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APA (6th Edition) Referencing Guide

Referencing Guide based on the 6th Edition of APA style

A Note on Images and Figures

A figure is anything that is not part of the text of your document and not a table. Graphs, photographs, illustrations and charts are all examples of figures.

The APA manual provides formatting and referencing advice for using figures in works that are going to be published. We have adapted the manual's advice to provide simplified instructions for students who are writing assignments that are not going to be made public.

If you are writing a thesis, journal article, book or web page (any work that will be make publicly available), follow the advice for Figures.

If you are using a figure in an assignment or PowerPoint presentation that is only for use in class, and will not be made public, then use the advice for Images.

Please note that Images and Figures are different names for the same things - we are only using the different terms to distinguish between whether or not your work is going to be published.

Images

APA has specific rules for crediting images that are going to be published. If you are seeking advice for a thesis, paper or book that is to be published, see the section below on Figures.

If the image is for use only in an assignment or a PowerPoint presentation, follow the advice in this section.

Image from an online source (Web page or image search):

If the image can be accessed separately, cite as an independent source. Otherwise, cite the source of the image (i.e., the web page on which the image appears).:

Format
Artist/Owner, A. A., & Artist/Owner, A. A. (year). Title (or description, if there is no title) [Image]. Retrieved from URL
Examples
Center for Disease Control. (2016). Malaria lifecycle [Image]. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/malaria/images/graphs/life_cycle/malaria_lifecycle.gif

In text, the standard in-text citation would go as a caption below the image:

Figure 1. Life cycle of the malaria virus (Center for Disease Control, 2016).

Please note:

  • APA 6th does not provide specific rules or examples for images. This is JCU Library's interpretation of how to cite images using APA 6th.
  • If there is no title create a short, descriptive one yourself (e.g. "Boy with a fish"). If there is no date, use n.d. (for 'no date'). If there is no author, move the title or description to the author's position in your reference.

For example:

In the reference list:

Boy with a fish [Image]. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.randomclipartimages.net

In text:

Figure 1. Boy holding a trout ("Boy With a Fish", n.d.)

  • Remember that images found online are not "fair game" - they belong to someone, and all effort should be made to identify the creator or owner and cite the image correctly.
  • If the image is from a book/book chapter or journal article, and was created by the authors of that source, just cite the book/chapter or article. If you are using the image in your work cite it as you would a direct quote, and include a page number.
  • Images used (legally) for purely decorative purposes in a PowerPoint presentation may not need citation. Check with your lecturer.

For information regarding citing works of art, see the relevant section on the Other Sources page.

How many authors? Remember, there are rules for how to set out a reference, depending on the number of authors

Example of images used in unpublished assignments/PowerPoints

This information has been adapted to give advice for students who are not producing work that will be made public. 

Treat images taken from books and journals in a similar way to direct quotes.  In the text, put the in-text citation in brackets in the image caption (including the page number), then the full reference for the book/book chapter chapter/journal article in your reference list as normal.

In Text:

Photo of student study space
Figure 1. Student's study space (Kinsley et al., 2015, p. 767).

Reference List:

Kinsley, K., Besara, R., Scheel, A., Colvin, G., Brady, J. E., & Burel, M. (2015). Graduate conversations: Assessing the space needs of graduate students. College & Research Libraries, 76(6), 756-770. doi:10.5860/crl.76.6.756

Images on the internet should be treated like a webpage.  The URL used can be the one for the image or, if it is too unwieldy, the page the image is located on. 

In Text:

Image of Tawny Frogmouth by Benjamint444
Figure 1. Tawny Frogmouth (Benjamint444, 2008).

Reference List:

Benjamint444. (2008). Tawny frogmouth wholebody [Image]. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frogmouth#/media/File:Tawny_frogmouth_wholebody444.jpg

In the text of your paragraphs, refer to your images by their figure number.

For example:

Figure 1 shows that...

As can be seen in Figure 2...

Figures

If you are reproducing a figure created by someone else (even if you have adapted it), and your paper is going to be made public (e.g., a thesis or a journal article), then you need to give a copyright notice in the caption below your figure.

See the APA Blog's pages on Navigating Copyright for Reproduced Images for more information.

If your work is not going to be made public but is purely for an assignment (such as a PowerPoint presentation that is only available to classmates on LearnJCU or an essay that will only be viewed by your lecturer), follow the advice for Images.

Figures reproduced or adapted from journal articles:

Format

In the caption below the figure:

Figure 1. Descriptive note. Reprinted [or Adapted] from "Title of article", by A. Author and B. Author, year, Journal Title, volume(issue), page number. Copyright year by name of Copyright Holder.

In the reference list, use the normal format for Journal Articles.

Examples

In the caption:

Figure 1. Student's study space. Reprinted from "Graduate conversations: Assessing the space needs of graduate students" by K. Kinsley, R. Besara, A. Scheel, G. Colvin, J.E. Brady, & M. Burel, M., 2015, College & Research Libraries, 76(6), 756-770. Copyright 2015 by Kirsten Kinsley, Rachel Besara, Abby Scheel, Gloria Colvin, Jessica Evans Brady, and Melissa Burel, Attribution-NonCommercial (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/) CC BY-NC.

In the reference list:

Kinsley, K., Besara, R., Scheel, A., Colvin, G., Brady, J. E., & Burel, M. (2015). Graduate conversations: Assessing the space needs of graduate students. College & Research Libraries, 76(6), 756-770. doi:10.5860/crl.76.6.756

Figures reproduced or adapted from books/book chapters:

 

Format

In the caption below the figure:

Figure 1. Descriptive note. Reprinted [or Adapted] from Title of book, (p. xx), by A. Author and B. Author, year, Place of publication: Publisher. Copyright year by name of Copyright Holder.

In the reference list, use the normal format for Books or Book Chapters.

Examples

In the caption:

Figure 1. Pictorial representation of the container system for MLA referencing. Reprinted from MLA Handbook (8th ed., p. 32), by K. Fitzpatrick, 2016, New York, NY: Modern Languages Association of America. Copyright 2016 by the Modern Languages Association of America.

In the reference list:

Fitzpatrick, K. (2016). MLA Handbook (8th ed.). New York, NY: Modern Languages Association of America.

Figures reproduced or adapted from Web pages/online documents:

Format

In the caption below the figure:

Web page

Figure 1. Descriptive note. Reprinted [or Adapted]  from "Title of web page", by A. Author and B. Author, year, Retrieved from URL. Copyright year by name of Copyright Holder.

Online document

Figure 1. Descriptive note. Reprinted [or Adapted]  from Title of web document, by A. Author and B. Author, year, Retrieved from URL. Copyright year by name of Copyright Holder.

In the reference list, use the normal format for a Web page or an Online Document

Examples

In the caption:

Figure 1. Tawny Frogmouth. Reprinted from "Tawny frogmouth wholebody", Benjamint444, 2008, Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frogmouth#/media/File:Tawny_frogmouth_wholebody444.jpg. Copyright 2008 by Benjamint444 CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)

In the reference list:

Benjamint444. (2008). Tawny frogmouth wholebody [Image]. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frogmouth#/media/File:Tawny_frogmouth_wholebody444.jpg

Note:

While APA style does not specify the inclusion of Creative Commons Licenses, it is standard practice to include both the license and a link to a description of the license when a CC license has been specified by the copyright owners.

Example of Formatting for Figures

This shows the relationship between the reference to the image in the paragraph, the caption under the image, and the entry in the reference list.

In-text citation:

Figure 1 indicates that more of the pie remains to be eaten...

 

 

Figure 1. Pie chart following guidelines for description of consumption of pastry based baked products. Reprinted [or Adapted] from "Think like a cat," by T. Frogmouth and Y. B. Spoonbill, 2016, Journal of Chook Science, 17(4), 32. Copyright 2016 by Chooker Foundation.

 

Reference list:

Frogmouth, T., & Spoonbill, Y. B. (2013). Think like a cat: Mice dreams. Journal of Chook Science, 17(4), 26-32. doi:10.1037/1061-4087.45.2.10

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