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APA Citation


The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (2010) provides many citation examples, but does not cover every resource. In these cases, we have to interpret the rules provided in the manual to determine how best to cite a source.

Citations have four basic components: who, when, what, and where

These translate to: author, date, title, and how/where to locate the item

These elements are generally formatted in a certain order: Who. (When). What. Where. If you are missing one of these elements, check out this useful table/template from the APA Style Blog: APA Missing Pieces

Remember to:

  • Arrange reference list entries in alphabetical order by the surname of the first author or by title if there is no author.
  • Use only the initial(s) of the author’s first name and middle name (if given).
  • List in chronological order (oldest first) two or more entries by the same author(s).
  • Capitalize only the first letter of the first word in the title and subtitle of an article or book. Capitalize all proper nouns. Capitalize all significant words of journal titles.
  • Italicize journal titles and volume numbers. Do not italicize issue numbers. Italicize book titles.
  • Include all references cited in text in your reference list and vice versa. The only exceptions to this rule are personal communications and secondary sources that are cited in text only and are not included in the reference list. 
  • Clearly mark any republished tables, graphs, or figures (including photographs and illustrations) as reprinted or adapted, and include the original source both in the text and in a full reference list entry.
  • If you are unable to identify a specific example then follow an example that is most like your source.



Author, A. (year). Book title: Book subtitle. City of publication, abbreviated State/Prov: Publisher Name.

Only capitalize the first word of the title, first word of the subtitle and any proper nouns.

Book, one author​

Heschl, A. (2001). The intelligent genome: On the origin of the human mind by mutation and selection. New York, NY: Springer-Verlag.

Book, 2nd edition or later

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

Edited book - entire book

Lenzenweger, M. F., & Hooley, J. M. (Eds.). (2002). Principles of experimental psychopathology: Essays in honor of Brendan A.  Maher. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Chapter or article in an edited book 

Rasmusson, A. M., & Friedman, M. J. (2002). Gender issues in the neurobiology of PTSD. In R. Kimerling, P. Ouimette & J. Wolfe (Eds.), Gender and PTSD (pp. 43-75). New York, NY: The Guilford Press.

Electronic version of a print book

Worell, J., & Goodheart, C. D. (2006). Handbook of girls’ and women’s psychological health. Retrieved from OR


Most journal articles and many books are found online. You should include a DOI or a URL in order to provide a complete citation.

The best option is to provide the DOI whenever it is available. DOI (digital object identifier) is a unique series of numbers and letters assigned to an individual article. Look for DOIs on the first page of an article or in the record from whichever database you are using.

Note: there are three DOI formats, any one is correct:

  • doi:10.1037/rmh0000008 or
The second best option is to provide a URL (unique resource locator) for the journal homepage. You may need to search online to locate the journal homepage. For example, the homepage for the Journal of the Canadian Health Libraries Association is
Do not give the URL of the database where you found the journal or the URL to the individual article as these links are generally not stable and may break over time. 
Read this blog post to learn how to decide when to use a home page URL or the direct URL to the full document:

Journal articles - online

You may have to look at more than one example to decide how to cite a journal article. Articles may have multiple authors, and may or may not have issues, page numbers or DOIs. Include the issue number if the journal is paginated by issue. If the first page of a new issue does not start with page 1 then you do not include the issue. For example, the Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency volume 47 number 4 begins on page 419, so the volume number is included but not the issue number.


Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Year). Title of article: Subtitle of article. Title of Journal, volume(issue), page numbers. OR Retrieved from http://journal_home_page

Journal article - one author, with DOI, no issue

Manouselis, N. (2008). Deploying and evaluating multiattribute product recommendation in e-markets. International Journal of Management & Decision Making, 9, 43-61.

Journal article - two authors, no DOI, no issue

​Crystal, J. D., & Foote, A. L. (2009). Metacognition in animals. Comparative Cognition & Behavior Reviews, 4, 1-16. Retrieved from

Journal article - no page numbers, no issue

Auer, M. M., & Griffiths, M. D. (2015). Testing normative and self-appraisal feedback in an online slot-machine pop-up in a real-world setting. Frontiers in Psychology, 6.

Journal article with issue

Premkumar, K., Ross, A. G., Lowe, J., Troy C., Bolster, C., & Reeder, B. (2010). Technology-enhanced learning of community health in undergraduate medical education. Canadian Journal of Public Health, 101(2), 165-170. Retrieved from

Journal article - up to 7 authors

Cummings, E., Schermerhorn, A., Merrilees, C., Goeke-Morey, M., Shirlow, P., & Cairns, E. (2010). Political violence and child adjustment in Northern Ireland: Testing pathways in a social–ecological model including single-and two-parent families. Developmental Psychology, 46, 827-841.

Journal article - 8 or more authors

Lavoie, M. P, Lam, R. W., Bouchard, G., Sasseville, A., Charron, M. C., Gagné, A. M., … Hébert, M. (2009). Evidence of a biological effect of light therapy on the retina of patients with seasonal affective disorder. Biological Psychiatry, 66, 253-258. .2008.11.020

For more than 7 authors, include the first 6, followed by an ellipses, then the last author. See the APA Style Blog: Formatting APA References With More Than Seven Authors.

Journal articles - print


Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Year). Title of article: Subtitle of article. Title of Journal, volume(issue), page numbers.

Journal article - print, 2 authors

Noonan, J. R., & Johnson, R. K. (2002). The misuse of the diagnosis of bipolar disorder in the forensic context. American Journal of Forensic Psychology, 20(3), 5-19.

Many of the examples above apply to print journal articles and the only difference is that you do not need to provide a DOI or URL.

Magazine, Newspaper, Encyclopedia, Dictionary articles - online


Author, A. A. (Year). Title of article: Subtitle of article. Title of Magazine or Newspaper, volume(issue), page numbers. Retrieved from http://...

Magazine article 

Wells, P. (2016, August 2). The first 100 days. Maclean's, 129(5), 21-23. Retrieved from

Newspaper article 

Taylor, P. (2009, October 22). Study finds recession can be good for your health. The Globe and Mail. Retrieved from


Author, A. (Year). Title of article. In Title of encyclopedia. OR Retrieved from http://...

Encyclopedia article 

Cohen, T. R. (2010). Conflict resolution. In Corsini encyclopedia of psychology.

Dictionary definition 

Materialism. (n.d.). In Oxford English dictionary. Retrieved from

Magazine, Newspaper, Encyclopedia articles - print


Author, A. A. (Year). Title of article: Subtitle of article. Title of Magazine or Newspaper, volume(issue), page numbers.

Magazine article

Padgett, T., & Grillo, I. (2008, August 25). Cocaine capital. Time, 172(8), 28-30.

Newspaper article

Seymour, R. (2015, March 12). Chipping program may get more funds. The Daily Courier, p. A3.


Author, A. (Year). Title of article. In Title of reference work (xx ed., Vol. xx, pp. xxx-xxx). Location: Publisher.

Encyclopedia article

Atwood, Margaret. (2016). In World book encyclopedia (Vol. 1, p. 880). Chicago, IL: World Book. 


Entire text 

American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

Specific entry 

American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Cautionary statement for forensic use of DSM-5. In Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

Web pages


Author, A. (date). Title of document. Retrieved from http://...

Company website

Company. (date). Title of document. Retrieved from http://...

No Author

The title moves to the author position.

Title. (Date). Retrieved from http://


Co-founder Dorsey returns to Twitter. (2011, April 14). Retrieved from

No Date

When there is no date you use (n.d.).

Social media & blog posts


Author, A. (Year, Month Day). Title of post [Format]. Retrieved from http://....

Blog post

Geist, M. (2016, January 6). The trouble with the TPP, Day 3: Copyright term extension [Blog post]. Retrieved from -trouble-with-the-tpp-day-3-copyright-termextension/

Facebook page

Okanagan College. (2016, April 12). Timeline [Facebook page]. Retrieved December 5, 2016, from


Okanagan College. (2016, November 9). Next week @ OC is #InternationalEducationWeek, a great opportunity to learn about culture traditions from fellow students [Tweet]. Retrieved from

Streaming video and YouTube


Author, A. (Year, Month Day). Title of video [Video file]. Retrieved from http://...

Streaming video from a library database

Lester, R. (Director). (1964). A hard day’s night [Video file]. Retrieved from


Patel, A. (2008, January 22). Music and the mind [Video file]. Retrieved from /watch?v=ZgKFeuzGEns

Data and tables

Statistics Canada. (2012). Census metropolitan area of Kelowna, British Columbia. (Catalogue number 98-310-XWE2011004). Retrieved November 23, 2016 from Statistics Canada:  

For more information on how to cite Statistics Canada see Statistics Canada: Build your reference in three steps.

Figures: charts, maps, graphs, photographs, drawings or illustrations

Reference the source from where the figure was retrieved whether that is a journal article, book, report or website.


Author or Organization. (Year). Title [Format]. Retrieved from...


Okanagan College Library. (2015, September 22). Science literacy week 2015 [Image]. Retrieved from



Author, A. (Year). Title of report: Subtitle of report (Report No. xxx) [Description of form]. Retrieved from Agency Name website: http://  

The square brackets indicate the format of the content (e.g. brochure, fact sheet, etc.).

Report found in a library database

Canada’s Public Policy Forum. (2014). Northern connections: Broadband and Canada’s digital divide: Final report. Retrieved from

Report found online

Statistics Canada. (2010). Labour force information (Catalogue no. 71-001-X). Retrieved from x2010006-eng.pdf

Report found online, author different than publisher

Marqui, S., Butler, M., Jospeh, R., & Ney, K. (2000). Diabetes in British Columbia synthesis report. Retrieved from British Columbia Ministry of Healthy Living and Sport website:

Fact sheet

Public Health Agency of Canada. (n.d.). Salmonella [Fact sheet]. Retrieved from

Lecture notes, Moodle


Author, A. (Year). Lecture notes title: Subtitle. [Format]. Retrieved from https://...

The square brackets indicate the file format of the content (Word document, PDF, etc.).


Rempel, K. (2007). Chapter ten: Motivating and rewarding employees. [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from


Article or chapter in a course pack

Cite the content from a course pack as if from the original source. There is no need to include information about the course pack unless specifically requested by your instructor.


Gordon, B. (2005). Kate Bush’s subversive shoes. Women and Music: A Journal of Gender and Culture, 9, 37-50. 

For more information about citing course packs, see the APA Style Blog: How to Cite Course Packs, Custom Textbooks, and Other Classroom Compendiums

Lab manual


Name of Department. (Year). Name of course lab manual. Name of College, City, Country.


Department of Chemistry. (2016). Chemistry 121 lab manual A. Okanagan College, Kelowna, Canada

Legislation & Case Law

Revised Statutes of Canada

Criminal Code, RSC 1985, c C-46.

Charter of Rights and Freedoms

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, s 7, Part I of the Constitution Act, 1982, being Schedule B to the Canada Act 1982 (UK), 1982, c11.

Revised Statutes of British Columbia

Treaty Commission Act, RSBC 1996, c 461.

Statutes of British Columbia

Parental Liability Act, SBC 2001, c 45. 

Case law, neutral citation (identifies case only, not where it is located or retrieved from)

Template: Case Name (Year of Decision), Court Identifier* Decision number

Example: R. v. Latimer (2001), SCC 1

Case law, retrieved from QuickLaw

QuickLaw has its own abbreviations for judgments handed down by the courts, for example Supreme Court Judgment (SCJ) or Alberta Judgment (AJ). When it is not clear from the abbreviation which type of court, the court identifier should be added in parentheses at the end of the citation. For example, if the abbreviation BCJ is used and the judgment came from the BC Court of Appeals, then add (BCCA) at the end of the citation.

Example 1: R. v. Latimer (2001), SCJ no 1 (QL).

Example 2: R. v. Ellard (2008), BCJ no 1689 (QL) (BCCA).

Case law, retrieved from Canadian Legal Information Institute (CanLII)

If the case has been reported (example 1), the citation for a case retrieved from CanLII should include first the information for the court reporter, followed by the neutral citation and then CanLII in parentheses. Include the year of the decision (from the neutral citation) in parentheses beside the case name. If it is an unreported case (example 2), use the number assigned by CanLII and include the court identifier in brackets. When citing more than one case with the same case name and year, add a, b, etc. after the year to distinguish them in your in-text citations. 

Example 1: R. v. Latimer (2001), [2001] 1 SCR 3, 2001 SCC 1 (CanLII).

Example 2: Latimer v. Canada (Treasury Board) (C.A.) (1991), [1992] 2 FCR 361, 1991 CanLII 8230 (FCA).

Example 3: R. v. Glowatski (1999a), CanLII 5608 (BCSC).

Example 4: R. v. Glowatski (1999b), CanLII 5632 (BCSC).

*List of court identifiers 

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