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Psychology

APA style

Inline citations use a brief summary of the reference in the text (such as listing the author and date, or the author and title, or author and page) with the full reference stated at the end of the chapter or work.

This final list is called a reference list or bibliography.

Generally the full list of references will be in alphabetical order by the first author’s surname.

Inline styles are sometimes called the “Harvard” style as they were first used at Harvard in the 1880s. They are also called “Parenthetical” styles as they enclose the partial information in brackets.

The main referencing style used in Psychology is the American Psychological Association style or APA for short.  This is a Harvard style system using author/date formatting.  It is often called a parenthetical style with citations placed with parentheses or brackets.  See our tutorial on referencing and plagiarism for more information.

If you decide to reference manually,   the main Publication manual of the APA is available in the Library.  There are print copies of the 6th and the most recent 7th editions in the Library.  There are particular websites which are useful for APA support:

APA tutorials and videos

Academic Writer Tutorial - basics of 7th edition APA style

University of South Caroline Aiken APA library support pages (7th ed)

Excelsior College APA support pages

We have access to the ebook version of the APA 7th publication manual for the academic year 2020/1 so please make full use of it. 

Remember that in most databases you can use the cite feature within a record to copy the citation into your reference list.  However, you will still need to manually create the intext citation within your document. See a quick clip here on how this works (EBSCO) (min 1:12 -1:52)

You may decide to use a reference manager software to automatically reference your material. Examples include Zotero, Mendeley, Refworks and Endnote. The Library supports Endnote.  Please see our Endnote pages for download instructions and support information.

The Library tutorial on Endnote is available to view here

Additional links to proprietary guides from Endnote.com (Clarivate Analytics)

See these links to troubleshoot problems you may encounter using APA style in Endnote (courtesy of AUT university librarians).

Curtin Library Endnote pages are also very comprehensive.

Citation Example

We are going to see what a reference looks like using using the APA 6th and 7th edition styles. Here's the information we want to reference:

  • Reference Type: Journal Article
  • Authors: Adrian Stagg, Lindy Kimmins, and Nicholas Pavlovski
  • Year: 2013
  • Article Title: Academic style with substance: A collaborative screencasting project to support referencing skills
  • Journal Title: The Electronic Library
  • Volume: 31
  • Issue: 4
  • Pages: 452-464
  • DOI: 10.1108/el-01-2012-0005

APA 6th and 7th Compared

In the text, first example:

"As the global information landscape increasingly facilitates the sharing, re-purposing and dissemination of information, the ways in which students are accustomed to interacting with information resources are also changing" (Stagg, Kimmins, & Pavlovski, 2013).

In the text, later example:

"Referencing, like research and other academic learning skills, has often not been taught explicitly, or within a discipline context prior to tertiary education" (Stagg et al., 2013).

The APA has very specific rules regarding numbers of authors and using "et al.", how that is formatted, and so on. For an article with three authors, for example, in APA 6th it lists all three the first time it is mentioned but uses "et al." for subsequent mentions. This is something that is often incorrect in essays and theses.

Reference list:

Stagg, A., Kimmins, L., & Pavlovski, N. (2013). Academic style with substance: A collaborative screencasting project to support referencing skills. The Electronic Library, 31(4), 452-464. doi:10.1108/el-01-2012-0005

In the text, first example:

"As the global information landscape increasingly facilitates the sharing, re-purposing and dissemination of information, the ways in which students are accustomed to interacting with information resources are also changing" (Stagg et al., 2013).

In the text, later example:

"Referencing, like research and other academic learning skills, has often not been taught explicitly, or within a discipline context prior to tertiary education" (Stagg et al., 2013).

The APA has very specific rules regarding numbers of authors and using "et al.", how that is formatted, and so on. For an article with three authors, for example, in APA 7th it uses "et al." for all mentions in the text (but has a different rule for the reference list). This is a major change to previous editions.

Reference list:

Stagg, A., Kimmins, L., & Pavlovski, N. (2013). Academic style with substance: A collaborative screencasting project to support referencing skills. The Electronic Library, 31(4), 452-464. https://doi.org/10.1108/EL-01-2012-0005

Subject Librarian

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Geraldine Fitzgerald
Contact:
Mornings: 2nd Floor, Ussher Library
(01) 8963322
geraldine.fitzgerald@tcd.ie
Subjects: Education, Psychology