Chapter 4. How do I give credit to others for their ideas?
One of the most challenging tasks in writing an academic paper is effectively integrating the work of others. There are several reasons why it is important to accurately cite the work of others throughout your paper:
- You are making a contribution to the body of literature in your discipline when you write a scholarly paper. It is important that this contribution be documented clearly so that others can link your ideas to that broader literature base.
- Those reading your paper may want to follow up on some of the ideas you have presented. Properly citing your sources allows them to find the complete reference in your reference list and locate the original source for themselves.
- As noted in Chapter 1, you compromise your scholarly integrity and put yourself at risk of plagiarism when you fail to systematically and accurately identify your sources.
My purpose in the first part of this chapter is to provide guidelines for effectively integrating the knowledge available in the academic, scholarly literature base into your papers. I pay particular attention to effective citation of all sources. I provide some tips for selecting and integrating direct quotations from key sources.
The focus of the second part of is chapter is on creating an accurate and comprehensive reference list. The purpose of a reference list is to allow the reader to identify and find the original sources of information you have used in writing your paper. I will identify common principles that demonstrate similarities in how various components of a reference are treated. There are several important considerations in creating a reference list:
- A reference list is not the same as a bibliography. A bibliography is a list of information sources related to a particular topic that is created for the purpose of providing a research tool for others. A reference list is a more narrow and specific list of resources that have been drawn on for a specific scholarly work.
- A reference list will contain only those sources that you have cited in your paper. If you read something but did not cite it, do not include it in your reference list. If you read something and did cite it in the paper, you must include it in the reference list.
- The main purpose of a reference list is to allow readers to retrieve the exact document you used. For this reason, carefully follow the APA style guidelines and accurately represent your sources.
By necessity, this chapter follows the APA Manual principles closely. It is not intended as a replacement for that manual, however. I have provided summary tables to make the basic principles clear, and I have focused predominantly on the most common types of sources that you will use in your graduate papers. Do not rely exclusively on this information; you will require a copy of the APA Manual to ensure you are familiar with how to cite and reference a wide range of materials. I also strongly recommend that you develop the habit of using the search function on the APA Style website if you are unclear about how to cite or reference a particular source. Click on any of the links below to take you that section of the chapter.
Let’s start with some basic definitions.
- Quotation. Any time you use the exact words of another author in your paper, you are directly quoting the author. You must provide the source information for each quotation and the exact location within that work.
- Citation. For most of your paper, you will write in your own words, and you will draw on the ideas you gathered from reading the work of others. Each time you use an idea or provide information that you learned from another source or sources, you must cite that source or sources.
- Reference. Each time you quote or cite someone, you provide just enough information for the reader to go to your reference list to find the full reference for that work. The full reference provides readers with all of the information needed to locate that source for themselves.
Integrating citations into your paper
You are required to cite the source for all material that you have paraphrased or drawn ideas from. The basic format for most citations is similar: (author, date). Please do not use bold or italics in your paper. I have used them here only to ensure these elements stand out on all e-readers. Below are three examples of how these may be integrated into the text of your paper.
There are three key issues that health disciplines educators must attend to in building programs that are sensitive to the cultural diversity of both students and potential clients or patients (Braeback & Smith, 2015). One of these issues was highlighted by Thompson (2013): He recommended taking an infused approach to curriculum development to ensure cultural issues are addressed in all courses. This contradicted the 2011 guidelines articulated by Gregg, Martinez, and Peres, who argued for focusing diversity training within a single course.
In most cases, either the author(s) and date will be in parentheses or the author will be referred to within the sentence and the date will be in parentheses. Notice that if the date is also used in the sentence, it does not need to be provided in parentheses. Notice, also, that when the authors are listed within the text of the sentence, the word and is written out; within parentheses, the ampersand symbol (&) is used in the list of authors.
The two components to the citation, author and date, will vary for different information sources. There are numerous examples provided in the APA Manual. To simplify things, I have created Tables 4.1 and 4.2, in which I have summarized the major decision rules. Please note that the bold font is included only for emphasis; omit bold or italics in any part of your citations. If you are unclear about any of these decision rules, refer to the sections of the APA Manual provided in the last column. Notice that the first time you introduce a new source in your paper, you must provide full information on the author(s); however, in subsequent citations the list of author(s) is often shortened or abbreviated.
Table 4.1. Author Format for Citations
Note. 1 Remember, Secondary sources should be used only when original sources cannot be accessed through the university library and no other original source can be found to support your point.
2 Personal communication is one of the Sources to use with caution, so it should occur rarely in your papers. If you do cite a personal communication, do not add it to your reference list.
3 These websites should not be added to your reference list unless you refer to a specific tweet, comment, or portion of a website.
Table 4.2. Date Format for Citations
Nature of Source
|Journals, books, audiovisuals||(James & Castro, 2012)||6.28|
|Journals without volume numbers||Do not include month (Atkinson, Wampold, Lowe, Matthews, & Aye, 2012)||6.28|
|Monthly publications (newsletters, magazines)||Do not include month (Atkinson et al., 2012)||6.11, 6.28|
|Papers and posters from conferences or meetings||Do not include month (Nott & Bell, 2012)||6.11, 6.28|
|Reports from private organizations||Do not include month or day (Canadian Mental Health Association [CMHA], 2012)||7.03(35)|
|Daily/weekly publications (newspapers, magazines)||Do not include month or day (“The refugee crisis,” 2012)||6.11, 6.28, 7.01(7, 8)|
|Sources accepted for publication||(James, Williams, & Castro, in press)||6.28, 7.01(6)|
|Sources submitted for publication||Use year of manuscript you read (Allans, 2012)||7.09(59)|
|Online forums, newsgroups, mailing lists||Do not include month or day (Anonymous, 2012)||7.11(74-77)|
|No date||(CMHA, n.d.)||6.28|
For the most part, you should synthesize material from other sources and write in your own words. Recall the guidelines for Effective paraphrasing and Discerning when to cite others in Chapter 1 and the principles for Synthesis and integration of professional literature in Chapter 2. Proper citation involves both acknowledging all of your sources and accurately integrating those citations.
To test your understanding of how to record the author and date for various types of information sources, Exercise 1 provides you with a list of references. Based on these references, indicate how you would write the in-text citation. Once you have completed the list, refer to Exercise 1 Feedback to check your accuracy. Follow up on areas for improvement by locating the appropriate information on the author and date tables above and reviewing further examples in the appropriate section(s) of the APA Manual.
Integrating quotations into your paper
There are two basic formats for inserting a quotation into your paper.
Quotations of less than 40 words
There are two ways to integrate quotations of less than 40 words into the text of your writing:
According to McMahon (2013), it is essential to recognize that “there are three irrefutable truths about all scientific theories: (a) Truth does not exist; (b) The closest we can get to truth is a far approximation; and (c) There are many equally valid approximations” (p. 45).
As she argued, “there are three irrefutable truths about all scientific theories: (a) Truth does not exist; (b) The closest we can get to truth is a far approximation; and (c) There are many equally valid approximations” (McMahon, 2013, p. 45).
There are several things you will want to pay attention to:
- Whether you capitalize the first letter of the quote depends on the sentence structure.
- The author and date always stay together, regardless of where you position them in the sentence.
- Page numbers are always placed at the end of the quotation.
- There is always a space before the first parenthesis and between the p. and the page number.
Quotations of more than 40 words
Quotations of more than 40 words are set apart from the rest of your paragraph as a separate, indented block of text.
Other authors hold a different view of the role of theory. Billingsgate (2016) noted the following key points:
There are three irrefutable truths about all scientific theories: (a) Truth does not exist; (b) The closest we can get to truth is a far approximation; and (c) There are many equally valid approximations. This argument leads the novice theorist to wonder how to derive direction and establish a sense of foundation. The truth is most theorists do this by holding tentatively to a range of theoretical propositions and moving with fluidity. (p. 45)
Billingsgate went on to explain that. . .
Please take note of the following tips:
- Even long quotations are double-spaced like the rest of the paper.
- There are no quotation marks around quotations of 40 words or more; instead, they are indented ½ inch (1.3 cm) from the left margin. Do not change the spacing from the right margin.
- Notice that the page numbers are always at the end of the quote.
- There is no period after the closing parenthesis with the page number. (p. 45)
- If you continue with the same paragraph, do not indent the line following the quotation; if you are starting a new paragraph, then indent as usual.
Other Tips for Quotations:
Other authors hold a different view of the role of theory. Billingsgate (2016) noted the following key points:
There are three irrefutable truths [emphasis added] about all scientific [health] theories: (a) Truth does not exist; (b) The closest we can get to truth is a far approximation; and (c) There are many equally valid approximations. This argument leads the novize [sic] theorist to wonder how to derive direction and establish a sense of foundation. The truth is most theorists do this by holding tentatively to a range of theoretical propositions . . . (p. 45)
Here are some things to note:
- You can change capitalization of the first word of a quotation, the punctuation at the end, or the type of quotation marks used within the quote without indicating these changes.
- If you want to emphasize something in a quotation, put those words in italics and follow them with [emphasis added].
- If there is an error in the quote, you can usually just leave it. However, if it might confuse the reader, identify the error with [sic].
- If you leave something out or start/end the quote partway through a sentence, use . . . (notice that a portion of the last line is now cut off).
- If you need to add something to the quote for it to make sense in the context of your paper, include the addition in brackets – [health].
You may want to look at the examples provided by the University of Wisconsin-Madison Writing Center – How to Quote a Source. If you want to more detail, see sections 6.03 to 6.10 of the APA Manual.
Once you feel ready to test your knowledge, find the 10 APA errors in Exercise 2. If you think you have identified them all, click on Exercise 2 Feedback to verify your accuracy.
The same rules apply for recording the author and date for quotations (see Tables 4.1 and 4.2 above). However, for quotations, you must provide additional information about the specific part of the source that you are drawing your quote from. Typically, this involves listing page numbers. However, for electronic sources, this is more challenging because page numbers are often not provided. Table 4.3 provides some pointers.
Table 4.3. Citing Specific Sections of a Source
|Quotations from print sources||Always give page number
Use p. for single pages; pp. for multiple pages
|(Horvath, 2010, p. 164)
Horvath (2010, pp. 164-165)
|Quotations from electronic sources||Where provided, give page number
If no pages, use paragraph number
If no paragraph numbers, cite section heading and count paragraphs
Shorten heading if necessary and put in quotations
|Jackson and Hayes (2013, p. 147)
Jackson and Hayes (2013, para. 6)
Jackson and Hayes (2013, Research Procedures section, para. 4)
Jackson and Hayes (2013, “Events That Precipitated,” para. 9)
|6.03, 6.04, 6.05|
|Specific chapters in non-edited book||Cite chapter when you use only this portion of a work
Use chapter number
|(Hammond, 2013, Chapter 5)
Hammond (2003, Chapter 5) …
Integrating multiple sources
In the examples provided so far, I have limited the citations to one source at a time. However, when you are writing your paper, you must pull together information from two or more sources to support each key point and sub-point in your argument. This is part of the process of Synthesis and integration of professional literature (from Chapter 2) to demonstrate critical reflection on the material that you read. In Table 4.4, I provide a summary of the key issues for this type of citation.
Table 4.4. Integrating Multiple Sources
|2 or more works cited together||Alphabetical order
Separate with semicolon in parentheses
Separate with comma in text
|(Anderson, 2013; Johnson, 2016; Mathews & Green, 2011)
Anderson (2013), Johnson (2016), and Mathews and Green (2011)
|2 or more works by the same author||List author name once
Arrange by date (earliest first; in press last)
Separate with comma
|(Pederson, 2011, 2013)
(Pederson, 2013, in press)
(Pederson, 2011a, 2011b, 2013)
|1 work more important than the others||List important citation first and precede others with see also . . .||(Mathews & Green, 2011; see also Anderson, 2013; Johnson, 2016)||6.16|
|Quotations||There can be only one source for a quotation, although there may be multiple authors||(Mishra, 2014, p. 555)
(Leon, Andrews, & Smith, 2013, p. 15)
Have a look at the sample text below.
Sources repeated in the same paragraph
You will notice that, in the sample text above, several of the sources have been cited a number of times within the same paragraph. Here is the protocol for when to repeat the citation date, drawing on the APA manual, section 6.11.
- If the author’s name appears in parentheses, as in the Mishra citation below, the date is always included.
- The Yasynskyy quotation also requires a date because it is the first time the date appears in the text of the paragraph (rather than in parentheses).
- If the author’s name(s) appears two or more times outside parentheses, the date is used the first time the name(s) appears (as in the Leon, Andrews, & Smith citation below), but not in subsequent citations.
- If the same author or group of authors appears more than once, as in the Mishra citations below, and different articles are referred to, the date should be included to avoid any confusion about which article by Mishra is being cited.
Examples of these principles have been bolded in the paragraph below.
Be sure to select appropriate pronouns and transitions to provide the reader with a clear indication of what information you have drawn from each source. (Revisit Transitional devices in Chapter 3 for more information.) Here is an example:
Notice that I have avoided using a gendered pronoun for Brandon (2005) because I want my writing to be culturally inclusive, and I support a non-binary view of gender. If I knew that Brandon used ze or they for self-reference, I would choose that pronoun in my writing.
Complete Exercise 3 to see how many errors you can find related to the accurate integration of sources. Once you think you have identified them all, click on Exercise 3 Feedback.
Components of references
For every source you cite in your paper, you must add an entry to your reference list. The only exception is personal communications, which are only cited in the body of the paper (and very sparingly). The best way to track your references is to create the reference list as you go along, so that you are not searching for reference information in your final edits of the paper.
The split screen option in Word provides a handy tool for cross-checking citations with references:
- Go to the “Window” tab and select “Split.” This will split your document into two screens so that you can view two sections of the paper at once.
- To return to a normal screen, go to “Window” then “Remove split.”
Every reference in your list should follow the same basic pattern in terms of the information it contains:
Author. (Date). Title of article or chapter. Title and location in larger work (e.g., journal or book). Source (either print or electronic)
Separating a reference into its component parts makes it easier to grasp the principles that lie behind the multiple examples in the APA Manual. Notice that each component is separated by a period; entries, within each component, are be separated by commas. Also, there is only one space between each component in a reference list.
The APA Manual provides many different examples of sources of information that may form part of your resource base for writing graduate papers. Normally, your main focus will be on peer reviewed journal articles and books (recall the Scientific and scholarly foundation for writing from Chapter 1). However, the way in which you reference these sources will depend primarily on whether they are periodicals or non-periodicals and whether you accessed them electronically or in print. The various combinations of factors can result in confusion for newcomers to APA formatting.
First, I will revisit how authorship is managed. I have revised Table 4.1 to illustrate how authors will be presented in your reference list. You will be able to apply these principles to all of your citations. Note: The bold is provided only for emphasis. Do not use bold in any part of your reference list.
Table 4.5. Author Format for References
|2 authors||Arthur, N., & Achenbach, K. (2012).||6.12, Table 6.1, 6.27, 7.01, 7.02|
|3-5 authors||Atkinson, D. R., Wampold, B. E., Lowe, S., Matthews, L., & Aye, H. (2011).||6.12, Table 6.1, 6.27, 7.01, 7.02|
|6-7 authors||Padilla, A. M., Lindholm, K. J., Chen, A., Duran, R., Hakuta, K., Lambert, W., & Tucker, G. R. (1991).||6.12, Table 6.1, 6.27, 7.01, 7.02|
|8 or more authors||Miller, F. H., Choi, M. J., Angeli, L. L., Harland, A. A., Stamos, J. A., Thomas, S. T., . . . Rubin, L. H. (2009).||6.12, Table 6.1, 6.27, 7.01, 7.02|
|Group as author (association, agency…)||Use full names of organizations
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. (2015).
A parent organization precedes a department or division
|6.13, Table 6.1, 6.27, 7.03|
|Editor(s) instead of author(s)||Use editors in place of authors and include Ed. or Eds.
Nott, J., & Bell, A. (Eds.). (2013).
When (ed.) is used for edition, it is not capitalized
|6.11, 6.12, 6.27, 7.02|
|Both author and editor||List the editor following the title
Riley, A. (2013). Forging ahead (R. Bailey, Ed.).
|Different articles with authors with same surname||No change to normal format
Jerry, M. I. (2006).
Jerry, P., & Strong, T. (2003).
|6.14, 6.27, 7.01, 7.02|
|No author for article or chapter||Title moves to the author position
Preparing students for the 21st century. (2004).
Title component of reference left blank
|6.15, 6.27, 7.01, 7.02|
|No author for periodical, book, report…||Title moves to author position
Encyclopedia of APA challenges. (2014).
|6.15, 6.27, 7.01, 7.02|
|Two different citations that shorten to the same format||No change in format:
Jorge, R., Miles, J., & Paget, S. (2013).
Jorge, R., Robertson, S., & Miles, J. (2013).
|6.12, 6.16, 6.27, 7.01, 7.02|
|Same author, same year||Identify by a b c… in alphabetical order by title
Pederson, P. (2106a). Adopting . . .
Pederson, P. (2016b). The nature . . .
|6.16, 7.01, 7.02|
|Anonymous sources||Only if clearly identified as anonymous, use
|6.15, 6.27, 7.01, 7.02|
|Suffixes on names (e.g., Jr.)||Include the suffix after the name
Andrews, N., Sr., & Lenny, R., Jr. (2011).
|6.25, 6.27, 7.02|
|Secondary sources||Reference the secondary source only
Romano, T. T. (2015).
|Personal communications||Do not include in reference list||6.20|
|Audiovisual materials||List contributors and their functions
Keith, R. (Producer), & Languille, V. (Director).
Table 4.6 below provides an overview of how dates to handle in your reference list. Compare this to Table 4.2 to see how the parallel citations are entered in the text of your paper.
Table 4.6. Date Format for References
Nature of Source
|Journals, books, audiovisuals||James, S., & Castro, R. J. (2012).||6.28|
|Journals without volume numbers||Include month
Atkinson, S., Wampold, R., Lowe, S. N., Matthews, A., & Aye, R. J. (2012, July).
|Monthly publications (newsletters, magazines)||Include month
Atkinson, S., Wampold, R., Lowe, S. N., Matthews, A., & Aye, R. J. (2012, July).
|Papers and posters from conferences or meetings||Include month
Nott, S., & Bell, R. J. (2012, July).
|Reports from private organizations||Include month and day
Canadian Mental Health Association. (2012, July 21).
|Daily/weekly publications (newspapers, magazines)||Include month and day
The refugee crisis. (2012, July 21).
|6.11, 6.28, 7.01(7, 8)|
|Sources accepted for publication||James, S., Williams, R., & Castro, R. J. (in press).||6.28, 7.01(6)|
|Sources submitted for publication||Use date of manuscript you read
Allans, R. J. (2015).
|Online forums, newsgroups, mailing lists||Include month and day
Anonymous. (2012, July 21).
|Audiovisual materials||Use only year for motions pictures and television series
Schwartz, R. (Producer). (2011).
Use year, month, day for podcasts
|No date.||Use n.d. in lieu of date
James, S., & Castro, R. J. (n.d.).
For webpages, the “page last updated” date should not be used
Use n.d. if no date is provided for the specific entry
The next major component of any reference list entry is the title, which includes both (a) the title of article or chapter and (b) the title and location in the larger work (e.g., journal or book), where applicable. Chapter 7 of the APA Manual contains several sections, each with examples relevant to the type of publication discussed. There are two major groupings of print materials.
- Non-periodicals. These are materials that are published at a specific point in time (e.g., books, brochures, manuals, and reports).
- Periodicals. These are continuous publications (e.g., journals, magazines, newspapers, and newsletters).
Non-periodicals and chapters or articles from non-periodicals always follow the same pattern in your reference list:
Author, Initial(s). (Date). Title of non-periodical. Source.
Author, Initial(s). (Date). Title of chapter. In Initial. Editor (Ed.), Title of non-periodical (first page-last page). Source.
Periodicals also follow a common pattern:
Table 4.7 outlines the guidelines and variations in how the titles of articles or chapters, as well as the periodicals or non-periodicals vary. Remember, the bold in these tables is for emphasis – do no use bold in any part of your reference list.
Table 4.7. Title Format for Periodicals
||Advances in nursing practice: Shifting the dynamics in health care. Journal of Advanced Nursing Practice, 3(1), 23-35.||7.01(1-17)|
||Mishra, T. (2015, July 23). Building online database systems [Letter to editor]. Technology Weekly, 34, 40-45.||6.29, 7.01(12, 14, 16), 7.06, 7.07, 7.08, 7.10, 7.11|
||Starting from scratch to design health curriculum. Health Education Reform, 37(3), 51-87.
Starting from scratch to design health curriculum. Education in Health Psychology, 37, 310-321.
Starting from scratch to design health curriculum. Proceedings of the National Association of Health Psychology, 37, 1310-1321.
|6.30, 7.01(3-17), 7.04(38)|
||Why choose to see a counsellor? Psychology Today, 43, 4-5.|
||Martin, H., & Reed, R. W. (2013). The globalization of psychology [Special issue]. Journal of International Psychotherapy, 45(4).||7.01(12)|
||Women and mothering. Calgary Herald, p. B8.||7.01 (10, 11)|
||Exercise and resilience in cancer patients. Journal of Health Behavior.
Exercise and resilience in cancer patients. Manuscript submitted for publication.
Exercise and resilience in cancer patients. Unpublished manuscript.
|7.01 (6), 7.09(58-60)|
Table 4.8. Title Format for Non-Periodicals
||Talking cures: A history of Western and Eastern psychotherapies.||6.29, 7.02(18-30)|
||The evolution of nursing practice in Canada (3rd ed., Vol. 2).||7.02(23,28-30)|
||Training issues in health psychology (2nd ed.) [Manual].||6.29, 7.02|
||Building collaboration across the health disciplines. In S. Edwards & B. N. Walters (Eds.), New directions in inter-professional collaboration (pp. 279-304).
The future is bright! In R. W. Stevens, L. Hanson, & Z. Wells (Eds.), Looking forward, looking back: Advances in professional psychology (2nd ed., pp. 101-134).
|7.02(21, 24, 25, 26)|
||Interdisciplinary collaboration for social change: Redefining the counseling profession. In C. Lee & G. R. Walz (Eds.), Social action: A mandate for counselors [E-reader version].||APA Style – How Do You Cite an E-Book?|
||Leading communication groups (Report No. 56 – NN – 23432).||7.03(31, 33-35)|
||A short introduction to nurse practitioner competencies [Course materials].||7.10|
||Psychodynamic counselling [Audio podcast].
The FHD comedy hour [Television series].
||The masses are mobilizing [Online forum comment].
Theoretical eclecticism [Electronic mailing list message].
The source component of your reference list depends primarily on whether the work has been logged into the DOI system, a means of applying a unique alpha-numeric identifier for each object available through digital sources. Finding the DOI is always your first step.
DOI numbers are unique digital object identifiers that catalogue works included in electronic versions of journals or books. If a DOI exists, then you must use it to identify the source of your information. Then you are done – no other source information is required. The current pattern for listing the DOI is as follows:
Author. (Date). Title of article or chapter. Title and location in larger work (e.g., journal or book). http://dx.doi.org/xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
This new format replaces the older version – doi:xxxxxxxxxxxxxx – used in the current APA Manual. The advantage of this new format is that a reader can copy the URL into their browser and immediately access the article information and abstract from the publisher website. Try it out by clicking on this link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/j.1556-6978.2015.00069.x. The APA has posted updates on the new format:
DOIs are often listed on the library database page where you retrieved your article. You often are given an option to format the reference automatically (although you must carefully proofread the entry, and the new DOI format is not yet included). The APA Style – Digital Object Identifiers [Video tutorial] – demonstrates how to find DOIs in various databases.
The good news is that there is now an even simpler way to locate a DOI (if one exists).
- crossref.org – Free DOI Lookup, allows you to search for the DOI based on author, date, and title
- crossref.org – Simple Text Query Form, allows you to enter your entire reference list at once to search for all of the DOI’s.
Please note this word of caution: You must be very accurate with the other components of your reference for these tools to be effective. If you do not immediately retrieve a DOI, check the author, date, and title for accuracy – an and rather than an ampersand (&) in a journal title can make the difference. Some non-US sources (e.g., certain Canadian journals) are not currently included in the DOI registry, so you will need to move on to the publisher URL below.
For examples and more information, see the APA Manual sections 6.31, 6.32, 7.01(1, 2, 5, 12, 13, 15), 7.02(19, 24).
If a DOI exists, you are expected to use it in your reference list, whether you read the digital version or not. If you cannot find a DOI and you accessed the article or chapter electronically, then you must provide a URL. The basic pattern for listing the URL is as follows:
Author. (Date). Title of article or chapter. Title and location in larger work (e.g., journal or book). Retrieved from URL
You must choose between the URL for the homepage of the publisher or the full document URL. So, how do you decide which one to use? You aim to optimize the ease with which a member of the public could access the information.
- If you retrieved a work through the library databases, the article URL (with database information) is not public. Test out this one without logging into the AU library: http://0-search.ebscohost.com.aupac.lib.athabascau.ca/login.aspx?direct=true&db=ehh&AN=85198764&site=eds-live. In this case, the publisher homepage URL should be used: http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/titles/03069885.asp. Click on the journal name in most library databases to find the publisher URL or search the journal name on the Internet.
- If you retrieved a work from the Internet and it can easily be found by searching the publisher website, then the publisher homepage URL should be used. The Qualitative Report is an open access journal where the reader can easily locate an article: http://nsuworks.nova.edu/tqr/.
- Statistics Canada, however, hosts a vast selection of content that might make it difficult for the reader to find the specific report you used. In this case, the full URL should be provided. Take, for example, the following summary table that required 4-5 clicks for me to find: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/tables-tableaux/sum-som/l01/cst01/health88a-eng.htm. The same applies for reports from various organizations, blog entries, forum posts, or other content not catalogued through the publisher home page.
Check out the following supports for choosing an appropriate URL (where a DOI is not available).
- APA Style – What to Use – The Full Document URL or Home Page URL?
- APA Style – How to Cite Social Media in APA Style (Twitter, Facebook, and Google+)
For more information and examples see the APA Manual sections 6.31, 6.32, 7.01(3, 4, 8), 7.02(19), 7.04(32), 7.05(42).
The only time you should provide database information is if you are certain that the article is only available within that database. Otherwise, readers would have an easier time finding the article through a publisher URL, as above. If restricted to a specific database, which sometime occurs with archived materials, you must provide either the database home page URL (e.g., http://eric.ed.gov/) or the database name and accession number (e.g., Retrieved from Global Health Studies database (Accession No. 89327498)).
Read Section 6.31 of the APA Manual for more information about DOIs and about uniform resource locators (URLs).
Print source with no DOI
Remember, that many print-based resources also have DOIs. If a DOI exists, you are expected to use it in your reference list. If no DOI exists and you are referencing content from a periodical such as an academic journal, no publisher information is required. Your reference is complete! For other print resources and for limited circulations periodicals, use the following format to complete the source component.
Author. (Date). Title of article or chapter. Title and location in larger work (e.g., journal or book). Location: Publisher.
Table 4.9 provides specific instructions about how to list the location and publisher for print-only resources.
Table 4.9. Location and Publisher
|Canadian or US location||
||Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Toronto, ON: Brooks/Cole.
|Location outside of Canada or US||
||Auckland, New Zealand: Kiwi Press.
Brisbane, Australia: Aussie Press.
|Multiple locations listed for publisher||
||Thousand Oaks, London, New Delhi
Select: Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage
||Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press.||6.30|
|Length of publisher names||
||Toronto, ON: Brooks/Cole.
Auckland, New Zealand: Kiwi Press.
|6.30, 7.02(18, 25)|
|Author = Publisher||
||University of Toronto. (2003). … Toronto, ON: Author.||6.30|
Review the principles for completing the source component of your references by checking out the APA Style – A DOI and URL Flowchart.
Integrating reference components
Now that we have pulled references apart into their component parts, it is time to put them back together to create a reference list. The following exercises are designed to give you practice creating references for various types of resources you may cite in your papers. You will also need to refer to the Author, Date, Title, and Source information above. I deliberately have not attempted to replace the APA Manual or to be inclusive in my summaries, please refer to your APA Manual or the APA Style blog.
Exercises 4 to 7
The purpose of Exercise 4 is to practice creating references for periodicals. Double-check your responses with Exercise 4 Feedback. There probably are a few things that you need to review to ensure that you have mastered this material.
Exercise 5 is designed to give you practice referencing various types of books. Check your responses against the Exercise 5 Feedback.
In most cases, you will not reference an entire book, but rather a specific chapter on the topic you are writing about. Exercise 6 aims to reinforce your learning about how to reference specific sections of a book. Be sure to review the Exercise 6 Feedback to see where you require more review.
You may retrieve other documents or portions of documents online that meet the criteria for credible, scholarly sources. Exercise 7 assesses your mastery of referencing principles for these documents. Check your responses against the Exercise 7 Feedback.
One of the challenges in applying APA editorial style is that the APA Manual does not make the underlying thematic connections or structural commonalities in each reference example sufficiently transparent. When I first started writing, I did what many of you probably do: I searched the APA Manual for an example that matched my information source. However, it is not possible to provide examples with all the different potential combinations of these components. My goal throughout this e-book has been to identify the core principles.
I was well into my academic life when I had another insight that now seems completely obvious to me. It demonstrates the importance of looking at the big picture as well as the details. I have always struggled to remember the punctuation in references: commas or periods between various elements? What I realized is that breaking the reference into these distinct components solves this problem: Each field is separated by a period! Now that I have grasped this, I do not double-check my work all the time. I hope you also have to double-check your work less once these underlying principles begin to sink in.
You should now have a draft of your reference list, with each entry completed according to the principles above. Here are a few reminders and tips for ensuring accuracy in your reference list.
- Remember, every reference in your list follows the same basic pattern in terms of the information it contains:
Author. (Date). Title of article or chapter. Title and location in larger work (e.g., journal or book). Source (either print or electronic)
- Use the referencing summary in Table 4.9 below to quickly double-check proper referencing format for each source. If you do not see what you are looking for, review the Author, Date, Title, and Source information above. Finally, go to Chapter 7 of the APA Manual for additional reference examples.
- As a general rule, include more rather than less information to ensure that your source can be properly located.
- Print your reference list, and compare each citation in your paper (from start to finish) against the list. I typically put a check mark or highlight each reference as I encounter a matching citation. This reminds me that the next time I encounter that citation, I need to ensure I am using the proper format for subsequent (not first) citation of that source.
- This is also a good time to review your reference list to make sure that each of the sources you have used fits the criteria for Scientific and scholarly foundation in writing. Just because you now know how to reference something, does not make it an appropriate source for your paper.
The purpose of Table 4.10 is to provide a quick reference to the various ways in which each field in a reference may be displayed. You can combine elements from various fields to suit your information source – be careful to ensure that your combination is appropriate, though. I have attempted to illustrate a variety of permutations of each field. Use your mouse to scroll horizontally to view the complete table.
Table 4.10. Summary Table for References1
Title of Article or Chapter
Title and Location in Book or Journal (if applicable)
Source (Print or Electronic)
|Williams, C. C.||(2012).||A rationale for anti-oppressive models in mental health services.||Critical Health Care, 2(2), 20-31.||http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jclp.2195465|
|Anonymous.||(2015).||Building effective home care systems.||Journal of International Nursing, 23, 55-59.||http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/j.1556-6978.2002.tb299.x|
|Bell, R. (Ed.).||(2014).||The future of nursing practice [Special issue].||Journal of Nursing, 22(6).||Retrieved from http:///www.nursing.org/journal|
|Boyd, H., Carmen, J., Adams, R., Francis, M. R., Wilde, Z., & Brown, R. U., . . . Eight, J.||(2016).||Blending culture and gender.||Proceedings of the Annual Culture Convention, 2(2), 20-31.||Retrieved from http://www.criticalsocialwork.com/CSW_V2_N2_WILL.pdf|
|Williams, C. C.||(2012).||Evidence-based practice in health care [Supplemental material].||Critical Health Care, 2(2), 32-35.||http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jclp.2195465|
|American Psychological Association.||(2012).||Guidelines for clients choosing assisted death.||Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/divisions/div87/guidelines/assisteddeath.html|
|Arthur, N.||(n.d.).||The nature of career theory [Course materials].||Graduate Centre for Applied Psychology, Athabasca University, Athabasca, AB. Retrieved from http://gcap.athabascau.ca/|
|Boyd, H., Carmen, J., Adams, R., Francis, M., Jr., R., Wilde, Z., & Brown, R. U.||(2015).||Interdisciplinary collaboration for social change.||In C. Lee & G. R. Walz (Eds.), Social action: A mandate for counselors.||Retrieved from http://www.athabascau.ca/cnhs/|
|University of Alberta, Department of Educational Psychology.||(2012).||Ethics guidelines for new counsellors.||Retrieved from http://www.VATI.bc.ca/ethics.pdf|
|Handy, C. D., & Allen, G.||(2011, July 5).||Theoretical eclecticism [Online forum comment].||Retrieved from http://www.counselling.org/group/arttherapy/message/45|
|(2004, August 1)||Retrieved from http://www.counselling.org/group/arttherapy/message/45|
|Arthur, N.||(2013).||Counsellor education: Where do we go from here?||Canadian Journal of Counselling and Psychotherapy, 49, 88-103.||Retrieved from http://cjc-rcc.ucalgary.ca/cjc/|
|Anonymous.||(2005, July 23).||Building online database systems [Letter to the editor].||Technology Weekly, 34, 40-45.|
|Brown, N., & Achenbach, K.||(in press).||Excellence in practicum experiences [Review of the book Comparative practices in health practica, by S. Low & R. Brown].||Spectrum Journal.|
|Nott, J., & Bell, A. (Eds.).||(2013).||The globalization of nursing [Special issue].||Journal of International Nursing, 45(4).||http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/00110003260065|
|Wong, G.||(2015, August 3).||Women and mothering.||Calgary Herald, p. B8.|
|Boyd, H., Carmen, J., Adams, R., Francis, M. R., Wilde, Z., & Brown, R. U.||(2011, March).||Comments about the accreditation process.||CPA Counselling Section Newsletter, 3-5.||Retrieved from http://www.cpa.ca/counselling/news.html
|Andrews, N., Sr., & Lenny, R., Jr.||(2014).||Building an argument for theoretical integrity [Abstract].||Proceedings of the Alberta Health Disciplines Symposium, 24, 56-64.||Retrieved from http://www.hdab.ca/2014syposium/proceedings.pdf|
|Samson, R., & Withrow, M.||(2013).||Building a solid framework for international collaborations.||Journal of International Studies, 33, 45-59.||Abstract retrieved from PsychAbstracts database. (Accession No. 3000938392)|
|Bradshaw, R.||(2016).||Building an argument for theoretical integrity.||Manuscript submitted for publication.|
|Department of Canadian Heritage.||(2013).||Sexual orientation and human rights.||Retrieved from Government of Canada website: http://www.pch.gc.ca/eng/1355925591901/1355925767915|
|Bankart, P., Aliam, R., & Fitzgerald, G.||(2007).||A history of Western and Eastern health care.||Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole.|
|Brown, N., & Achenbach, K.||(2011).||Leading communication groups (2nd ed.).||http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ru.2011.07.003|
|Boyd, H., Carmen, J., Adams, R., Francis, M. R., Wilde, Z., Eli, W., & Brown, R. U.||(2015).||Basic communication skills for group leaders [Brochure].||Auckland, New Zealand: Kiwi Press.
|Federal Research Services.||(2014).||AIDS in North America (Report No. 56 – NN – 23432).||Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press.|
|Boyd, H., Carmen, J., Adams, R., Francis, M. R., Wilde, Z., & Brown, R. U., . . . Anderson, B.||(2014).||Interdisciplinary collaboration.||In B. Moss & G. Jones (Eds.), Working together: Inside the field (pp. 279-304).||http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/j.1556-6676.2013.00067.x|
|University of Toronto, Department of Clinical Psychology.||(2010).||What’s in a theory?||In Managing depression (pp. 45-75).||Toronto, ON: Author.|
|Andrews, N., & Lenny, R.||(2015).||Expanding our thinking.||In J. G. Rubens (Ed.), Handbook of critical thinking: Thoughts on culture (Vol. 3, 2nd ed., pp. 289-310).||Moscow, Russia: Vladmir Press.|
|Preparing students for the 21st century.||(n.d.).||Retrieved from http://www.athabascau.ca/fhd/preparing.pdf|
|University of Calgary.||(2015).||Proceedings of the International Consultation on Nursing
||Calgary, AB: Author.|
|Jerry, P.||(2015, June).||Distributed learning in the information age.||Paper presented at the annual conference of the Canadian Association for Distance Education. Vancouver, BC.|
|Jerry, P.||(2016).||Moving distributed learning beyond traditional limits.||Unpublished manuscript, Graduate Centre for Applied Psychology, Athabasca University, Athabasca, AB.|
1 These are not actual references; they have been fabricated for the purpose of exemplifying the principles. The bold font is intended only to highlight examples of various permutations within each field.
Your paper should now have appropriate citations inserted for each main point that reflects ideas you have drawn from others. You may be feeling a bit overwhelmed about all of the possible permutations and combinations of author, date, title, and source that may be required in your reference list. However, most of the time, you will find the information you need for your graduate papers through journal articles from the university library. This will narrow the range of options for each component of your references. You may end up with one or two other sources for a given paper, and now you will have a pretty good idea of where to start to ensure each of them is accurately and fully represented in your reference list. Review the editing checklist items below to ensure that you are ready to move on to the final formatting your paper, including your reference list, in Chapter 5.
- Have you added appropriate citations for each key point and sub-point in your argument?
- Have you listed the sources in each cluster of citations in alphabetical order?
- Is your format for first time use and subsequent use of each citation accurate?
- Have you removed the date from repeat citations within the text of individual paragraphs?
- Have you accurately presented quotations in the paper?
- Have you included page or paragraph numbers to indicate exactly where your quotations came from?
- Have you correctly block-formatted quotations of 40 words or more?
- Do all of your citations have matching references?
- Have you used all of the entries in your reference list in your paper?
- Does each of your references contain full and accurate information?
- Do the DOI and URL links take you to the appropriate source?
This is also a good time to double-check a few scholarly integrity issues.
- Are all of the ideas you have drawn from others accurately and consistently tied back to their sources?
- Have you accurately tracked the source of each paraphrase or quotation?
- Have you accessed all of the original sources rather than relying on secondary sources?
- Have you made substantive use of each of the resources in your reference list? [Adding in a citation just to beef up your reference list may be considered a scholarly integrity infraction.]
- Have you used an appropriate number of resources for the nature of the paper you are writing?