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Citing sources in APA style 6th ed.

Crediting sources and formatting references according to the style of the American Psychological Association (APA). Based on the 6th edition of the Publication Manual of the APA.

Book references: general form

The general formats of a book reference are:

Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (year). Book title. Location: Publisher.

Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (year). Book title. Retrieved from http://www.xxxxxx

Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (year). Book title.

Editor, A. A. (Ed.). (year). Book title. Location: Publisher.

Editor, A. A., & Editor B. B. (Eds.). (year). Book title. Location: Publisher.

  • When the author and the publisher are the same, use the word Author as the name of the publisher: Washington, DC: Author..
  • American cities are followed by the two letter abbreviation of the name of the state, non-American cities by the name of the country.
  • When there are several publication locations, only mention the first (or only the location of the main office of the publisher if that is indicated).
  • In the name of the publisher you can omit unimportant words as Publishers, Inc., Ltd; do mention the words Books and Press.

Books: printed and electronic

Book: print version

Shotton, M. A. (1989). Computer addiction? A study of computer dependency. London, England: Taylor & Francis.


Electronic version of a printed book

Shotton, M. A. (1989). Computer addiction? A study of computer dependency [DX Reader version]. Retrieved from /index.asp

Schiraldi, G. R. (2001). The post-traumatic stress disorder sourcebook: A guide to healing, recovery and growth [Adobe Digital Editions version]. http://dx.doi .org/10.1036/0071393722


Electronic-only book

O’Keefe, E. (n.d.). Egoism & the crisis in Western values. Retrieved from

  • (n.d.) means: no date (no year of publication).


Electronic version of a republished (translated) book

Freud, S. (1953). The method of interpreting dreams: An analysis of a specimen dream. In J. Strachey (Ed. & Trans.), The standard edition of the complete psychological works of Sigmund Freud (Vol. 4, pp. 96-121). Retrieved from (Original work published 1900)

  • In text use the following citation: (Freud, 1900/1953, p. 119).


Limited-circulation book, from electronic database

Thomas, N. (Ed.) (2002). Perspective on the community college: A journey of discovery [Monograph]. Retrieved from

  • Here you mostly deal with (older) publications, which have been digitized, but are only accessable via databases as JSTOR or ERIC.

Book with corporate author, sixth edition, published by author

American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

Book without a personal or corporate author

SPSSx: User's guide. (1983). Chicago, IL: SPSS.

Edited book

Rutman, L. (Ed.). (1984). Evaluation research methods: A basic guide (2nd ed.). Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.

  • Ed. stands for Editor.
  • Normally you cite a chapter in an edited book, not the book as a whole as is done here. See the next main section.

Loose-leaf work

There are no specific examples for a loose-leaf work or an article in a loose-leaf work. A reference of a loose-leaf work as a whole, you can best deduce from examples of books. A reference of an article in a loose-leaf work you can best deduce from the examples of chapters in an edited book.


Format references to reports as you would a book. Often reports have a report number. This is mentioned in parentheses after the title.

Government report, corporate author

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. (2003). Managing asthma: A guide for schools (NIH Publication No. 02-2650). Retrieved from


Report from a university

Luijkx, J. B., Marsman, G. W., & Rijt, G. A. J. van der. (1987). Effecten van SOA-voorlichting: Evaluatie van een Sire-campagne. Nijmegen, Nederland: Katholieke Universiteit Nijmegen, Instituut voor Massacommunicatie.