Students studying Psychology should use the American Psychology Association (APA) referencing style.

Guides to APA

Or, alternatively, the full print APA Publication Manual is available:

  • The 7th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association is available in the Library at shelfmark 808.066 PUB
The 7th edition of the APA manual has only recently been published with some different referencing rules. As of January 2020:

  • Years 1-3, students should use the 7th edition
  • Year 4, students can choose whether to continue using the 6th ed, or use the 7th ed.
A few of the key differences between the editions include:

  • place of publication is no longer required for books
  • citation rules have changed with regards to when to use et al.
  • all authors, up to 21, are named in the reference list entry
  • DOIs are formatted as URLs
  • 'Retrieved from:' is no longer required for website references.

Reference types

The following examples are formatted according to the 7th edition. See the APA 6th edition page for examples.

Books

An example of a book reference and citation would be:

In-text citation:

... (Cottrell, 2013).

You should include the author and year in brackets, linking multiple authors with &, eg:

  • ... (Corder & Arif, 2017).  

Or, if the author's name is already part of your sentence, only include the year in brackets linking multiple authors together with 'and', eg:

  • Research by Corder and Arif (2017) suggests...

Always include a page number in your citation if you have used a direct quotation eg "..." (Cottrell, 2013, p. 23).

Reference list:

Cottrell, S. (2013). The study skills handbook. Palgrave.

You must include each part of the reference, in the correct order, and with the correct formatting. Book references should be formatted:

Surname, Initial(s). (Year). Title of book. Publisher.

Each reference should have a hanging indent ie the first line should touch the left margin, but the rest of the reference should be indented.

Journal articles

An example of a journal article reference and citation would be:

In-text citation:

(Loes et al., 2015) 

Citations with 3 or more authors should name the 1st author followed by et al.

Reference list:

Loes, C. N., Salisbury, M. H. & Pascarella, E. T. (2015). Student perceptions of effective instruction and the development of critical thinking: A replication and extension. Higher Education, 69(5), 823-838. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10734-014-9807-0

Journal article references should be formatted:

Surname, Initial(s). (Year). 'Title of journal article', Title of Journal, volume(issue), page numbers. doi.

Only include the doi (digital object identifier) if one is available.

Each reference should have a hanging indent ie the first line should touch the left margin, but the rest of the reference should be indented.

Websites

An example of a website reference and citation would be:

In-text citation:

(Bowler, 2018)

If the webpage you're using doesn't have a named author, use the organisation name eg (BBC, 2018)

Reference list:

Bowler, T. (2018, Novemer 12). Can listening to bees help save them - and us? BBC. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-46131255 

Website references should be formatted:

Surname, Initial(s). (Year/Date). Title of page/document. Website name. URL

Where the author and the website name are the same, omit the website name, eg:

BBC. (2019, January 7). Bafta film awards 2020: Joker leads nominations amid diversity row. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-51009468

Each reference should have a hanging indent ie the first line should touch the left margin, but the rest of the reference should be indented.

FAQs

How many authors do I include in my citation and reference list?

Whether you're referencing a book or a journal article, you need to consider how many authors to include in your citation and reference list.

1 or 2 authors

First and all subsequent citations, name each author, eg:

(Gleason & Kalpidou, 2014) or Gleason and Kalpidou (2014)

Reference list, name each author, eg:

Gleason, T. R., & Kalpidou, M. (2014). Imaginary companions and young children's coping and competence. Social Development, 23(4), 820-839. doi:10.1111/sode.12078

3 or more authors

First and all subsequent citations, name the first author followed by et al. eg:

(Morris et al., 2011) or Morris et al. (2011)

Reference list, up to and inc. 20 authors, name each author, eg:

Morris, A. S., Silk, J. S., Morris, M. D. S., Steinberg, L., Aucoin, K. J., & Keyes, A. W. (2011). The influence of Mother–Child emotion regulation strategies on children's expression of anger and sadness. Developmental Psychology, 47(1), 213-225. doi:10.1037/a0021021

Reference list, 21 or more authors, name the first 19 authors,...then the last in a similar way to the following:

Eggum, N. D., Eisenberg, N., Reiser, M., Spinrad, T. L., Valiente, C., Sallquist, J., . . . Liew, J. (2012). Relations over time among children's shyness, emotionality, and internalizing problems. Social Development, 21(1), 109-129. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9507.2011.00618.x

How do I cite a citation from somebody else's work?

For example: the book you have read is by Mustard 2017, but Mustard refers to a work by Grover 2015 that makes a point you would like to use. This is called secondary referencing.

  • Ideally, source the original work by Grover and reference that as you would anything else
  • Alternatively, reference it as a secondary reference, eg

In-text citation: (Grover, 2015, as cited in Mustard, 2017) or Grover (2015, as cited in Mustard, 2017)

Reference list: Mustard, C. (2017). etc 

This way, your citation nods to the work that you want to use, but your reference list indicates the work you have actually read.

Secondary referencing is considered to be poor academic practice. Sometimes, however, it's just not possible to track down the original work, and the point you're trying to make is too important to miss it out. That's fine; just try to avoid too many secondary references.