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Provides resources, strategies and information on conducting research in nursing.

Why Cite?

  • Webpages expire, books and articles get lost, photographs and films degrade. Citations are necessary in order to assure that the next person would be able to access the same information through different means.
  • Citing is also important for credibility and building on research. You may have a good idea, but simply stating it does not make it true or believable. Give your ideas validity and support by citing established authors.
  • To avoid plagiarism - nothing is worse to an author than discovering their hard work has been stolen and claimed as original by someone else. Citations give authors their due credit.

Additional Help

Should you use APA 6th edition?

At the end of 2019, the American Psychological Association updated APA style from 6th to 7th edition.

As of Fall 2020, many School of Nursing courses have started using the new 7th edition.

If you are unsure which version to use, ask your professor!

This page is for the old 6th edition. For this guide's page about 7th edition, click here.


 In-text Citation:

  • Follow the author-date method of in-text citation. This means that the author's last name and the year of publication for the source should appear in the text, for example, (Jones, 1998), and a complete reference should appear in the reference list at the end of the paper.
  • If you are referring to an idea from another work but NOT directly quoting the material, or making reference to an entire book, article or other work, you only have to make reference to the author and year of publication and not the page number in your in-text reference. 


  • Your reference list should appear at the end of your paper. It provides the information necessary for a reader to locate and retrieve any source you cite in the body of the paper.
  • Each source you cite in the paper must appear in your reference list; likewise, each entry in the reference list must be cited in your text.

Purdue OWL: APA Formatting - The Basics

American Psychological Association 6th ed. Examples

Examples are taken from the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th edition, “Crediting Sources,” and “Reference Examples.”

Reference List

Arrange entries in alphabetical order by surname of the first author. For more than one work by the same author, arrange in date order, earliest first. One-author entries precede multiple-author entries beginning with the same surname.

Journals and other periodicals:

The general format for periodicals (items published on a regular basis, like newspapers, magazines, and journals): Author, A.A., Author, B.B., & Author, C.C. (year). Title of article. Title of Periodical, xx, pp-pp. doi:xx.xxxxxxxxxx Note: DOI refers to Digital Object Identifier; see “Electronic Journal Articles,” below. If a DOI is available, include it, for both print and electronic sources (Manual, Section 6.31). When there are up to seven authors, spell out all authors’ names; beyond that use ellipses before the last author’s name.

Print journal articles (Manual section 7.01)

Mellers, B. A. (2000). Choice and the relative pleasure of consequences. Psychological Bulletin, 126, 910-924.
Saywitz, K. J., Mannarino, A. P., Berliner, L., & Cohen J. A. (2000). Treatment for sexually abused children and adolescents. American Psychologist, 55, 1040-1049.

Online magazine articles (Manual section 7.01.8)

Douglas, S. J. (2009, November). Women reach a breaking point. In These Times, 33 (11). Retrieved from

Electronic journal articles

APA style requires the addition of a DOI – Digital Object Identifier – for electronic journal articles if one is available. (Most current journals articles and many historic articles found in PsycINFO will have a DOI.) (Note: your instructor may choose to have you do reference lists in a simpler format. Please check with them if you are not sure.) If retrieving an article from a private database (examples of private databases include library databases like ProQuest or PsycInfo), it is not necessary to include the database information in your reference. However, if there is no DOI available for a journal article, you should look up the home page URL of the journal and include it in your reference

DOI available (Manual section 6.31, and 7.01.1-2, 5) Ward, V. (2009). On Yoda, trouble, and transformation: The cultural context of therapy and supervision. Contemporary Family Therapy: An International Journal, 31(3), 171-176. doi:10.1007/s10591-009-9093-7.

No DOI Available – Include the journal’s homepage in the reference (Manual section 7.01.3-4)
Burwen, L., & Campbell, D. (1957). A comparison of test scores and role-playing behavior in assessing superior vs subordinate orientation. The Journal of Social Psychology, 46, 49-56.

No DOI, journal is online only (Manual section 7.01.3)
Cooper, A.A. & Humphreys, K.R. (2008). The uncertainty is killing me: self-triage decision making and information availability. E-Journal of Applied Psychology 4(1), 1-6. Retrieved from

Daily newspaper article, no author (Manual section 7.01.10)

New drug appears to sharply cut risk of death from heart failure. (1993, July 15). The Washington Post, p. A12.

Online newspaper article (Manual section 7.01.11)

Kever, J. (2009, December 16). New college graduates face a tough job market. Houston Chronicle. Retrieved from

Official Manual (catalog link)