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Citing Sources: APA Style

The following citation manuals and style guides provide the guidelines for formatting your paper and citing your resources.

About APA Style

APA (American Psychological Association) is most commonly used to cite sources within the social and behavioral sciences. The examples provided on this guide follow the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th edition, (third printing - 2010). They illustrate how to cite some of the most common business resources in a Reference List.

If you need help with in-text citations, or with citing a resource that is not covered here, please consult the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th ed., which is available at the Reference Desk and in the Reference Stacks.

We also highly recommend the Purdue Online Writing Lab's (OWL) APA Style Guide, which provides numerous examples for the general format of APA research papers, in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the reference page.

The APA Style Blog answers common questions and provides further explanations of APA style, including this useful discussion about the building blocks of The Generic Reference.

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th ed.
Reference BF76.7 .P83 2010

APA Style - Citing Online Business Resources using APA Style

APA Style - General Citation Examples

We highly recommend the Purdue web site that explain APA style guidelines and provide examples of APA documentation:

If you need more information about APA research paper formatting or documentation, the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association is the source to consult.  Copies of the Publication Manual are available at the Reference Desk and in the Reference Stacks.

APA Rules for Electronic Resources

Here a few general notes about the APA's rules for citing electronic resources, as well as our advice for following them.  

Online articles/reports from a library database or from the "free web" that have a DOI assigned:

  • APA calls for the use of DOI (Digital Object Identifier) when it is available. DOIs are used by some publishers to provide stable, long-lasting links for online articles. They are unique to their documents and consist of a alphanumeric code.  If a publisher of electronic information is using DOIs, you will likely find it printed on the first page of a journal article. When a DOI is used the URL is not required.

Online articles/reports from a library database that don't have a DOI assigned:

  • The APA states that it is not necessary to include database information in a citation because journal coverage in a database may change over time.  Instead, the APA calls for using the home page URL of the article/report publisher.  However, we advise that you cite an article retrieved from a library database the same way you would cite the print version of that article.  If the article is easily located, you do not need to include database information or a URL.
  • Database information may be included if the information is difficult to find. As you'll see in the examples we provide, we do recommend including database names for many business resources.  Furthermore, we recommend retrieval date information in those cases where the source material may change over time (e.g. ReferenceUSA company profiles, Morningstar stock quotes).

Online articles/reports from the "free web" that do not have DOI assigned:

  • Free online magazines, newspapers, newsletters and reports are not likely to have a DOI. In this case, include the publisher's home page URL in the citation.