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 https://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.
- 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).
- 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.”
- 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!