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APA Citation (7th edition)


Citations have four basic components: who, when, what, and where usually formatted as Who. (When). What. Where. These translate to author, date, title, and how/where to locate the item.

There are specific rules for formatting your reference list:

  • Double space the reference list
  • Arrange reference list entries in alphabetical order by the surname or family name of the first author or by title if there is no author.
  • Use only the initial(s) of the author’s first and middle name(s).
  • List in chronological order (oldest first) two or more entries by the same author(s).
  • For articles or books, capitalize only the first letter of the first word in the title and subtitle. Capitalize all proper nouns.
  • For journals, capitalize all significant words of the title.
  • 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/indirect 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.


For both print and online works you should include a DOI (digital object identifier) where available in order to provide a complete citation. If your work does not appear to have a DOI, search for the title at, using the metadata tab, to check if there is an assigned DOI. 

If an online work has both a DOI and URL (uniform resource locator), only include the DOI. If an online work does not have a DOI but does have a URL, include the URL if it takes the reader to a website where the work is free to access (no paywall or required login).

If the only URL you have is for an academic database, do not include it because the article or eBook is likely available in multiple databases. The reference should look the same as the reference for a print version of the article. The only exception to this is if the URL is for the article itself or the home page of a database that publishes unique works or works of limited circulation (such as ERIC or IBISWorld).

Present DOIs and URLs as hyperlinks. Use this format for DOIs: (APA, 2020, pp. 299-300).

For more about DOIs and URLs, including shortened DOI and URLs, please see the APA Style page

Books and eBooks


Author, A. (year). Book title: Book subtitle. Publisher Name. OR https://...

One author​

Goldfayn, A. L. (2018). Selling boldly: Applying the new science of positive psychology to dramatically increase your confidence, happiness, and sales. John Wiley & Sons.

2nd edition or later

Taylor, S. (2019). Forensic psychology: The basics (2nd ed.). Routledge.

Edited book - entire

Datta, R. (Ed.). (2020). Reconciliation in practice: A cross-cultural perspective. Fernwood Publishing.

Chapter or article in an edited book 

Albert, J. (2019). Respiratory system. In C. R. Rebar, N. M. Heimgartner, & C. J. Gersch (Eds.), Pathophysiology made incredibly easy! (6th ed., pp. 85-136). Wolters Kluwer.

Children's or illustrated book, illustrator different than author

O'Leary, S. (2016). A family is a family is a family (Q. Leng, Illus.). Groundwood Books.

See APA: Children's book or illustrated book examples

With a DOI

Tanimoto, M., & Wong, R. (Eds.). (2019). Public goods provision in the early modern economy: Comparative perspectives from Japan, China, and Europe. University of California Press.

No DOI, from the web


Anderson, C. (2019). Essentials of linguistics. eCampusOntario.

Corporate author, author and publisher the same

American Psychological Association. (2020). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.).


Include DOI information for eBooks. If there is no DOI and the book is from a library database, do not include a URL (APA, 2020, section 9.30). If the book is from the web, include a URL.

Journal articles


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

One author, DOI

Febbraro, A. R. (2020). Critical feminist history of psychology versus sociology of scientific knowledge: Contrasting views of women scientists? Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology, 40(1), 7–20.

Two authors, no DOI

Depauw, M., & Stolk, J. (2015). Linguistic variation in Greek papyri: Towards a new tool for quantitative study. Greek, Roman & Byzantine Studies, 55(1), 196–220.

Three or more authors, no issue, DOI

Choe, E. Y., Jorgensen, A., & Sheffield, D. (2020). Simulated natural environments bolster the effectiveness of a mindfulness programme: A comparison with a relaxation-based intervention. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 67, 1-13.

No page numbers, no issue, DOI


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.


Newton, L., & Kimpson, S. (2014). Fitting square pegs into round holes: Doing qualitative nursing research in a quantitative world. Canadian Journal of Nursing Research, 46(3), 46-64.   

Up to 20 authors

Mazzolari, A., Sytov, A., Bandiera, L., Germogli, G., Romagnoni, M., Bagli, E., Guidi, V., Tikhomirov, V. V., De Salvador, D., Carturan, S., Durigello, C., Maggioni, G., Campostrini, M., Berra, A., Mascagna, V., Prest, M., Vallazza, E., Lauth, W., Klag, P., & Tamisari, M. (2020). Broad angular anisotropy of multiple scattering in a Si crystal. European Physical Journal C -- Particles & Fields, 80(1), 1–8.

21+ authors

The ZEUS collaboration, H. Abramowicz, I. Abt, L. Adamczyk, M. Adamus, R. Aggarwal, S. Antonelli, V. Aushev, Y. Aushev, O. Behnke, U. Behrens, A. Bertolin, I. Bloch, I. Brock, N. H. Brook, R. Brugnera, A. Bruni, P. J. Bussey, A. Caldwell, … B. O. Zhautykov. (2018). Further studies of isolated photon production with a jet in deep inelastic scattering at HERA. Journal of High Energy Physics, 2018(1), 1-29.

With 21 or more authors, include the first 19 with ellipses to the last.


Magazine and newspaper articles


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

Magazine article 

Brainard, J. (2020, March 13). Publishers try out alternative pathways to open access. Science, 367(6483), 1179.


Bouw, B. (2020, March). Making money work for you - and the planet: Younger investors are demanding their investments be a force for good, and big finance is listening. Maclean's, 133(2), 73-75.

Newspaper article 

Richard, J. (2020, February 16). Happily never after - the truth of fairy tale romances. The Vancouver Sun.

News website

Deer, J. (2020, March 8). Celebrating Indigenous women who are reclaiming or revitalizing their languages. CBC.

News websites do not have a daily/weekly newspaper. For more examples see APA Style: Webpage on a website references.

Encyclopedia articles and dictionary definitions


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


Cohen, T. R. (2010). Conflict resolution. In I. B. Weiner, & W. E. Craighead (Eds.), Corsini encyclopedia of psychology.

Article (print)

Atwood, M. (2016). World Book encyclopedia (Vol. 1, p. 880). World Book. 


Oxford University Press. (2001, March). Materialism. In Oxford English dictionary (3rd ed.).

Definition, no date, not archived or stable

Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Symbolism. In dictionary. Retrieved March 19, 2020, from



Entire text 

American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.).

Specific entry 

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

When the author and publisher are the same, omit the publisher (APA, 2020, p. 324).

Additional examples are available on the APA Style website: Diagnostic manual references.

Web pages


Author, A. (date). Title of document. https://...

Government Web page

Health Canada. (2019, December 17). Canada's food guide: Healthy eating recommendations.

Company Web page

Toyota. (n.d.). Toyota in the community.

No Author

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

No Date

World Health Organization. (n.d.). Myth busters.

Open Educational Resource (OER)

Ghosh, U. (2018, August 5). 1.1 Study of life. OER Commons. Retrieved March 19, 2020, from

Company or corporate authors are considered authors. If there is truly no author, the title moves to the author position.

Works that stand alone (including webpages and websites) have italicized titles (APA, 2020, p. 291).

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

Use a retrieval date when the content is likely to change (eg. a wiki, Google Maps); but not if there is an archived version. Use this format: Retrieved February 20, 2020, from http://....

Do not use the copyright date from the website footer: only use a date that applies to what you are citing. If there is an updated date, use that instead of the original date. Do not include a date of last review (APA, 2020, p. 290). See 9.16 Retrieval Dates (APA, 2020, p. 290).

Social media & blog posts


Author, A. [@username]. (Year, Month Day). Title of post up to the first 20 words [Description of audiovisuals]. Site Name. https://....

Blog post

Okanagan College. (2019, January 2). How to save big $$ on textbooks. Wordpress.

Instagram photo or video

Okanagan College Library [@okanagancollegelibrary]. (2020, February 19). Check out these anthologies written by students of OC's creative writing program on the Penticton Campus! The latest one, entitled [Photograph]. Instagram.

Facebook page

Okanagan College Library. (n.d.). Home [Facebook page]. Facebook. Retrieved February 20, 2020, from 

Twitter profile

Okanagan College Lib [@OClib]. (n.d.). Tweets [Twitter profile]. Twitter. Retrieved February 20, 2020, from

Online forum post

TripAdvisor_Forum_Support. (n.d.). Read this first: Welcome to the New York City forum! [Online forum post]. Tripadvisor.

Include retrieval date as the content can change over time. Adapt these formats for references to other social media platforms including Snapchat, Tumblr and LinkedIn (APA, 2020, p. 349).

For more information on retrieval dates and how to apply them see 9.16 Retrieval Dates (APA, 2020, p. 290).



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

Film or movie

Di Caprio, L. (Producer), & Peterson, L. C. (Writer/Director). (2008). The 11th hour [Film]. Warner Bros. Entertainment.

Streaming video from a library database

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


Patel, A. (2008, January 22). Music and the mind [Video]. YouTube.


Evans, R., & Collerius, F. (Hosts). (2020, February 27). February book club (No. 158) [Audio podcast episode]. In The librarian is in. NYPL.

TED Talk

Brown, B. (2012, March). Listening to shame [Video]. TED Conferences.

When a TED Talk is found on YouTube, list the owner of the YouTube account as the author for retrieval (APA, 2020, p. 344).

The author of an audiovisual work depends on the media type (APA, 2020, p. 341).



Author, A. (Year). Title of report: Subtitle of report (Report No. xxx) [Description of form]. Publisher name. https://...  

Description of form in square brackets is optional (APA, 2020, p. 329).

Omit the publisher if the same as the author (APA, 2020, p. 329).

By a government agency or other organization

Public Health Agency of Canada. (2015, November). Foodbook report.

By individual authors at an organization

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

By a task force, working group, or other group

Small Business Task Force. (2018, October). Small business speaks: Hearing from B.C. small businesses about how to make their future bright. Government of British Columbia.

Annual report

Financial Consumer Agency of Canada. (2019). Annual report 2018-2019.

Policy brief


Penner, S., Kevany, K., & Longboat, S. (2019, March 11). Indigenous food sovereignty in Canada: Policy paper 2019 [Policy brief]. Rural Policy Learning Commons.

Press release

Pearson Canada. (2020, March 19). Pearson Canada and Kivuto partner to offer open access to digital learning resources amid school closures [Press release].

Fact sheet

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

Lecture notes, Moodle, course packs


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


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

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

Use the Moodle login page for the URL (APA, 2020, p. 347).


Chapter or article from 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. 

Lab manual


Name of Department. (Year). Name of course lab manual. Name of College.


Department of Chemistry. (2020). Chemistry 121 lab manual A. Okanagan College.

Legislation & Case Law

APA style does not have its own rules for citing legal materials and instead it refers users to the standard legal citation style commonly used in the United States, The Bluebook. The Canadian Guide to Uniform Legal Citation, also referred to as the McGill Guide, is the standard used most widely in Canada. The examples below follow some of the most common formatting used with APA style, and require only minor changes to the citations copied from the most frequented databases for primary legal sources: CanLII, QuickLaw and HeinOnline.  


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, c 11.

Revised Statutes of British Columbia

Treaty Commission Act, RSBC,1996, c 461.

Statutes of British Columbia

Parental Liability Act, SBC 2001, c 45. 


Bill C-14, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and to make related amendments to other Acts (medical assistance in dying), 1st Sess, 42nd Parl, 2016 (assented to 1June 2016).

Bill 6, Employment Standards Amendment Act, 3rd Sess, 41st Parl, British Columbia, 2018 (3rd Reading 12 April 2018).


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


Case Name, Year of Decision Court Identifier* Decision number.


R v Latimer, 2001 SCC 1.

List of court identifiers 


Case law, retrieved from QuickLaw

Make sure the "include parallel citations" option is unchecked when you are using the "copy citation" tool in QuickLaw. QuickLaw has its own abbreviations for judgments handed down by the courts, for example Supreme Court Judgment (SCJ) or Alberta Judgment (AJ). The court identifier should be added in parentheses at the end of the citation when the level of court is unclear from the abbreviation. 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.


Case Name, Year of Decision Court Identifier* Decision number (QL).

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)

The citation for a published case retrieved from CanLII should include first the neutral citation, then CanLII in parentheses followed by the information for the case law report series* (example 1). If there is no decision number but there is a number assigned by CanLII, include the CanLII number and the court identifier follows in parentheses (example 2). If it is an unpublished case (example 3), 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 (examples 3 and 4). 


Case Name, Year of Decision Court Identifier* Decision number (CanLII), [Year of Publication] Volume number Case Law Reporter* Page Number. https://... (URL optional).

Example 1

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


Case Name, Year of Decision CanLII number (Court Identifier), [Year of Publication] Volume number Case Law Reporter* Page number. URL (optional).

Example 2

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


Case Name, Year of Decision CanLII number (Court Identifier). URL (optional)

Example 3

R. v. Glowatski, 1999a CanLII 5632 (BCSC).

Example 4

R. v. Glowatski, 1999b CanLII 5608 (BCSC).

*Case Law Report Series in Canada


Traditional Knowledge or Oral Traditions of Indigenous Peoples

APA 7 includes guidelines for citing information from Traditional Knowledge or Oral Traditions of Indigenous Peoples:

Recoverable Source:

  • If the information is recorded (video, audio, transcript, book, article), cite it both in text and in the reference list following the format for the type of source.

Non-recoverable Source:

  • If the information is not recorded, provide detail in the in-text citation and do not cite it in the reference list; cite as a personal communication.
  • Provide the person's full name and nation or specific Indigenous group, as well as their location and other details, and a date. Ensure the information is accurate and that the person agrees to be included in the paper.
  • Example: We spoke with Anna Grant (Haida Nation, lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, personal communication, April 2019) about....

See 8.9 Personal Communications (APA, 2020, pp. 260-61).

However, Okanagan College Library encourages respecting the knowledge shared by Indigenous Elders or Knowledge Keepers by including these information sources in the reference list. The following templates are based on the NorQuest College library templates which were created by librarian Lorisia McLeod (James Smith Cree Nation) and NorQuest College Indigenous Student Centre staff. As this does not follow the official APA citation style, we recommend discussing which citation practice to follow with your instructor.

In-text Citation

  • The in-text citation should follow the same guidelines noted for a paraphrase or direct quote: Name of Elder/Knowledge Keeper with year of communication.
  • Example:
    • Jo-Ann Archibald (2018) spoke about decolonizing curriculum...
    • Decolonizing curriculum is necessary... (Archibald, 2018).

Reference List

  • The reference list entry should include the person's name, Nation/Community, Treaty Territory (if applicable). Where they live (if applicable), Topic/subject of communication (if applicable), personal communication, and date. Be sure to ask the Elder or Knowledge Keeper how they wish to be known and format appropriately.
  • Portions that note "if applicable" can be used if relevant OR may be left out if requested.
  • Example:
    • Archibald, J., Stó:lō. Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Decolonizing curriculum. personal communication. September 16, 2018.
    • Xwalacktun [Rick Harry], Squamish and Kwakwaka'wakw Nations. Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Oral teaching. personal communication. November 23, 2021.


Dissertation or thesis


Author, A. (Year). Title of dissertation (Publication No. ) [Doctoral dissertation or Master's thesis, Institution]. Database. Location

Published, in an institutional repository

Zhang, M. (2013). The effects of cumulative forest disturbances on hydrology in the interior of British Columbia, Canada [Doctoral dissertation, University of British Columbia]. UBC Theses and Dissertations.

Published, on the web

Griffin, M. (2006). Background music and the learning environment: Borrowing from other disciplines [Master's thesis, University of Adelaide]. ERIC.


Smith, I. (2020). Effects of library instruction on college students' citation practices [Unpublished undergraduate thesis]. Okanagan College.

Include wording [Unpublished doctoral dissertation/master's thesis/undergraduate thesis] after the title. Include the name of the institution that awarded the degree, after the square bracketed description.

Visual works


Author, A. (Date). Title [Description]. Publisher. Location

Art on a museum website

Harris, L. S. (1930). 2 am Buchanan Bay, Ellesmere Island [Painting]. Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, ON, Canada.

Clip art or stock image

Pressmaster. (n.d.). Reading book in library [Stock image]. Shutterstock.

To reproduce (not just cite) a stock image, you may need to ask permission from the copyright owner and/or provide a copyright attribution. Check the image license for information (APA, 2020, p. 342).


OC Library. (n.d.). Annual reports. [Infographic]. Okanagan College Library.

To reproduce an infographic, permission and/or a copyright attribute may be necessary (APA, 2020, p. 347).


Statistics Canada. (n.d.). Population distribution as of July 1, 2014 by census division (CD), Canada [Map]. Statistics Canada.

Google Map

Google. (n.d.). [Google map directions for driving from Kelowna, British Columbia, to Vernon, British Columbia]. Retrieved March 19, 2020, from


Okanagan College Library. (2015, September 22). Science literacy week 2015 [Photograph]. Flickr.

PowerPoint slides or lecture notes

Janyk, R. (2015, November 18). Citing in APA [PowerPoint slides]. Haiku Deck.

Data and tables

Statistics Canada. (2017). Kelowna [Census metropolitan area], British Columbia and British Columbia [province] (Catalogue number 98-316-X2016001).

For information on how to cite data sets see APA Style: Data Set References

Figures: graphs and tables from other sources

Reprinted and/or adapted tables or figures must have a copyright attribution or figure note with the source of the table or figure, and, a reference list entry for that work (APA, 2020, p. 198). The reference list entry should follow the formatting rules for whatever the source is, whether it is a book, article or other.

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