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APA (7th Edition) Referencing Guide

Guide to APA citation style using the 7th Edition of the APA Style Manual.

The Generic Reference

Documents that are not formally published or do not neatly fit into another category can be cited using the Generic reference.

In the Generic reference, you include however much detail is available to try to fill in the pattern, but you might not have all of the information. Where necessary, the description fields can assist with clarification.


Author A. A. (Description of creator's role, or extra information, if necessary). (Date). Title of document (identifying number, if available) [Description of material]. Publisher. DOI or URL if accessible


Fire Protection Association Australia. (2013, August). Portable fire extinguisher card [Reference card].

GlaxoSmithKline. (2017). Panadol Optizorb caplets: Panadol Optizorb tablest: Consumer medicine information. [Product information packaging insert].

James Cook University Library. (2023, August 21). TVL opening procedure checklist [Procedure document]. James Cook University.

Keenan, V. (ca. 2023). Drawing you in: Carl Lumholtz in the Herbert [Brochure]. Flying Arts Alliance.

Queensland Health. (n.d.). [Wound care instructions handout].

Yes23. (ca. 2023). It's time to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Constitution through a Voice [Pamplet]. Australians for Indigenous Constitutional Recognition.

In Text

Water based fire extinguishers can be dangerous if used on flammable liquids (Fire Protection Association Australia, 2013).

GlaxoSmithKline (2017) caution that people taking Panadol tablets regularly may need to limit their alcohol consumption.

On weekends, staff are to check the automatic doors have engaged by walking towards them (James Cook University Library, 2023).

Twenty of the mammals collected by Lumholtz are now on the Red List (Keenan, ca. 2023).

Out patients are to make an appointment with their on GP to have the stitches removed (Queensland Health, n.d.).

Yes23 (ca. 2023) stated that over 80% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples supported the constitutional recognition through a Voice to Parliament.

Notes:  There will be occasions that not all the information required for a reference is available - skip any missing information.

  • If there is no date, use the abbreviation n.d. (for "no date").
  • If the date is known, but not recorded on the document, use ca. (for "circa") in front of the date (ca. 2023).
  • If the resource has no title, skip the title and give a more informative description in the [square brackets].
  • The description of the material should be as succinct and accurate as you can make it, in order to give the reader the best idea of what the material is without taking up too much space.
  • When the publisher is the same as the author, omit the publisher name from the reference.
  • If the resource is a print source, or the URL cannot be accessed by anyone outside of the organisation, omit the URL.


We acknowledge the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the first inhabitants of the nation and acknowledge Traditional Owners of the lands where our staff and students, live, learn and work.Acknowledgement of Country

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Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA) 4.0 International License. Content from this Guide should be attributed to James Cook University Library. This does not apply to images, third party material (seek permission from the original owner) or any logos or insignia belonging to JCU or other bodies, which remain All Rights Reserved.