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APA Style 6th Edition

MGH IHP's guide to APA Style 6th Edition

Getting Started

The reference list is arranged in alphabetical order by the first item in the reference which is generally the author.  The entire list is double spaced (even within citations), and each citation uses a hanging indent so that the first line is flush with the left margin and any subsequent lines are indented. 

Journal Articles

Sample journal article citation in correct APA Style 6th edition.

Basic Format

Author, A.A., & Second, A. A. (Year). Title of the article: Subtitle of the article. Title of the Journal, vol(issue), page range[insert article doi]



Glickman, L. B., Olsen, J., & Rowthorn, V. (2015). Measuring the cross-cultural adaptability of a graduate student team from a global immersion experience. Journal Of Cultural Diversity, 22, 148-154.


Example of Advanced Online Publication

Canon, C., Effoe, V., Shetty, V., & Shetty, A.K. (2016). Knowledge and attitudes towards human papillomavirus (HPV) among academic and community physicians in Mangalore, India. Journal of Cancer Education. Advance online publication.


Finding and Using Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs)

A Digital object Identifier is a permanent address to an article or other electronic source that will continue to lead a reader to the source even if the source's web address has changed multiple times. For this reason, DOIs are the preferred retrieval information for APA sources whenever they are available.

Not sure what the DOI for a source is? Go to Click on Search Metadata, and enter the title of the your article into the search box. If your article has a DOI, it will appear on the results page. Watch the video tutorial below or view the print tutorial.

Not every article will have a DOI. Only those articles from scholarly journals published from about the mid-1990's on.

As of 3/1/2017, the APA's preferred format for DOIs is to have in front of the actual DOI. For example:

Morey, C. C., Cong, Y., Zheng, Y., Price, M., & Morey, R. D. (2015). The color-sharing bonus: Roles of perceptual organization and attentive processes in visual working memory. Archives of Scientific Psychology, 3, 18–29.

See more details at the APA Style Blog.

How to Find DOIs on CrossRef (Video)


Sample book reference in correct APA Style 7th edition.



Basic Format

Author, A.A. (Year). Title of the book: Subtitle of the book. Publisher City, State: Publisher


Hollins, S. (2009). Religions, culture, and healthcare: A practical handbook for use in healthcare environments. Oxford: Radcliffe.

*Note: for publisher names, leave off any nonessential words such as Publishers, Co, Inc, but keep Books and Press.

Chapter in a Book

In edited books, where different authors contribute the chapters, you need to cite each chapter separately on your reference list. These individual references allow you to acknowledge the people who actually contributed the content.

Basic Format

Author, A. A. (Year). Title of chapter: Subtitle of chapter. In A. A. Editor & B. B. Editor (Eds.), Title of book: Subtitle of book (pp. xxx-xxx). Publisher City, State: Publisher.


Haertl, K., & Christiansen, C. (2011). Coping skills. In C. Brown & V. C. Stoffel (Eds.), Occupational therapy in mental health: A vision for participation (pp. 313-329). Philadelphia, PA: F. A. Davis. 

Note: If you are using an authored book, meaning the entire book is written by the same person or people, cite the entire book (see above). 

Museum Exhibits

Museum Items

Basic Format


Museum Name. (Year of exhibit). Title of sign [Museum label]. Museum’s Location City, State: Author.


  1. If the exhibit is part of a museum’s permanent collection, you may not be able to discern a date.  If that is the case, simply use the designation n.d. (for no date) as is standard in the APA citation style.  

  2. Notice the use of the word "Author" in the publisher name position. Since the author and the publisher are one in the same, APA recommends this format so that you aren't repeating information in the reference. 
  3. If the sign/label does not have a title itself (i.e. a sign accompanying a work of art, etc), include information about the museum object in the brackets. See the second example below. 



Paul S. Russell, MD Museum of Medical History and Innovation. (n.d.). A historical perspective of Mass General through wartime. [Museum label]. Mass General on the front lines. Boston, MA: Author.


Museum of Fine Art. (2017). [Museum label for Sandro Botticelli, virgin and child (madonna of the book)]. Boston, MA: Author.


Museum Signs and Labels

Basic Format


Creator, A.A. (Year created). Title of work [Medium]. Museum’s Location City, State: Museum Name.

*Note: if an exact year is unknown, but an estimated date is provided, include it in square brackets, preceded by ca. (circa).



Loof, C.I.D. [ca. 1905]. Carousel figure of a greyhound. Boston, MA: Museum of Fine Arts.


Homer, W. (1885). The fog warning [Painting]. Retrieved from

The APA Style Blog has more examples and instructions for citing items in museums.

Multiple Sources from the Same Author with the Same Pub Year

Occasonally you may have mutliple sources with the same author and the same publication year. To distinguish these sources from each other, you add a lowercase letter after the year, in alphabetical order of where the references appear in the reference list. For example,

(CDC, 2017a)

According to the CDC (2017b)...

In the reference list, the entries are alphabetized by title to determine which is "a" and which is "b." The reference marked 2017a appears in the reference list before 2017b. The a and the b will also be in the reference list. For example,

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2017a). Type 1 diabetes. Retrieved from

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2017b). Type 2 diabetes. Retrieved from

Please see the APA Style Blog entry if another explanation would be helpful.