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Bibliography Vs Reference List Apa Online

APA: General

General Rules for APA Format

Author Rules:

Authors should be alphabetized by the last name of the first author of each work. If you want to cite multiple articles by the same author, list entries in chronological order from earliest to most recent.

Works With No Authors

If there is no author given, begin your citation with the name of the primary source/article.


Global Warming. (2006). San Diego: Greenhaven Press.

Citing One Author

When citing authors, use the last name followed by the first initial and middle initial (if given).


Last, F. M.


Dickens, C.

Citing Two Authors

If you are citing more than one author, separate the authors by commas alphabetically. The first author should have their last name, first name and the additional authors should be cited simply with their first and last name.


Last, F. M., Last, F. M., Last, F. M., Last, F. M., Last, F. M., Last, F. M., et al.

Citing More Than Six Authors

If there are more than six authors, cite the first six and then write "et al."


Dickens, C. & Bellow, S.

Author as an Organization

Write the organization as the author.


New York State Association of Counties. (2009).

Contributor Rules


Sometimes the main contributor is not an author, but another contributor type, such as an editor or conductor. Follow the contributor by an abbreviation of the contributor type (i.e. Ed. or Cond.).

  • One editor:

    Smith, J. K. (Ed.). (Date). Title.

  • One conductor:

    Smith, J. K. (Cond). (Date). Title.

Note: If plural, then change the abbreviation accordingly.

  • Two editors:

    Smith, J. K., & Sampson, T. (Eds.). (Date). Title.

Date Rules

For a book

  • Place the year published information after the author information.

    Example: Bellow, S. (1999).

  • If there is no author, place the year published after the edition.

    Example: The Catcher in the Rye (1st ed.). (1951). Boston, MA: Little, Brown.

  • If the author information or edition/page number are not given, place the year published after the title of the piece.

    Example: The Catcher in the Rye. (1951). Boston, MA: Little, Brown.

Page Rules

  • Refer to a page with a "p."

    Example: p. 1

  • Numerous pages with a "pp."

    Example: pp.1-5

Style Rules

  • Italicize longer works including books and journals.
  • Do not italicize, underline, or put quotes around titles of short works, including journal articles or essays in edited collections.

Web Rules


APA 6 recommends to only cite the homepage URL, and only the exact URL if the page is not properly indexed or easy to find from the homepage. For blog posts, user contributed content, and discussion forums, APA 6 recommends including the exact URL.

Date Retrieved:

APA 6 recommends including it only if the source material may change over time. Also keep in mind that you can use "Available from" instead of "Retrieved from" when the URL leads to information on how to obtain the cited material rather than to the material itself.


If an article has a digital object identifier (DOI) number, you need only the DOI number, and no URL or retrieval date.

Sources Published Directly Online

Citing an Article from an Online Only Resource


Freidland, L. (2008, September 22). Top 10 natural and wildlife adventure travel trips. Retrieved from http://adventuretravel.about.com.

Citing an Entire Website with no Identifiable Electronic Publication Date


EasyBib.com. (n.d.). Retrieved June 22, 2009, from http://www.easybib.com

Citing an Article from an Online Only News Source


Chen, S. (2009, May 7). Growing up is hard with mom in prison. CNN. Retrieved http://www.cnn.com

Citing an Article from an Online Newspaper


Shorto, R. (2009, April 29). Going Dutch. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com


When citing online sources in APA, generally follow the same structure of its in print equivalent, and then follow this information with the date of access and the URL.

Citing an Online Only Journal


Glotzer, R., & Federlein, A. (2007). Miles that bind: Commuter marriage and family strength. Michigan Family Review, 12, 7-31. Retrieved June 22, 2009, from http://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/textidx?c=mfr;cc=mfr;q1=Miles%20that%20Bind;rgn=main;view=text;idno=4919087.0012.102


The above example has a poorly indexed URL and the material may change over time. Hence the URL is included.

Citing a Journal Article With a Digital Object Identifier


Oakley, R. (2004). How the mind hurts and heals the body.American Psychologist, 12(1), 25-47. doi: 10.1037/0003-066X.59.1.29.

Citing an Online-Only book


Eckel, B. (n.d.). Thinking in Java (3rd ed.). Retrieved from http://www.bruceeckel.com


Artist Last, First M. "Track Name." Recorded Month Date, Year. In Album Name By Writer First M. Last. Cond. Conductor First M. Last. Orch. First M. Last. Perf. First M. Last. Band/Group Name. Rec. Date Month Year. Producer First M. Last, Year. CD/MP3, MIDI, Cassette/Vinyl.


Lady Gaga Born This Way Rec. 2011. Vincent Herbert, 2011. CD.

Web Rules


Contributors. "Title." Website. Edition. Website Publisher, Date. Web. Date Accessed.

Sources Published Directly Online

Citing an Article from an Online Only Resource


Friedland, Lois. "Top 10 Natural and Wildlife Adventure Travel Tips." About.com New York Times Company, 22 Sept. 2008. Web. 25 Sept. 2008.

Citing an Entire Website with No Identifiable Electronic Publication Date


EasyBib.com ImagineEasy Solutions, n.d. Web. 8 May 2009.


Newspaper and magazine websites are considered non-periodical, directly published online sources even if they have in-print copies. Follow the published directly online format.

Citing an Article from an Online Only News Source


Chen, Stephanie. "Growing up is Hard with Mom in Prison." CNN.com Cable News Network, 7 May 2009. Web. 8 May 2009.

Citing an Article from an Online Newspaper


Shorto, Russell. "Going Dutch." New York Times New York Times, 3 May 2009. Web. 8 May 2009.

Citing an Online Only Journal


Glotzer, Richard and Anne Federlein. "Miles that Blind: Commuter Marriage and Family Strength." Michigan Family Review 12 (2007): 7-31. Web. 8 Apr. 2009.

Personal Website


Last name, First name. Page Cited. Web. Date Accessed.


Smith, Steve. Home Page. Web. 3 January 2013.

Publication information:

Sources Published Indirectly Online

As opposed to some sources published directly online (by a website), other sources may be originally in print, or in another medium, and found online. Cite these sources as you would in their original form, and then add the relevant web information (date accessed and URL).

Citing a Book Originally in Print Found Online


Catton, B. (2005). The Civil War. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. Retrieved from http://www.books.google.com

Citing a Newsletter Found Online With No Page Information


Puzzanchera, C. (2009, April). Juvenile arrests 2007. Juvenile Justice Bulletin. Retrieved from http://www.ncjrs.gov.

Citing a Video Found Online


West, K. (2009). Amazing [Online Video]. Roc-A-Fella Records. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=at4OQvNlxSw.


Because this is from a website with user generated content, the exact URL is included, instead of the homepage.

Citing a Painting Viewed Online


Picasso, P. (1921). Three musicians [Painting found in Museum of Modern Art, New York]. Retrieved from http://www.artquotes.net

Citing a Blog Post


Schonfled, E. (2009, September 13). Shutterfly buys Tiny Pictures for a tiny price. TechCrunch. Retrieved from http://www.techcrunch.com


Because blog posts are informally published, do not italicize the article titles.

Citing an Originally in Print Journal Article Found in a Database


Ahn, H., & Kim, K. (2008). Using genetic algorithms to optimize nearest neighbors for data mining. Annals of Operations Research, 263(1), 5-18. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier.


Sources found in online Databases typically have been published elsewhere. Include as much as the original publication information as possible.


DOI = digital object identifier

  • A DOI commonly identifies a journal articlebut it can also be found on other publication types including books.
  • All DOIs start with 10. and includes numbers and letters. Example: doi:10.1016/j.addbeh.2009.08.001
  • The DOI provides a permanent internet address for the item making it easy to locate.
  • You may search by DOI numbers in Library Search or http://dx.doi.org.ezproxy.aut.ac.nz to locate articles.

Doi in your reference list entry:

  • Always use the DOI if available (for print or online articles and books). 
  • No full stop at the end of a DOI. 


A new citing format for DOI was introduced by APA in March 2017. The new format includes https and the prefix doi.org: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.asw.2016.11.001


Oppenheimer, D., Zaromb, F., Pomerantz, J. R., Williams, J. C., & Park, Y. S. (2017). Improvement of writing skills during college: A multi-year cross-sectional and longitudinal study of undergraduate writing performance. Assessing Writing, 32, 12–27. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.asw.2016.11.001

Notes: the following old DOI styles are still acceptable:



If there is no DOI for a online journal article or an e-book, include a URL in your reference.

Use the URL of a journal home page for journal articles without DOI

  • Use the URL of the journal homepage, NOT the full URL of the article, in your reference.

Finding a journal homepage URL:

  • You could do a Google search for the journal title (within double quotation marks), e.g. "new zealand management magazine" to find the journal's homepage

  • Or, go to the Library database Ulrichsweb, search by the journal title or the journal's ISSN to find the journal record. On the journal record page, find the journal URL for your reference.

Journals without a home page and no DOI:

This can happen to some discontinued journals, or journals archived in an archival database only. 

  • Use the database home page URL in your reference. See the example in the following section.  


Use a URL of a library database:

Resources retrieved from a library database, without a DOI:

If you use electronic resources without DOI, such as an ebook or a data set or a journal without a website, from a library database, You are required to include the URL of the database homepage in your reference.

  • Do not use the full URL of the source that you retrieved from a database.



An ebook "Small town sustainability: economic, social,and environmental innovation".

The URL on the ebook page is:


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