, 2020, 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.

Digital Images

Basic Format

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

Example

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

Online Video

Basic Format

Author, A. A. (year, month day). Title of video [Video]. Source name. URL


Examples

New England Journal of Medicine. (2012, May 2). Getting better: 200 years of medicine [Video]. NEJMvideo. 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]. TED Conferences. https://www.ted.com/talks/mark_kendall_demo_a_needle_free_vaccine_patch_that_s_safer_and_way_cheaper

Reports and Gray Literature

Basic Format

Organization Name. (Year). Title of document (Document Number or Identifier). Publisher Name. 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). 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. American College of Health Executives. https://www.ache.org/pubs/research/McAlearney_HMRA_Report.pdf

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.

Example

Gay, D. (2006, January 10). Evidence based practice [PowerPoint slides]. SlideServe. https://www.slideserve.com/denis/evidence-based-practice

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, do not specify the format, platform, or device (i.e. do not write "Kindle" or "ebook"). Include the publisher name and DOI or URL (if available).

Basic Formats

Author, A. A. (Year). Book title: Book subtitle. Publisher name. URL

Author, A. A. (Year). Book title: Book subtitle (E. E. Editor, Ed.). Publisher name. URL

Author, A. A. (Year). Book title: Book subtitle [Audiobook]. Publisher name. URL

Editor, E. E. (Year). Book title: Book subtitle. Publisher name. URL


Examples

Gladwell, M. (2008). Outliers: The story of success. Amazon.

and

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

and

McNamara, S. (2000). Stress in young people: What’s new and what can we do? Google Books.

Measurement Instrument

Basic Format

Rightsholder, A. A. (Year). Title of Test. URL

Example

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