April 12, 2017

How to Alphabetize a Number

Chelsea blog 2 by Chelsea Lee

If a reference list entry begins with a number (as might be the case for a reference with no author), you should alphabetize the entry in the reference list as though the number were spelled out. So in the following example, the reference that begins with 50 would be alphabetized as though 50 were written fifty.

Farthing, T., & Oates, P. P. (2010). The compendium of kittens (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Cat Press.

50 ways to improve your life with cats. (2017). Retrieved from http://www.catimprovement.com/50ways

French, J. S. (2015). Purr-fect: A book about cats. New York, NY: Cat Press.

For numbers that represent years, use the way the year is commonly said to alphabetize the reference. For example, a reference beginning with 1984 would be alphabetized as though it were written nineteen eighty-four, not one thousand nine hundred eighty-four.

In the text, cite references beginning with a number with the first two pieces of the reference list entry: here, that's the title and the year because the reference has no author. If the title in the reference list is nonitalic, put the title in double quotation marks in the in-text citation and captialize it using title case; if the title in the reference list is italic, keep the title in italics in the in-text citation and capitalize it using title case. If the title is long, you can use just the first few words.

Example in-text citation: ("50 Ways," 2017)

 Got other numerical alphabetization questions? Ask away in the comments section.


March 29, 2017

How to Create References When Words in the Title Are Italicized

Timothy McAdooby Timothy McAdoo

Although the title of a journal article or book chapter is not usually italicized, sometimes words within the title may be italicized. These include book or movie titles, letters or words as linguistic examples, statistics, scientific names for animals, and other items that would be italicized in text, per APA Style guidelines.


Corballis, M. C., & McLaren, R. (1984). Winding one's Ps and Qs: Mental rotation and mirror-image discrimination. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 10, 318–327. https://doi.org/10.1037/0096-1523.10.2.318
Foulkes, D. (1994). The interpretation of dreams and the scientific study of dreaming. Dreaming, 4, 82–85. https://doi.org/10.1037/h0094402
Lai, J., Fidler, F., & Cummings, G. (2015). Subjective p intervals: Researchers underestimate the variability of p values over replication. Methodology, 8, 51–62. https://doi.org/10.1027/1614-2241/a000037
Yoder, A. M., Widen, S. C., & Russell, J. A. (2016). The word disgust may refer to more than one emotion. Emotion, 16, 301–308. https://doi.org/10.1037/emo0000118

If the title of the work is already italicized, as with a reference for a book, report, or dissertation or thesis, then the item that would otherwise be italicized is reverse italicized (meaning that it is in roman type within an otherwise italicized title).


Blaylock, B. (2015). Coming of age: The narrative of adolescence in David Almond’s Kit’s wilderness and Nick Lake’s In darkness (Master’s thesis). Retrieved from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database. (UMI No. 10000726)
Reichenberg, L. (2013). DSM–5 essentials: The savvy clinician’s guide to the changes in criteria. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.


March 15, 2017

How to Cite a Corrected Journal Article

Chelsea blog 2 by Chelsea Lee

Mistakes sometimes make their way into published articles. When these mistakes are discovered, they must be disclosed to the community of scholars so that other researchers do not draw conclusions from false premises. If the error is relatively minor (e.g., mistakes in values of a table that do not impact the results of analyses), the online version of the article is usually corrected so that online readers only ever see the correct version. The article will carry a notice that it has been corrected, and the journal will also publish a separate correction notice describing the nature of the error. If the errors are far reaching, the publisher will retract the article and, depending on the reason for the errors, may publish a replacement corrected version. It is possible to cite the retracted version of the article (e.g., to discuss that it was retracted), and in this post I will explain how to cite a corrected version of an article.

Citing a Corrected (But Not Republished) Article

To cite an article that has been corrected, simply provide the publication details as you would to cite any other journal article. Readers will discover the existence and nature of the corrections when they visit the article.

Haataja, A., Ahtola, A., Poskiparta, E., & Salmivalli, C. (2015). A process view on implementing an antibullying curriculum: How teachers differ and what explains the variation. School Psychology Quarterly, 30, 564–576. https://doi.org/10.1037/spq0000121 
  • In text: (Haataja, Ahtola, Poskiparta, & Salmivalli, 2015).

Citing a Retracted, Corrected, and Republished Article

To cite an article that has been republished in a corrected version, provide the publication details for the corrected version as you would to cite any other journal article. Often times the authors will include the words “corrected version” or similar in the title to alert readers as to the corrected nature of the article, but if these words are not present in the corrected version, do not add them or make other notations.

Kullgren, K. A., Tsang, K. K., Ernst, M. M., Carter, B. D., Scott, E. L., & Sullivan, S. K. (2015). Inpatient pediatric psychology consultation-liaison practice survey: Corrected version. Clinical Practice in Pediatric Psychology, 3, 340–351. https://doi.org/10.1037/cpp0000114 
  • In text: (Kullgren et al., 2015).

Citing a Correction Notice

It is possible to cite a correction notice as well, and the format follows the regular format for a journal article reference. Here is an example:

Elliott, E., & Leach, A.-M. (2016). Correction to Elliott and Leach (2016). Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 23, 99. https://doi.org/10.1037/xap00001214
  • In text: (Elliott & Leach, 2016)

Citing Both Retracted and Corrected Versions of an Article

If you want to cite both an original article that has been retracted and its corrected version, create two separate references. Use the format described in this post for the retracted article.

If both the retracted and corrected articles would have the same in-text citation (by virtue of having the same authors and year of publication), put lowercase letters after the year to distinguish the two, as described in this post on reference twins. (Of course, if the retracted and corrected versions were published in different years, this is not a problem.)

Do you have other questions about citing corrected articles? Leave a comment below.


March 01, 2017

DOI Display Guidelines Update (March 2017)

Timothy McAdooby Timothy McAdoo

Do you know Crossref? Crossref is an organization “working to make content easy to find, link, cite, and assess” (Crossref, 2016). One of their services is to register digital object identifiers (DOIs), and we follow their guidelines for display of DOIs.DOI image-sm

Effective March 2017, Crossref has updated their DOI display guidelines, in part to ensure security (with https). For more details, see https://www.crossref.org/display-guidelines/ and https://www.crossref.org/blog/new-crossref-doi-display-guidelines-are-on-the-way/

Their new recommended format looks like this:


And here’s how that looks in an APA Style reference:

Morey, C. C., Cong, Y., Zheng, Y., Price, M., & Morey, R. D. (2015). The color-sharing bonus: Roles of perceptual organization and attentive processes in visual working memory. Archives of Scientific Psychology, 3, 18–29. https://doi.org/10.1037/arc0000014

Note the secure https and the simple url prefix doi.org.

Although we recommend moving to the new format, in APA Style manuscripts, we will be accepting the older formats (doi:10.1037/arc0000014 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/arc0000014) or the new format (https://doi.org/10.1037/arc0000014).

We recommend that you pick one format to use consistently throughout a reference list.

We will begin using the new format in our examples on this blog from this point forward. But, to clarify, in your manuscripts or papers, all of the following are currently considered correct APA Style:


Crossref. (2016). Annual report 15–16. Retrieved from https://www.crossref.org/pdfs/annual-report-2015-16.pdf

February 15, 2017

How to Format Scientific Names of Animals

Timothy McAdooby Timothy McAdoo

When an animal name is part of a journal article title, it is conventional to provide the animal’s scientific name (genus and species). Genus is always capitalized and species is not. Notice that the scientific names are also italicized (see examples on p. 105 of the APA Publication Manual).

For example, see the following articles from APA Journals:

Journal of Comparative Psychology article: Dogs (Canis familiaris) Account for Body Orientation but Not Visual Barriers When Responding to Pointing Gestures Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Learning and Cognition: Control of Working Memory in Rhesus Monkeys (Macaca mulatta)

This convention of including the scientific name in the paper’s title is not an APA Style guideline specified in the manual; however, it is an accepted norm of scientific research. (If you have any questions about whether to include the scientific name in your paper or manuscript, ask your teacher, advisor, or editor.)

So, if you cite an article that includes a genus and species in the title, how should the title appear in your reference list? Keep the italics and capitalization of the animal’s scientific name exactly as they appear in the original title:

MacLean, E. L., Krupenye, C., & Hare, B. (2014). Dogs (Canis familiaris) account for body orientation but not visual barriers when responding to pointing gestures. Journal of Comparative Psychology, 128, 285–297. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0035742
Tu, H.-W., & Hampton, R. R. (2014). Control of working memory in rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta). Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Learning and Cognition, 40, 467–476. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/xan0000030

February 01, 2017

How to Cite the UpToDate Database in APA Style

Chelsea blog 2 by Chelsea Lee

The UpToDate database contains peer-reviewed medical articles that are periodically updated by experts in the field; as such, it is a popular source for writers to cite in APA Style.

Cite an article from UpToDate like you would an entry in an online reference work or chapter in an edited book. Here is an example citation:

Williams, J., & Nieuwsma, J. (2016). Screening for depression in adults. In J. A. Melin (Ed.), UpToDate. Retrieved February 1, 2017, from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/screening-for-depression-in-adults

  • In text: (Williams & Nieuwsma, 2016).

Here are some notes about the components of the reference:

  • Use the authors of the article as the authors in the reference.
  • For the year in the reference, use the year listed after “this topic last updated.”
  • For the title, use the title of the article.
  • Use the name of the deputy editor(s) for the article as the editor(s) of the reference work. Section editors do not need to be listed in the reference.
  • Write UpToDate in italics as the name of the reference work.
  • Provide a retrieval date because the content will change over time.
  • Provide a URL for retrieval of the article.

 Do you have additional questions about citing the UpToDate database? Leave a comment below.

Uptodate logo

January 26, 2017

How to Cite a Twitter Moment

Timothy McAdooby Timothy McAdoo

With Twitter moments, introduced last year, anyone can collect related tweets in one page.

These are easy to cite because Twitter provides all the necessary information—who (Twitter username), when (date), what (title), and where (URL)!




APA Style [APA_Style]. (2016, November 15). Research and writing [Twitter moment]. Retrieved from https://twitter.com/i/moments/801080248762847234

In-text citation: (APA Style, 2016) or APA Style (2016).


Reuters Top News [Reuters]. (2016, November 1). Inside David Bowie's art collection [Twitter moment]. Retrieved from https://twitter.com/i/moments/793575609028915200

In-text citation: (Reuters Top News, 2016) or Reuters Top News (2016).

If you need more help citing social media, see our posts about tweets, Facebook status updates, hashtags, and more!

January 04, 2017

How to Cite Quality Standards and Guidelines in APA Style

Chelsea blog 2
by Chelsea Lee

To cite a quality standard or guideline in APA Style, provide the author, date, title, and source of the work. After the title of the work, provide any number or identifier for the standard in parentheses without italics. Here is a template for citing a standard:


Reference list: Organization That Made the Standard. (year). Title of the standard (Standard No. 1234). Retrieved from http://xxxxx

In text: (Organization That Made the Standard, year).

The only exception is if the standard appears in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), because federal standards are considered legal references and follow legal style; directions for citing standards in the CFR are at the end of this post.

Here are some examples of typical standard citations and their corresponding in-text citations. Note that most of the organizations that publish standards commonly go by acronyms (e.g., OSHA for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration). The acronym is optional to use. If you do use the acronym, use it in the text only, not in the reference list entry. Spell out the name of the group the first time you cite the work and provide the acronym either in parentheses or brackets (depending on whether the written-out form is already in parentheses); for any subsequent citations or mentions, use the acronym. If you use multiple works by the same group, you only need to introduce the acronym once. How to introduce the acronym is also shown in the example citations below.

ISO Standards

International Organization for Standardization. (2016). Occupational health and safety management systems—Requirements with guidance for use (ISO/DIS Standard No. 45001). Retrieved from http://www.iso.org/iso/catalogue_detail?csnumber=63787

  • In text, first citation: (International Organization for Standardization [ISO], 2016) or International Organization for Standardization (ISO, 2016).
  • In text, subsequent citations: (ISO, 2016) or ISO (2016).

OSHA Standards

Occupational Safety and Health Administration. (1970). Occupational safety and health standards: Occupational health and environmental control (Standard No. 1910.95). Retrieved from https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=STANDARDS&p_id=9735
  • In text, first citation: (Occupational Safety and Health Administration [OSHA], 1970) or Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA, 1970).
  • In text, subsequent citations: (OSHA, 1970) or OSHA (1970).
  • Note that the date for an OSHA standard should be the effective date; for most standards, this is 1970. If you are citing multiple OSHA standards, create separate reference list entries for each one and differentiate them by using lowercase letters after the year (e.g., OSHA, 1970a, 1970b), as described in this post on “reference twins.”

NICE Guidelines

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. (2013). Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (NICE Quality Standard No. 39). Retrieved from https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/qs39
  • In text, first citation: (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence [NICE], 2013) or National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE, 2013).
  • In text, subsequent citations: (NICE, 2013) or NICE (2013).

Standard Published as a Federal Regulation

Designation of Uses for the Establishment of Water Quality Standards, 40 C.F.R. § 131.10 (2015).
  • In text: (Designation of Uses for the Establishment of Water Quality Standards, 2015) or Designation of Uses for the Establishment of Water Quality Standards (2015).
  • For more information on citing federal regulations, see Section A7.06 of the Publication Manual (p. 223).

The template shown at the beginning of this post should cover all types of quality standards you might want to cite in APA Style, but if you have further questions, leave a comment below!


December 19, 2016

How to Cite a YouTube Channel

Timothy McAdooby Timothy McAdoo

Dear APA Style Experts: I know you can create a reference to a YouTube video, but is it possible to cite an entire YouTube channel?

—Zeynep L.

Yes! A reference to a YouTube channel follows the usual who (YouTube username), when (date), what (title), and where (URL) format:


PsycINFO. (n.d.). Home [YouTube Channel]. Retrieved from http://youtube.com/PsycINFO

In-text citation:

PsycINFO (n.d.) or (PsycINFO, n.d.)

In this example,

Who = "PsycINFO.": Use the username shown in the "Who" section, as indicated in the image below.

When = "n.d." because YouTube channels are undated.

What = "Home [YouTube Channel]": As you can see below, every YouTube channel’s title is "Home" by default unless you are citing one of the other tabs (Videos, Playlists, Channels, Discussion, About) on the channel. If so, just substitute that tab’s name.

Where = "Retrieved from http://youtube.com/PsycINFO"

YouTube Channel graphic

November 30, 2016

Writing Website In-Text Citations and References

Dear Style Expert,

I found a very useful website and cited a lot of information from it in my paper. But how do I write an in-text citation for content I found on a website? Do I just put the URL in the sentence where I cite the information?




Dear Wallace,

This is a tricky question, but we can help! The short answer is that in most cases no, you do not put the URL in the text of the paper. In fact, the only time you would put a URL in the text would be to simply mention a website in passing. Because you’re citing specific information, you will need to write a regular APA Style author–date citation. Luckily, writing the in-text citation for a website or webpage is easy: Simply include the author and year of publication. The URL goes in the corresponding reference list entry (and yes, you can leave the links live).

Website Example 

In-text citation:

The American Nurses Association (2006) issued a position statement insisting that pharmaceutical companies immediately cease using thimerosal as a vaccine preservative.


Reference list:

American Nurses Association. (2006). Mercury in vaccines [Position statement]. Retrieved from http://nursingworld.org/MainMenuCategories/Policy-Advocacy/Positions-and-Resolutions/ANAPositionStatements/Archives/Mercury-in-Vaccines.html

Note that the title of the website or webpage should be italicized in the reference list if the work on the page stands alone but not italicized if it is part of a greater whole (if this is ambiguous on the source, just choose what you think makes the most sense for the situation). In deciding how to categorize material on a website for a reference, it may be helpful to consider whether what is on the website is similar to an existing category of document type—for example, this reference is a position statement, which is similar to a press release, white paper, or report; hence the italic title. To clarify the document type, you can also specify the format in brackets after the title. 

Determining Website Authors

It can be confusing to determine who the author of a website or webpage is. Often, the author is a group or agency rather than a particular individual. For example, the author of the position statement cited above is the American Nurses Association. If the website or webpage truly does not have an author, substitute the title of the page for the author in the in-text citation and reference list entry (see this post on missing reference pieces for examples of how to do this).

Determining Website Dates

A second source of confusion is that many websites or webpages do not include publication dates. If no date of publication is provided, use the letters n.d. (which stand for “no date”). The copyright date on the website itself should not be used as the publication date for particular content on that site.

If multiple dates are provided, use the most recent date on which the content was changed. For example, if the site says the content was first published in 2010 and last updated on August 6, 2016, then use the date 2016 in the in-text citation and reference list. However, if the site says it was first published in 2010 and last reviewed in July 2016, then use the date 2010 because a review does not imply that any information was changed.

Multiple Website Citations

If you use information from multiple pages on a website, create a separate reference list entry for each page, with in-text citations that correspond to the appropriate reference list entry. It is common for writers to have multiple entries with the same author and year, so to differentiate these entries, use a letter after the year (e.g., 2016a) or after n.d. (e.g., n.d.-a; more examples here), assigning the letter by putting the references in alphabetical order by title in the reference list. Put references with no date before references with dates, and put in-press references last.

Multiple reference list entries:

American Nurses Association. (n.d.). Know your disaster. Retrieved from http://nursingworld.org/MainMenuCategories/WorkplaceSafety/Healthy-Work-Environment/DPR/KnowYourDisaster  

American Nurses Association. (1991a). Equipment/safety procedures to prevent transmission of bloodborne diseases [Position statement]. Retrieved from http://nursingworld.org/MainMenuCategories/Policy-Advocacy/Positions-and-Resolutions/ANAPositionStatements/Position-Statements-Alphabetically/EquipmentSafety-Procedures-to-Prevent-Transmission-of-Bloodborne-Diseases.html

American Nurses Association. (1991b). Post-exposure programs in the event of occupational exposure to HIV/HBV [Position statement]. Retrieved from http://nursingworld.org/MainMenuCategories/Policy-Advocacy/Positions-and-Resolutions/ANAPositionStatements/Position-Statements-Alphabetically/Post-Exposure-Programs-in-the-Event-of-Occupational-Exposure-to-HIVHBV.html

American Nurses Association. (2015). Academic progression to meet the needs of the registered nurse, the health care consumer, and the U.S. health care system [Position statement]. Retrieved from http://nursingworld.org/MainMenuCategories/Policy-Advocacy/Positions-and-Resolutions/ANAPositionStatements/Position-Statements-Alphabetically/Academic-Progression-to-Meet-Needs-of-RN.html

In text, you can cite these references separately as usual (e.g., American Nurses Association, 1991b), or you can combine citations with the same author if desired. Simply state the author once and then provide the years of the applicable references in chronological order, separated by commas. 

Combined in-text citations:

American Nurses Association (n.d., 1991a, 1991b, 2015)

(American Nurses Association, n.d., 1991a, 1991b, 2015)

Do you have more questions about how to create in-text citations for content from websites or webpages? Leave a comment below.


—Chelsea Lee

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