Like print sources, information obtained through an electronic resource must be documented. The



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Like print sources, information obtained through an electronic resource must be documented. The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 5th edition gives instruction on how to cite many different types of electronic resources. Updates to the APA Manual can be found at http://www.apastyle.org/elecref.html. Always verify this citation format with your instructor.



Full Text and abstracts from Subscription Databases

References for resources from online subscription databases such as Academic Search Premier, WilsonSelectPlus or Health & Wellness Resource Center follow the same format as those for the print versions, with information about the database added at the end. For instructions on citing abstracts, see the individual examples for CINAHL and MEDLINE.

Begin all references with as much information about the article as is available (i.e. author, date of print publication, title of the article, etc). Follow the guidelines below or see the separate handout, Citing Print Resources (APA Style) for more examples.


  • Author: give last names and initials for up to six authors. Abbreviate the seventh and subsequent authors as “et al.” The author may be a government department, committee or other organization.

  • Publication Date: depending on the document, the date should read like one of the following examples – (2001), (2991, June), or (2001, June 1). If there is no date use (n.d.). Follow the date with a period.

  • Title of article: capitalize only the first word of the title and subtitle, if any, and any proper nouns. Do not italicize the title or place it in quotation marks. Place descriptive information in brackets, such as [Editorial] or [Abstract].

  • Title of journal or magazine and publication information: capitalize important words in the title. Follow with a comma. Give the volume number, followed by a comma. Italicize the title and volume number (and commas). List the page numbers if given, followed by a period.

  • Editor and title of book or reference work and publication information: if an editor is given, list initials and last name followed by (Ed.) and a comma. Capitalize only the first word of the title and subtitle. Italicize the title and subtitle. Give volume number if applicable and pages if available in parentheses. Follow with publication information (city, state abbreviation and the publisher’s name).

  • Database Information: add a retrieval statement that includes the article’s retrieval date (in the format month dd, yyyy), the name of the database, and the word database.

  • Format: all references should be double spaced and in hanging indent format (i.e. the first line of the reference begins at the left margin while the second and subsequent lines are indented five spaces).

Author, A. (date). Title of article. [Descriptive information, if any] Title of Periodical, volume, pages if given. Retrieved [month dd, yyyy] from [name of database] database.


Author, A. (date). Title of article. In Title of Book (Vol. no, pages if given). City of publication, ST: Publisher. Retrieved [month dd, yyyy] from [name of database] database.


Academic ASAP

Sullivan, G. H. (1998). How to deal with an angry patient. RN, 61, 63-64. Retrieved July 19, 1999 from Academic ASAP database.



Academic Search Premier
Greyson, B. (2000). Dissociation in people who have near-death experiences: Out of their bodies or out of their minds? Lancet, 355, 460 4p. Retrieved March 29, 2000 from Academic Search Premier database.

Business Source Elite
Henderson, C. W. (2000, March 26). Antitumor immunity induced by indomethacin and cancer vaccine. Immunotherapy Weekly, 6, 2p. Retrieved March 29, 2000 from Business Source Elite database.

Biography Resource Center




Erik Erikson. (1998) In Encyclopedia of World Biography. Farmington Hills, MI: Gale Group. Retrieved April 4, 2000 from Biography Resource Center database.



Kimmel, M.S. (1988, June). Prophet of survival. Psychology Today, 22, 44(6). Retrieved April 4, 2000 fromBiography Resource Center database.



Contemporary Women’s Issues (see FirstSearch)
Rigby, K., Slee, P., & Cunningham, R. (1999). Effects of parenting on peer relations of Australian adolescents. Journal of Social Psychology, 139, 387+. Retrieved August 16, 1999 from Contemporary Women’s Issues database.

CQ Researcher (CQ Library)

New ADD diet study gives hope for non-drug alternatives to Ritalin. (1999, October 22). The CQ Researcher, 9, 905-928. Retrieved February 22, 2000 from CQ Researcher database.



Custom Newspapers

Carvell, M. (2001, February 19) Dale’s final lap\Daytona 500 death staggers friends, fans. Atlanta-Journal Constitution, p. C1. Retrieved February 20, 2001 Custom Newspapers database.


Health & Wellness Resource Center (GaleNet)
Frey, R. J. (1999). Personality disorders. In D. Olendorf, C. Jeryan, & K. Boyden (Eds.), Gale encyclopedia of medicine. Retrieved March 29, 2000 from Health & Wellness Resource Center database.
Pallikkathayil, L., Crighton, F. & Aaronson, L. S. (1998) Balancing ethical quandaries with scientific rigor. Western Journal of Nursing Research, 20, 501(7). Retrieved March 26, 2000 from Health & Wellness Resource Center database.
Position of the American Dietetic Association: functional foods. (1999). Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 99, 1278(8). Retrieved March 26, 2000 from Health & Wellness Resource Center database.


MEDLINE (example using an abstract)


Crum, R.M. & Pratt, L.A. (2001) Rick of heavy drinking and alcohol use disorders in social phobia: A prospective analysis. American Journal of Psychiatry, 158, 1693-1700. Abstract retrieved November 28, 2001 from MEDLINE database.
netLibrary (online book by one author and chapter in edited book)
Brockopp, D.Y. (1995) Fundamentals of nursing research [Electronic version]. Boston: Jones & Bartlett Publishers, Inc. Retrieved November 28, 2001 from netLibrary database.
Hogan, T.P. & Janisse, M.P. (1992) Canada. In V.S. Sexton & J.D. Hogan (Eds.), International Psychology [Electronic Version] (pp 63-74). Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. Retrieved November 28, 2001 from netLibrary database.

NewsBank Newsfile Collection

Weiss, R. (1999, April 19). Sixth sense: What your immune system knows. The Washington Post, p. A9. Retrieved March 30, 2000 from NewsBank Newsfile Collection database.



Orlando Sentinal

The truth: Detecting lies is tricky business. (2000 February 15) The Orlando Sentinel, p. E2. Retrieved March 30, 2000 from The Orlando Sentinel database.


SIRS Researcher
Cowley, G. (1998, July 27). Vaccine revolution. Newsweek, 48-49. Retrieved August 16, 1999 from Sirs Researcher database.

WilsonSelectPlus

Beals, K.A., Brey, R.A., & Gonyou, J.B. (1999). Understanding the female athlete triad: Eating disorders, amenorrhea, and osteoporosis. The Journal of School Health, 69 337-340. Retrieved March 29, 2000 from WilsonSelectPlus database.




Internet Sources

Documents found on the Internet share many of the same elements found in a print document (e.g., authors, titles, dates). Therefore, the citation for a web document follows a format similar to that for print, with some information omitted and some added. Include as many elements as are available in the following order:




  • Author: give last names and initials for up to six authors. Abbreviate the seventh and subsequent authors as “et al.” The author may be a government department, committee or other organization.

  • Date of publication: give as much detail as available, using the format (yyyy, Month dd).

  • Title of the web document: capitalize as you would for a comparable print document and italicize.

  • Title of online periodical: when the document is an article from an online periodical, add the periodical’s web title, followed by the volume number if proved, both italicized, and page numbers if provided, not italicized.

  • Volume, page and section numbers: these are rarely provided, but include them if available.

  • Retrieval Statement: Retrieved (month day, year) from (URL of the web site). Do not use a period after the URL.


For journal articles accessed through any of LSCC’s subscription databases (e.g., Gale Group, FirstSearch, etc.) see the formats earlier in this handout.


Citing an entire multi-page document created by a private organization
Nuffield Council on Bioethics (2001, November 14). Stem cell therapy: The ethical Issues. Retrieved January 17, 2002 from http://www.nuffieldbioethics.org/publications/pp_0000000007.asp
Citing a chapter or section of a multi-page document
When citing a single named or numbered part of a document, give that name and/or number and a direct URL if available.
Thomas Jefferson Monticello Foundation, Research Committee on Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemmings. (2000, January). Assessment of DNA Study. In Report of the Research Committee on Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemmings (section II). Retrieved January 17, 2002, from http://www.monticello.org/plantation/dnareport2.html

Citing an online book (For books from the netLibrary database, see the examples in the database section above.)

Robinson, Paul. (1993). Freud and His Critics [Electronic version]. Berkeley: University of California Press. Retrieved November 28, 2001 from http://escholarship.cdlib.org/ucpress/robinson.xml



Citing a chapter from an online book (For books from the netLibrary database, see the previous section.)
To set a chapter from an online book, site the author of the chapter, followed by “In” and the editor’s name and/or the title of the book. If no page numbers are available, use the section or chapter number.

Tell, T. (2000). Guns, gold and grain: War and food supply in the making of Transjordan [Electronic version]. In S. Heydemann (Ed., War, institutions, and social change in the Middle East (chap. 2). Berkeley: University of California Press. Retrieved November 28, 2001 from http://escholarship.cdlib.org/uspress/heydemann.xml



Citing an article from a reference database
Texas. (2001) The Columbia encyclopedia, 6th ed [Electronic version]. Retrieved December 4, 2001 from http://www.bartleby.com/65/te/Texas.html
Burke, M.A. (1990) Distance education and the changing role of the library media specialist. Retrieved July 6, 2000 from http://www.ed.gov/databases/ERIC_Digests/ed327221.html
Citing a government site
For government the author is the office that produced the information. If it is not well known, also give the higher office under which it falls. The higher office would come first in the citation.
Centers for Disease Control. (2001). Flu facts for everyone. Retrieved December 5, 2001 from http://www.cdc.gov/nip/flu/Public.htm
Department of Health and Human Services. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. (2001, June). Food allergy and intolerances. Retrieved December 5, 2001 from http://www.niaid.nih.gov/factsheets/food.htm
Citing articles from an Internet-only journal or magazine
Badzedk, L.A., Mitchell, K., Marra, E.E., & Bower, M.M. (1988, December 13). Administrative ethics and confidentiality/privacy issues. Online Journal of Issues in Nursing. Retrieved November 28, 2001 from http://www.nursingworld.org/ojin/topic8/topic8_2.htm

Citing articles from an online journal or magazine based on a print source
Wills, T.A., Sandy, J.M., Yaeger, A., & Shinar, O. (2001, May). Family risk factors and adolescent substance use: Moderation effects for temperament dimensions [Electronic version]. Developmental Psychology, 37, 238-297. Retrieved November 28, 2001 from http://www.apa.org/journals/dev/dev373283.html

Citing email communications

Email communications from individuals should be cited as personal communications, (APA Manual 5th ed., p. 214).

Use the following format to cite the e-mail in the text of the manuscript. Do not include it in the reference list.

L. A. Chafez (personal communication, March 28, 1997).



Adapted from Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 5th ed. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2001.



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