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Bibliography Versus Reference Page Apa Book

| Books | Print Periodicals | Other Print Sources |
| Electronic (Web) Sources | Other Non-Print Sources | Citing Legal Materials |

Here are some specific examples that show you how to cite/format different types of sources in the APA style. The best approach to citing is to figure out what kind of source you have, then use a resource like this, the Purdue OWL's APA Formatting and Style Guide or the APA's Publication Manual (6th edition) to look up that kind of source and plug the bibliographic information from your source into that example. When it comes to creating a Reference list page, the nitty gritty details like capitalization, where you place the punctuation and word order matter, so make sure you're doing it all correctly. Article databases often have a tool that can create a citation for you and tools on the web such as EasyBib or Son of Citation Machine can also help you create a correctly formatted citation, but you may need to check a style guide to make sure the entry is correct.

Please note that the examples below are not correctly formatted with a hanging indent. To see how the sources listed below should look like in a correctly formatted Reference list page, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the References link.Citations pulled from the Purdue OWL APA Styleguide.

Citing Books:

Book citations in APA style generally require author name, publication year, work title, publication city, and publisher.

General book format:

Pollan, M. (2006). The omnivore's dilemma. New York, NY: Penguin Group.

Two or three authors:

Bell, C. & Cohn, A. (1968).

More than three authors:

Kernis, M.H., Cornell, D.P., Sun, C.R., Berry, A., Harlow, T. & Bach. J.S. (1993).

More than seven authors:

Kernis, M.H., Cornell, D.P., Sun, C.R., Berry, A., Harlow, T., Bach. J.S. . . .Last Author, N. (1993).

Corporate/Organization author:

American Psychological Association (2005).

Unknown Author:

Oxford essential world atlas. (2001).

Two or more works by the same author:

Slechty, P.C. (1997).

Slechty, P.C. (20010).

Author with an editor:

Poston, T. (2000). A draft history. K.A. Hauke, (Ed.).


Duncan, H.D. Introduction. In K. Burke, Permanence and Change: An Anatomy of Purpose (xiii-xliv). United States: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc.

Articles in Print Periodicals:

In APA periodical citation, authors are named by their last name, followed by initials; the publication year goes in parentheses and is followed by a period. The title of the article is written in sentence-case, so only the first word and proper nouns are capitalized. The periodical title is written in title case and then followed by the volume number, which with the title, is italicized or underlined. If a DOI number has been assigned to the article, include this after the page numbers for the article. If there's no DOI, and you are accessing the article online, include website URL where you found the article.

Author, A.A., Author, B.B., & Author, C.C. (Year). Title of article. Title of Periodical volume number (issue number), pages, doi:http://dx.doi.org/xx.xxx/yyyy.


Poniewozik, J. (2000, November). TV makes a too-close call. Time, 20, 70-71.

Journal paginated by issue:

Bachi, A. (1996). Conflicting nationalisms: The voice of the subaltern in Mahasweta Devi's Bashai Tudu. Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature 15(1), 41-50.

Article in a newspaper:

Unlike other periodicals, p. or pp. should precede page numbers for a newspaper reference in APA style. Single pages take p., (p. B2), and multiple pages take pp. (pp. C1, C3-C4).

Schulz, S. (2005, December 28). Calls made to strengthen state energy policies. The Country Today, pp. 1A, 2A.

Letter to the editor:

Mollen, G. (2002, August). Ripple versus rumbles [Letter to the editor]. Scientific American, 287(2), 12.

Other Print Sources:

Work Discussed in a Secondary Source:

Secondary sources should be listed in the reference list, but in the text of your paper, you'll want to name the original work and give a citation for the secondary source. For example if Seidenberg and McClelland's work is cited in Coltheart et al., but you didn't read Seidenberg, then list Coltheart, et al on the reference list.

Coltheart, M., Curtis, B., Atkins, P. & Haller, M. (1993). Models of reading aloud: Dual-route and parallel-distributed approaches. Psychological Review, 100, 589-608.

And do this for the in-text citation:

In Seidenberg and McClelland's study (as cited in Coltheart, Atkins, & Haller, 1993) . . .

Dissertation Abstract:

Yoshida, Y. (2001). Essays in urban transportation. Dissertation Abstracts International, 62, 7741A.

Dissertation, Published:

Lastname, F.N. (Year). Title of dissertation (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from Name of database. (Accession or Order Number).

Dissertation, Unpublished:

Lastname, F.N. (Year). Title of dissertation/ (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Name of Institution, Location.

Government Document:

National Institute of Mental Health. (1990). Clinical training in serious mental illness (DHHS Publication No. ADM 90-1679). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

Conference Proceedings:

Schnase, J.L., & Cunnius, E.L. (Eds.). (1995). Proceedings from CSCL '95: The First International Conference on Computer Support for Collaborative Learning. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Electronic Sources (Web Publications):

Note: When possible, include the year, month and date in references. If the month and date are not available, use the year of publication.

Article from an Online Periodical:

Follow the same guidelines for online articles as you did for printed articles. Include all information offered by the online journal, magazine or newspaper, including the issue number in parentheses.

Bernstein, M. (2002). 10 tips on writing the living Web. A List Apart: For People Who Make Websites, 149. Retrieved from http://www.alistapart.com/articles/writeliving

Online Scholarly Journal Article - Citing DOIs:

Note: The formatting recommendations for DOIs (Digital Object Identifier) changed in August of 2011. Now, the DOI is an alpha-numeric string that that is an active link. According the the APA Style Guide to Electronic References. 6th edition, you should use the DOI format used by the article. In other words, if the article has the old DOI format, use that; if it has the newer format, you should follow that particular format.

APA recommends providing a DOI when it's available instead of a URL, mainly because URLs may change over time. The use of DOIs is an attempt to provide stable, long-lasting links for online articles. They are unique to their document and consist of a long alpha-numeric code. Many, but not all, publishers provide the DOI on the first page of the document.

Brownlie, D. (2007). Toward effective poster presentations: An annotated bibliography. European Journal of Marketing, 41, 1245-1283. doi:10.1108/03090560710821161

Wooldridge, M.B., & Shapka, J. (2012). Playing with technology: Mother-toddler interaction scores lower during play with electronic toys. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 33(5), 211-218. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.appdev.2012.05.005

Article from an Online Periodical with no DOI Assigned:

Use the URL of the journal home page for online scholarly articles that don't have a DOI. The main goal of citation is to provide the reader with enough information that he/she can locate the article, so providing the URL of the journal home page will get the reader to where he/she needs to start looking.

Kenneth, I.A. (2000). A Buddhist response to the nature of human rights. Journal of Buddhist Ethics, 8. Retrieved from http://www.cac.psu.edu/jbe/twocont.html

Article from a Database:

According to APA, including database information in citations is not necessary because databases change over time (p. 192). You may or may not need to include the database information; if you don't know, ask your instructor. Some examples of reference page entries with the database information are included below.

If an article is available in print, but you obtain it through a database, you should provide the appropriate print citation information (i.e., format it just like you would an article from a print periodical). That way, someone can obtain the print version of the article if he/she doesn't have access to the particular database you used. You can also include the item number, accession number or database URL at the end, but APA says it's not required.

If the article is available in other places in addition to the database from which you obtained it, for example a journal or magazine, include the homepage's URL. You may need to do a web search to find the URL for the journal or magazine.

Provide database information for difficult to locate articles. For more about citing articles retrieved from online article databases, see pages 187-192 of the Publication Manual.

Smyth, A.M., Parker, A.L., & Pease, D.L. (2002). A study of enjoyment of peas. Journal of Abnormal Eating, 8(3), 120-125. Retrieved from http://www.articlehomepage.com/full/url

Newspaper Article:

Parker-Pope, T. (2008, May 6). Psychiatry handbook linked to drug industry. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://well.blogs.nytimes.com

Electronic Books:

Electronic books or e-books include books found on personal websites, databases or even those in audio form. Use the following format if the book you 're using is only provided in a digital format or is difficult to find in print. Use "Available from," rather than "Retrieved from," if the work isn't directly available online or if it must be purchased, and point readers to where they can find it. For books available in both print and electronic form, include the publish date in parentheses after the author's name. For references to e-book editions, be sure to include the type and version of the e-book you are referencing (e.g., "[iBooks version]"). Provide the DOI at the end of the reference is one is available.

De Huff, E.W. (n.d.) Taytay's tales: Traditional Pueblo Indian tales. Retrieved from http://digital.library.upenn.edu/women/dehuff/taytay/taytay.html

Davis, J. (n.d.). Familiar birdsongs of the Northwest. Available from http://www.powells.com/cgi-bin/biblio?inkey=1-9780931686108-0

Chapter/Section of a Web Document or Online Book Chapter:

Engelshcall, R.S. (1997). Module mod_rewrite: URL Rewriting Engine. In Apache HTTP Server Version 1.3 Documentation (Apache modules). Retrieved from http://httpd.apache.org/docs/1.3/mod/modrewrite.html

Peckinpaugh, J. (2003). Change in the Nineties. In J.S. Bough and G.B. DuBois (Eds.), A century of growth in America. Retrieved from GoldStar database.

Note: Use a chapter or section identifier and provide a URL that links directly to that chapter or section, not the URL to the home page of the Web site.

Online Book Reviews:

Cite the information normally would, but in brackets write "Review of the book" and give the title of the reviewed work. If the review is freely available to anyone, give the web address after the words "Retrieved from." But if the review is from a subscription service or database, say "Available from" and provide the information on where the review can be purchased.

Zacharek, S. (2008, April 27). Natural women [Review of the book Girls like us]. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/27/books/review/Zachareck-t.html?pagewanted=2

Castle G. (2007). New millenial Joyce [Review of the books Twenty-first Joyce, Joyce's critics: Transitions in reading and culture, and Joyce's messianism: Dante, negative existence and the messianic self]. Modern Fiction Studies, 50(1), 163-173. Available from Project MUSE Web site: http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/modern_fiction_studies/toc/mfs52.2.html

Dissertation/Thesis from a Database:

Biswas, S. (2008). Dopamine D3 receptor: A neuroprotective treatment target in Parkinson's disease. Retrieved from ProQuest Digital Dissertations. (AAT3295214)

Online Bibliographies and Annotated Bibliographies:

Jurgens, R. (2005). HIV/AIDS and HCV in Prisons: A Selected Annotated Bibliography. Retrieved from http://www.hc-sc-gc.ca/ahc-asc/alt_formats/hpb-dgps/pdf/intactiv/hiv-vih-aids-sida/prison/carceral_e.pdf

Graphic Data (Interactive Maps and Other Graphic Representations of Data):

Give the name of the researching organization followed by the date. Provide a brief explanation of what type of data is illustrated in the graphic in brackets and what form it's in. Also give the project name and retrieval information.

Solar Radiation and Climate Experiment, (2007). [Graph illustration of the SORCE Spectral Plot May 8, 2008]. Solar Spectral Data Access from the SIM, SOLSTICE and SPS Instruments. Retrieved from http://lasp.colorado.edu/cgi-bin/ion-p?page=input_data_for_spectra.ion

Online Interviews:

If you're not able to retrieve the interview in audio or print form, then cite the interview only in the text (not the reference list) and provide the month, day, and year in the text of your paper. If an audio file or transcript is available online then use the following model, making sure to specify the medium in brackets (for example: [Interview transcript. Interview audio file]).

Butler, C. (Interviewer) & Stevenson, R. (Interviewee). (1999). Oral History 2[Interview transcript]. Retrieved from Johnson Space Center Oral Histories Project Web site: http://www11.jsc.nasa.gov/history/oral_histories/oral_histories.htm

Online Lecture Notes and Presentation Slides:

When citing online lecture notes, provide the file format in brackets after the lecture title (for example: PowerPoint slides, Word document).

Hallam, A. Duality in consumer theory [PDF document]. Retrieved from Lecture Notes Online Web site: http://www.econ.iastate.edu/classes/econ501/Hallam/index.html

Roberts, K.F. (1998). Federal regulations of chemicals in the environment [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from http://siri.uvm.edu/ppt/40hrenv/index.html

Nonperiodical Web Document, Web page or Report:

Include as much of the following information as possible (you sometimes have to hunt around the website to find the information. Moving backward from the URL that where your information is located can help.)

Author, A.A., & Author, B.B. (Date of publication). Title of document. Retrieved from http://web.address

Angeli. E., Wagner, J., Lawrick, E., Moore, K., Anderson, M., Soderland, I. & Brizee, A. (2010, May 5). General format. Retrieved from http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/

Note: When there's more than one page to the Internet document, provide the URL to the homepage, or to the entry page for the document. And, if there's no date available, use (n.d.) for not date.


Don't include emails in the list of references, but do cite them parenthetically in the main text of your paper. (E. Robbins, personal communications, January 4, 2001).

Blog (Weblog) and Video Blog Post:

Include the title of the blog post and the URL. Note that titles for items in online communities (blogs, newsgroups, forums) are not italicized. Provide the screen name if there's no author.

J. Dean. (2008, May 7). When the self emerges: Is that me in the mirror? [Web log comment]. Retrieved from http://www.spring.org.uk/theIsstransport

Psychology Video Blog #3 [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqM90eQi5-M

Audio or Video Podcast:

For all podcasts, provide as much information as possible; not all of the following information will be available. (include identifiers such as Producer, Director, etc.)

Bell, T. & Phillips, T. (2008, May 6). A solar flare. Science @ NASA Podcast. Podcast retrieved from http://science.nasa.gov/podcast.htm

Scott, D. (Producer). (2007, January 5). The community college classroom [Episode 7]. Adventures in Education. Podcast retrieved from http//www.adveeducation.com

Other Non-Print Sources:

Interviews, Email and Other Personal Communication:

Don't include personal communication on your reference list. However, you should include a parenthetical citation inside the text of your paper including the person's name, the phrase "personal communication," and the date of the communication.

(E. Robbins, personal communication, January 4, 2001).

B.J. Jones also claimed that many of her students had difficulties with citing sources in general (personal communication, November 10, 2012).

Motion Picture:

Basic reference list format:

Producer, P.P. (Producer), & Director, D.D. (Director). (Date of publication). Title of motion picture [Motion picture]. Country of origin: Studio or distributor.

Note: If the video or motion picture isn't widely available, you should should also include the following information after the country of origin in the citation: (Available from Distributor name, full address and zip code).

A Motion Picture or Video Tape with International or National Availability:

Smith, J.D. (Producer), & Smithee, A.F. (Director). (2001). Really big disaster movie [Motion picture]. United States: Paramount Pictures.

Motion Picture or Video Tape with Limited Availability:

Harris, M. (Producer), & Turley, M.J. (Director). (2002). Writing labs: A history [Motion picture]. (Available from Purdue University Pictures, 500 Oval Drive, West Lafayette, IN 47907).

Television Broadcast or Series Episode:

Writer, WW. (Writer). & Director, D.D. (Director). (Date of publication). Title of episode [Television series episode]. In P. Producer (Producer), Series title. City, state of origin: Studio or distributor.

Wendy, S. W. (Writer), & Matian, I.R. (Director). (1986). The rising angel and the falling ape [Television series episode]. In D. Dude (Producer), Creatures and monsters. Los Angeles, CA: Belarus Studios.

Television Broadcast:

Important, I.M. (Producer). (1990, November 1). The nightly news hour [Television broadcast]. New York, NY: Central Broadcasting Service.

A Television Series:

Bellisario, D.L. (Producer). (1992). Exciting action show [Television series]. Hollywood: American Broadcasting Company.

Music Recording:

Songwriter. W.W. (Date of copyright). Title of song [Recorded by artist if different from song writer]. On Title of album [Medium of recording]. Location: Label. (Recording date if different from copyright date).

Taupin, B. (1975). Someone saved my life tonight [Recorded by Elton John]. On Captain fantastic and the brown dirt cowboy [CD]. London, England: Big Picture Music Limited.

See pages 209-210 of the APA Publication Manual 6th Edition for more information on citing audiovisual media.

Citing Legal Materials:

For information on citing legal sources on your reference list, see Citing Legal Materials in APA Style from the Westfield State University Library.

Reference list vs. bibliography

Reference lists (in MLA style called “lists of works cited”) contain a complete list of all the sources (books, journal articles, websites, etc.) that you have cited directly in a document. That means that if there are in-text citations for a source there is a reference list entry, and vice versa.

Bibliographies, on the other hand, contain all sources that you have used, whether they are directly cited or not. A bibliography includes sources that you have used to generate ideas or ‘read around’ a topic, but have not referred to directly in the body of the document.

Which to use

For most assignments at Massey University, you will be expected to provide only a reference list. If you have used any source in your assignment you are expected to say where you have used it by citing it directly.

Some assignments may require a reference list and a bibliography, or a bibliography in place of a reference list. If this is the case, you will be instructed to in your course materials. Some referencing styles (for example, Oxford style) always use a bibliography in place of a reference list. Some lecturers may use the term “bibliography” to mean a reference list, so if there is any uncertainty it's best to ask your lecturer.

Styles of reference list and bibliography

Annotated bibliographies

An annotated bibliography is a type of assignment that involves a list of sources, but also a summary and evaluation of each source's content and purpose. For more information, see annotated bibliography.

In publications

Books and other publications often distinguish between “selected” bibliographies and “full” bibliographies. Selected bibliographies only list a few of the most important works cited. Full bibliographies list every work cited and potentially other relevant sources. Again, you will be told directly if you need to do this.

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Last updated on 25 October, 2012

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