Electronic Retrieved ResourcesPeriodicals (journals, magazines, newspapers, etc.)Books, e-books, book chaptersReports and standardsMeetings and symposiaReviews and commentaryDissertations and thesesAV, music, videos, podcasts, artwork, moviesData, instruments, and softwareUnpublished and informally published worksArchival documents and collectionsE-mail, web, blogs, Facebook, etc.Legal materialsFormatting the Reference List
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Table of Contents: Electronic References

Click on the links to see formatting of electronic references based on APA's updated guidelines (2012):

  1. Journal article with DOI
    Journal article with no DOI number
  2. Journal article without DOI, eight or more authors
  3. Electronic version of print book
  4. Electronic-only book
  5. Entire book from an online library
  6. Republished book
  7. Chapter in an edited book
  8. Reference work
  9. Entry in a reference work
  10. Entry in a reference work, no author or editor
  11. Entry in Wikipedia
  12. Corporate author, government report
  13. Corporate author, task force report filed online
  14. Authored report, from nongovernmental organization
  15. Report from institutional archive
  16. Proceedings published regularly
  17. Proceedings published in book form
  18. Master's theses and doctoral dissertations, from a commercial database
  19. Doctoral dissertation, from an institutional database
  20. Doctoral dissertation, from the web
  21. Review of a video
  22. Review of a video game, no author
  23. Peer commentary on an article
  24. Video
  25. Video podcast
  26. Speech recording
  27. Interview recording
  28. Transcription of an audio or a video file (podcast, interview, speech, etc.)
  29. Streaming video (e.g., YouTube, Vimeo)
  30. Data set
  31. Measurement instrument
  32. Software
  33. Mobile application software (app), group or corporate author
  34. Mobile application software (app.), game
  35. Test or inventory from the web
  36. Test or inventory record retrieved from PsycTESTS database
  37. Informally published or self-archived work
  38. Informally published or self-archived work, from ERIC
  39. Lecture notes or PowerPoint slides
  40. Message posted to a newsgroup, online forum, or discussion group
  41. Message posted to an electronic mailing list
  42. Blog post
  43. Blog comment
  44. Twitter update or tweet
  45. Facebook page
  46. Google+ post
  47. Mobile apps

APA Style Guide for Electronic References (2012)

Download the APA Style Guide for Electronic References (PDF)

(NSU Sharklink ID and password required for access.)

This document is the addendum to the APA Style Manual (6th ed.) that is currently in use. The addendum specifically address electronic references such as articles found in online databases and web resources. Scroll down on this page to see sample references for electronic resources.   


 Quick Examples of Resources Retrieved Electronically:
Using APA Style Guide to Electronic References (2012)

 1. Journal article with DOI assigned, one author. 

                    **** Preferred format for DOI number if using the 
                            APA Style Guide to Electronic References (2012):


Qiang, M., Su-Mei, W., Da, Z.,  Jun-Tao, C., Ling-Ling, J., 
Yan-Xue, H., & Ling-An, W. (2004). Chinese Physics Letters,
(10), 1961-1987.  http://dx.doi.org/10.0256-307X/21/1961

NOTE: If using the APA 6th ed., use doi:10.0256-307X/21/1961


J. (2010). An interdisciplinary approach to preparing
early intervention professionals: A university and
community collaborative initiative. Teacher Education
and Special Education, 33(2), 131-142. http://dx.doi.org

NOTE: If using the APA 6th ed., use doi:10.1177/088840640

  • The DOI format with a hyperlink is preferred in the APA Style Guide to Electronic Reference (2012). The APA guide says that the old format is also accepted. However, it no longer is preferred. 
  • Correct:    
    • doi:10.4018/IJDET (format recommended in the APA 6th ed.)
    • http://dx.doi.org/10.4018/IJDET (format recommended in the APA Style Guide)


    • http://doi:10.4018/IJDET
    • doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.4018/IJDET
    • Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.4018/IJDET

2. Journal article without DOI (When DOI is not available) -- eight authors or more

If there is no DOI number, then include a retrieval statement with the journal home URL. NOTE:  For students in FSE, it is OK to use a standard journal citation with no URL.


H. M., McKay, J., Alvarado, F., Plath, E., Jordan, A., 
Porter, M., . . . Allsop, S. (2005). The attractions of
stupidity. Journal of Philosophy, 30(2), 6-10. Retrieved
from http://www.journalofphilosophy.org/ 
(See note about URL to use.)

  • When there are more than seven authors, list the first six, use ellipses, and the last author.
  • The URL is for the journal home publication.

3. Electronic version of print book

Rosellini, G., & Worden, M. (2010). Of course you're angry:  A
guide to dealing with the emotions of
abuse (Rev. ed.) [Kindle DX version]. Retrieved from
  • When the book is retrieved online, the location and publisher are not provided.
  • Provide information about the e-book version in brackets.
  • The URL in the retrieval statement should not have a hyperlink, and do not include a period after the URL because it will interfere with navigation of the web
  • The URL at the top of the page is not the publisher URL.  Instead, you will see http://novacat.nova.edu/search~S13?/X(netlibrary)&SORT=D&engine=0&criteria=netlibrary&m=n/X(netlibrary)&SORT=D&engine=n&2%2C2%2C for this book. If you know what you are looking for, you can see Netlibrary mentioned. Otherwise, you will need to do a quick Google search to identify the publisher's home URL or contact the reference desk for help.

4. Electronic-only book

Mackay, C. (n.d.). Jacob's ladder Retrieved from http://www
  • When the date cannot be determined, use (n.d.) for no date.
5. Entire book from an online library
Ferdig, R. E. (2009). Handbook of research on effective gaming in
 (Rev. ed.). Retrieved from http://www.netlibrary.com
  • Provide the home page of the online library used. In this example, NetLibrary was used, but you can also use Google Books, ebrary, MyiLibrary, Safari, and more. Do not use the full URL for the book since the books can be easily located with a search. Most e-book collections provided by the NSU Libraries require the SharkLink user name and password.

6. Republished book and other works 


T. (2008). Tenures of land and customs of manors. Retrieved from http://books.google.com/books (Original work published in 1679
as Fragmenta antiquitatus)


C. G. (1961). The fantasies of the unconscious. In Collected works of
C. G. Jung  (Bolligen Series XX, pp. 98-112).  Retrieved from http://
books.google.com/books (Original work published in 1912) 

7. Chapter in an edited book


A.  (2011). Chapter 2: Optimality conditions. In V. Schulz (Ed.), Computational
optimization of systems governed by partial differential equations (pp. 3-26).
(If using the 6th ed., use doi:/10.1137/1.9781611972054.ch2)  

  • This book chapter has a DOI number assigned for the book chapter. 
  • If there is no DOI number, use the location and publisher OR a retrieval statement with the publisher home URL.  

8. Reference work 

Wilson, D., & Hackenberry, M.  J. (2011). Wong's clinical manual (8th ed.). http://dx

(If using the 6th ed., use doi:/10.1137/1.9781611972054.ch2)

9. Entry in a reference work

Azar, D. T. (2008). Refractive surgery. In D. Pavan-Langston (Ed.), Manual of ocular
diagnosis and therapy
(6th ed.). 
Retrieved from http://www.lww.com
  • No page numbers are available for this e-book chapter so nothing is included in parentheses after the book title.
  • Since there was no assigned DOI number, the publisher's home URL was provided instead.

 10. Entry in a reference work, no author or editor 

Existentialism. (n.d.). Merriam-Webster dictionary. Retrieved June 19, 2012, from
  • When there is no author, move the entry title to the first position and keep the date in the second position.
  • If there is no year, use (n.d.) for no date.
  • If there is no edition number, use a retrieval statement since the definition could be updated an any time.

11. Entry in Wikipedia 

Gertrude Bell (n.d.). WikipediaRetrieved June 18, 2012, from http://en.wikipedia.org
  • When there is no publication date that can be determined, use (n.d.)
  • APA says to italicize Wikipedia since it is considered the title of a reference source.
  • Since Wikipedia is a wiki that will change over time, include the retrieval date.

12. Corporate author, government report 

U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Educational Statistics. (2011). The
condition of education
(NCES Publication No. 2011-033).  
Retrieved from http://www.edpubs.gov/document/ed005214p.pdf?ck=881
  •  When there is no personal authors listed, provide the agency as the corporate author.

13. Corporate author, task force report filed online 

American Psychological Association, Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls. (2010). 
Report on the APA Task Force for the Sexualization of Girls: Full report.
Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/pi/women/programs/girls
  •  The Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls is a proper name so it should be capitalize in the title of the report.

14. Authored report from a nongovernmental organization. 

Svozil, K. (2009). Three criteria for random number generators based on beam
(CDMCTS 362). Retrieved from the 
Centre for Discrete Mathematics
and Theoretical Computer Science website: http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz
  •  Include the name of the publishing organization in the retrieval statement when the publisher is not identified as the author.

15. Report from institutional archive

DiPiano, F. (2011). Institutional progress report: An assessment of NSU’s progress in
pursuing the essential planning priorities established in the strategic plan.
Retrieved from Nova Southeastern University, Institutional Effectiveness

16. Proceedings published regularly


C. K., Brodribb, T. J., Field, T. S., & Zwieniecki, M. A. (2009, February 25).  
Angiosperm leaf vein evolution was physiologically and environmentally
transformative. Proceedings of the Royal Society B/Biological Sciences, 276,

(If using the 6th ed., use doi:10.1098/rspb.2008.1919)
  • The proceedings are published regularly online as a series so the paper gets formatted like a journal article with the volume and page numbers.  

17. Proceedings published in a book form 

Tunon, J., & Pival, P. (2000). Reaccreditation at Nova Southeastern University: How
reaccreditation can create opportunities for improving library services to
distance students. In P. S. Thomas (Ed.), The Ninth Off-Campus Services
Conference proceedings: Portland, Oregon, April 26-28, 2000 
(pp. 273-282).

Retrieved from http://ocls.cmich.edu/conference/past_proceedings
  •  The Ninth Off-Campus Services Conference is a proper name so it gets capitalized. However, the word proceedings is not a proper name so it would not get capitalized.

18. Master's theses and doctoral dissertations from a commercial database 


F. (2012). Self-image and relationship issues among women who have
undergone cosmetic surgery:
What does the helping profession need to
(Master's thesis). Available from ProQuest Dissertations and
Theses database. (UMI No. 1511347)


Long,   M. F. M. (2007). Professional school librarians as transformational
leaders (Doctoral dissertation). Available from ProQuest Dissertations
and Theses database. (UMI No. 329291) 
  • The title of the master's thesis or doctoral dissertation needs to be italicized.
  • Include the information about the type of thesis or dissertation in parentheses after the title. Do not italicize the parenthetical information.
  • Use the phrase "Available from" instead of "Retrieved from" since ProQuest Dissertations and Theses is not an open access database.
  • The UMI No. is located in the front of the actual document. You will see the number listed without the UMI No. in the short record with the citation and abstract as well.

19. Doctoral dissertation, from an institutional database.


A. J. (2009). Examination of teacher bias in special education referrals based
upon student race and gender
(Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from http://

20. Doctoral dissertation, from the web 

Gazzah, M. (2008). Rhythms and rhymes of life: Music and identification processes of
Dutch-Moroccan youth (Doctoral dissertation, Amsterdam University). Retrieved
from http://public.eblib.com/EBLPublic/    

 21. Review of a video 

Rich, G., & Belic, R. (2012). A superbowl-level commercial for positive psychology:
Reflections on Roko Belic’s Happy.
PsycCRITIQUES, 57(9). http://dx.doi.org
Taylor, E., & Cronenberg, D. (2012). Did Jung really sleep with Sabina? [Review of
the film A Dangerous Method by D. Cronenberg, 2011].
  PsycCRITIQUES, 57(16). 
(If using 6th ed., use doi:10.245756.1345663) 
  • If the name of the video is not included in the review title, then include the pertinent information in brackets.
  • The name of the video or film is italicized.

22. Review of a video game, no author 

[Review of Pokemon Conquest, produced by Nintendo, 2012]. (n.d.). Retrieved from  
  • Since there is no title for the review, the information is provided in brackets.
  • The title of the video game is italicized. 

23. Peer commentary on an article 

Clopper, M. D. (2005). Multiple personality disorder and dissociative [Peer commentary
on the paper, "Multiple personality disorder: Fact or fiction?' by A. K. Cherry].
Retrieved from http:// www.personalityresearch.org/papers/cherry2.html

24. Video 

American Psychological Association (Producer). (2009). Helping skills in practice [DVD].
Available from
  •  Use Available from because the video can be ordered from the URL.

25. Video podcast 

Walt Disney Pictures, Pixar Animation Studios. (2006). Cars [Video podcast].
Retrieved from http://itunes.apple.com 
  •  Provide the home page URL because the video podcast is easy to locate at the iTunes site.

26. Speech recording 

Reagan, R. (1986, January 28). The Space Shuttle "Challenger" tragedy address [Audio
Retrieved from http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches

27. Interview recording  

Quan, E. (2010, June 3). Esther Quan oral history recordings and transcript -- Part 1 
(P.-F. Wang & C. Cox, Interviewers) [Audio file]. 
Retrieved from http://hdl.handle
  • When the interview is retrievable in some format (transcript, audio file, video), then include a citation in the reference list. (Quan, 2010).
  • Interviews that are not recoverable are only included as a text citation and formatted as a personal communication. (E. Quan, personal communication, June 3, 2010)

28. Transcription of an audio or video file (podcast, interview, speech, etc.) 

BBC Cassettes. (1980). 1971 BBC radio interview with J. R. R. Tolkien (D. Gerrolt,
Interviewer) [Interveiw transcript]. Retrieved from http://www.tolkienlibrary
National   Public Radio (Producer). (2011, April 22). Science diction: The origin of the word 'robot' [Podcast transcript]. Retrieved from http://www.npr.org/2011
  •  If the title does not make it clear to the reader what is being cited, provide a description of the form in brackets.
  • Provide the exact date when available since radio interviews and podcasts can occur frequently.
  • in the text, use (BBC, 1980) and (National Public Radio, 2011).

29. Streaming video (e.g., YouTube, Vimeo) 

PsycINFO.  (2012, June 12). Finding the tests in PsycTESTS via OvidSP [Video file]. 
Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XL3UbQPn7J8
  •  Use (PsycINFO, 2012) for the text citation. 

30. Data set  (Also see APA Style blog posting.)

U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2011). IPEDS
enrollment survey [Data file]. 
Retrieved from http://nces.ed.gov/forum

 Pew  Hispanic Center. (2008). 2007 Hispanic healthcare survey [Data file and code book].
Retrieved from http://pewhispanic.org/datasets/ 

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. (2012). National Survey on drug use and health, 2011 (ICPSR34481-v2) [Data set]. doi:10.3886/ICPSR34481.v2
  • List the author or rights holder of the data.
  • Italicize the title of the data set.
  • List the version if available.
  • Provide information about the form of the data in brackets. 
  • If a DOI number is available, include that instead of the location and publisher info. 

31. Measurement instrument

Juniper, E., & Styles, J. (n.d.). Asthma quality of life questionnaire. Unpublished
Available from http://www.qoltech.co.uk/

32. Software

QSR International. (2012). NVivo 10  [Computer software].  
Available from http://www.qsrinternational.com 
  • Do not italicize the name of software.
  • Provide information about the type of source in brackets. There should be no period between the version number and the bracketed information.

33. Mobile application software (app). group or corporate author


com. (2011). Kindle cloud reader [Mobile application
Retrieved from http://www.amazon.com


Play. (n.d.). Google translater [Mobile application software].
Retrieved from https://play.google.com/store/apps/ 

  •  Do not italicize the names of apps.

34. Mobile application software (app), game

American College of Physicians. (n.d.). Doctor's dilemma [Mobile application
Retrieved from http://ddm.acponline.org/ 

35. Test or inventory from the web  

Kincaid,   D., Childs, K., & George, H. (2010, March). School-wide benchmarks of
quality (Revised). Unpublished instrument. Retrieved from http://

Bass,   B. M., & Avolio, B. J. (2005). Multifactor leadership questionnaire.
Available from http://www.mindspring.com

Tunon, J., & Brydges, B. (2008). Subjective rubric [Software and training videos]. 
Unpublished instrument. Retrieved from http://www.nova.edu/fsehs
  • The title of a published instrument is italicized but not the title of an unpublished instrument.
  • Use Available from for items that cannot retrieved online but can be ordered from that site.

36. Test or inventory record retrieved from PsycTESTS database 

Juniper, E., & Styles, J. (n.d.). Asthma quality of life questionnaire. Unpublished
Available from http://www.qoltech.co.uk/ 

 37. Informally published or self-archived work 

Balduzzi, D. (2011). Information,learning,and falsification. Advanced in Neural
Information Processing Systems (NIPS).
Retrieved from http://philsci
  •  This journal article was archived in an institutional archive as a preprint version. You will want to update the citation once the article has been formally published.

38. Informally published or self-archived work, from ERIC 

Tunon, J., & Brydges, B. (2005). Improving the quality of university libraries through
citation mining and analysis using two new dissertation bibliometric assessment
Retrieved from ERIC database. (ED490802) 
  • The title of the document is italicized. Use the following wording: Retrieved from ERIC database instead of the URL.
  • Provide the ERIC Clearinghouse ID number in parentheses and do not provide a period after the parentheses.

39. Lecture notes or PowerPoint slides 


Child Left Behind: A new era in education [PowerPoint slides]. (n.d.).
Retrieved from the U.S. Department of Education website:  http://

  • When the author or name of the website is not obvious, include the name of the website in the retrieval statement.
  • No Child Left Behind is the proper name for a law so all of these words are capitalized in the PowerPoint title.
  • When the PowerPoint slides are not retrievable because they are in a password-protected environment like Blackboard, do not include a reference citation in your reference list. Only cite the information as a personal communication in the body of the paper.

40. Message posted to a newsgroup, online forum, or discussion group 

Seaman, G. (2005, June 6). Re: The commentary text in this section concentrates
entirely on copyright [Online forum comment]
 Retrieved from World 
International Property
Organization website: http://www.wipo.int/roller
  •  When the location of the discussion forum is not clear from the web address, then include the name of the site in the retrieval statement.

41. Message posted to an electronic mailing list 

McLeod, S. (2012, March 12). RE: CPS investigator caseloads Retrieved from the
National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect website:

42. Blog post 

Librarian in Black. (2013). Seven lessons learned while being The Man [Blog post]. 
Retrieved from http://librarianinblack.net/librarianinblack/2013/06
  •  When an author has adopted a screen name, use that name. In text citations, use (Librarian in Black, 2012).
  • APA does not start a title with a number so use Seven instead of 7.

43. Blog comment 

AMO.  (2012, June 14). RE: Seven lessons learned while being The Man: #2 [Blog
comment]. Retrieved from http://librarianinblack.net/librarianinblack/2012/06

44. Twitter update or tweet   See APA blog posting 

Obama, M. [MichelleObama]. (2013, June 18). Great teachers make the difference for
our kids. Stand with Educators for Obama: http://ofa.bo/vKsR41 [Tweet].
Retrieved from https://twitter.com/#!/MichelleObama
  •  The author's real name is provided first if known, followed by the screen name in brackets. Use (Obama, 2013) in the text. If you have reference to tweets by both Barack and Michelle Obama, then you will also need to include the two individuals' first initials to distinguish between the two.

45. Facebook page  See APA blog posting 

Alvin Sherman Library at Nova Southeastern University. (n.d.). Timeline [Facebook page].
Retrieved June 19, 2013, from http://www.facebook.com/AlvinShermanLibrary
  •  In the body, use (Alvin Sherman Library at Nova Southeastern University, n.d.) for a text citation. 
  • Include a retrieval date when you do not have a publication date. If the date can be reasonably be determined, then use ca. (circa) followed by the year in brackets instead of parentheses.  For example, [ca. 2013].    When you use ca. in the reference citation, format the text citation -- (Alvin Sherman Library at Nova Southeastern University, [ca. 2013]).

46. Google+ post  See APA blog posting

Gribben,  A. [Adrian Gribben]. (2013, October 27).   my name is isadrian and i cant walk or talk you can finf me on yahoo  [Google+ post]. 
Retrieved from https://plus.google.com/106866785097726017/181/posts/56030249596

    In the body, use (Gribben, 2013.) for a text citation.

47. Mobile apps  
                        See APA blog posting.

ArchTech Publishing. (2013). Horton Hatches an Egg [Mobile application software].
Retrieved from http://itunes.apple.com
  • The rightsholder goes in the author position, and the name of the program or software is provided as the title. If there is a version number provide it in parentheses before the bracketed information --  [Mobile application software]..
  • Include a retrieval date when you do not have a publication date.

Text Citations

See APA (6th ed.),  pp. 175-179

Use the author-date method of citation by inserting the surname of the author and the year of publication at the appropriate point in the text. Citations used in the body of your publication identify the source of information. In-text parenthetical citations are used to give credit to the authors whose ideas or thoughts are used within the document. These internal citations allow the reader to identify the source and locate the information being addressed. APA uses a system that includes the author’s last name and the year of publication. For example: (Small, 2009).  If there is a direct quote or a specific part of the work is being referred to, the page numbers are also included. For example, (Small, 2009, p. 23). Sources may include books and book chapters, journal or magazine articles, dissertations and theses, conference papers, government reports, films, websites, blogs and wikis, discussion boards, personal communications, and more.

Citations for Paraphrased Information   See APA manual (6th ed.)

Beginning of sentence:

 Krankenstein (2006) reported that empirical research was identified.

Middle of sentence

 After looking into the issue, Lynch (2007) quit. ·

End of sentence

The report concluded were victims of cyberterrorism (Windhorst, 2004).

Citations with direct quotes

- Author and quote together

Students needed "parental permission” (Abbott, 2005, p. 25).

The research found that the training built "sequentially and developmentally" (Jones & Ifill, 2010, Conclusions section, para. 6).

- Author and quote separated

Yi (2004) stated that the “IL Model needed to be implemented” (p. 34).

 Lee (2007) stated, “The data is unreliable” (Methods section, para. 4). 

Jonasen (2010) coined the term "frankenreference" (p. 22) to refer to scary reference citations.

Bischoff (2009) used the concept of "fair use" (Encyclopedia Britannica, p. 3250) in the context of the new geopolitical order.


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Cover Art
Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association - American Psychological Association Staff
ISBN: 1433805596
Publication Date: 2009-07-15
The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association is the style manual of choice for writers, editors, students, and educators in the social and behavioral sciences.


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This APA Style guide is specifically designed for graduate students who need in-depth help with the ins and outs of APA formatting!

See below for quick examples for APA citations. For APA beginners, you may prefer to use APA Basics.


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