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APA (7th Edition) Referencing Guide

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

No date

If there is no date use 'n.d.' (for 'no date') in both the in text citation and the reference list.

In text:

In the late 1950s, white Australians became more aware of indigenous living conditions reported in the news (National Museum Australia, n.d.).

The civil rights movements started to gain momentum in Australia as "events in the late 1950s brought the sufferings of the few into the living rooms of the many" (National Museum Australia, n.d.).

In the reference list:

National Museum of Australia. (n.d.). The fight for civil rights.

Regarding reference list order:

If you have several works by the same author, and one of the works has no date but the other works are dated, (n.d.) is treated as the oldest work for ordering your references

If you have multiple citations from the same author which also do not have a date, you will follow the same instructions as you would if there was a date: order the citations in your reference list alphabetically by title, and place an "a", "b", etc after the date.

National Museum of Australia (n.d.-a). Nelson the Newfoundland's dog collar.

National Museum of Australia. (n.d.-b). Newcastle bakery cart.

Using n.d. for open-dated sources:

In APA 7th edition, it is recommended to use n.d. for sources that are constantly changing, such as social media pages and updating services. When using n.d., for open-dated sources you will need to included a "Retrieved" date.


James Cook University Library [JCU Library]. (n.d.). Library and Information Services [Facebook page]. Facebook. Retrieved June 11, 2019, from

No page numbers

Long quote

Please note: Unless you are studying literature or history, (or a similar subject in which long quotes might be necessary or desirable), it is highly unlikely that your lecturer will want you to use long quotations. Most subjects taught in JCU prefer you to paraphrase the information rather than provide lengthy quotes. Check with your lecturer if you are not sure.

Quotes of less than 40 words:

enter the quote in "double quotation marks" within the text with the in-text citation going before the final full stop (APA, 2010, p. 92).

Quotes with more than 40 words:

Enter the quote in an indented block without "quotation marks" with the in-text citation appearing after the final full stop (APA, 2010, p. 92).

For example:

It has been pointed out that:

If the quote has 40 words or more, display it in a freestanding block of text and omit the quotation marks. Start such a block quotation on a new line and indent the block about a half inch [1.27cm] from the left margin (in the same position as a new paragraph). If there are additional paragraphs within the quotation, indent the first line of each additional paragraph an additional half inch [1.27cm]....At the end of a block quotation, cite the quoted source and the page or the paragraph number in parentheses [brackets] after the final punctuation mark. Alternatively, if the quoted source is cited in the sentence introducing the block quote..., only the page or paragraph number is needed at the end of the quotation. (APA, 2010, p. 171)


The APA Blog has provided some more examples of how to layout a block quote. Please note, this document is for APA 6th edition.

Organisation as an author

In text citation:

If the name of the organisation first appears in a narrative citation, include the abbreviation before the year in brackets, separated with a comma. Use the official acronym/abreviation if you can find it. Otherwise check with your lecturer for permission to create your own acronyms.

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS, 2013) shows that...

The Queensland Department of Education (DoE, 2020) encourages students to... (please note, Queensland isn't part of the department's name, it is used in the sentence to provide clarity)

If the name of the organisation first appears in a citation in brackets, include the abbreviation in square brackets.

(Australian Bureau of Statistics [ABS], 2013)

(Department of Education [DoE], 2020)

In the second and subsequent citations, only include the abbreviation or acronym

ABS (2013) found that ...

DoE (2020) instructs teachers to...

This is disputed (ABS, 2013).

Resources are designed to support "emotional learning pedagogy" (DoE, 2020)

In the reference list:

Use the full name of the organisation in the reference list.


Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2017). Australia's welfare 2017.

Department of Education. (2020, April 22). Respectful relationships education program. Queensland Government.

The article is 'in press"

Manuscript in Preparation (not yet finished)

Cite and reference using the year the draft of the manuscript you read was written. After the title, describe the status of the work in square brackets. Include the department and institution where the work was produced if possible.

Kirk, J. T. (2011). Reprogramming the Kobayashi Maru test: A tale of an inside job and the genius behind it [Manuscript in preparation]. Department of Psychology, James Cook University.

Manuscript Submitted for Publication (not yet accepted)
If the manuscript has been submitted for publication, again use the year the manuscript was written (not the year it was submitted) as your date. Also, do not provide the name of the journal or publisher to which the manuscript was submitted.

Castle, R. (2012). Shadowing a police officer: How to be unobtrusive while solving cases in spectacular fashion [Manuscript submitted for publication]. Department of Criminology, James Cook University.

Manuscript Accepted for Publication

Once an article is accepted for publication, the status changes to in press and you can include the name of the journal in the reference.

Castle, R. (in press). Shadowing a police officer: How to be unobtrusive while solving cases in spectacular fashion. Professional Writers’ Journal.

Advance Online Publication
Provide the author(s), year of posting, title of the article, name of the journal, the notation Advance online publication, and the DOI or the URL of the journal’s home page.

Muldoon, K., Towse, J., Simms, V., Perra, O., & Menzies, V. (2012). A longitudinal analysis of estimation, counting skills, and mathematical ability across the first school year. Developmental Psychology. Advance online publication.

For more details, please see the APA Style Blog.

Lots of in text citations for the same work

If you are referring to the same work multiple times in one paragraph, and no other works, you do not need to put a complete in-text citation for every single clause or sentence as long as it is clear that you are still talking about the same information from the same work.

At the beginning of the discussion of the work, you will need to put a full citation. If you have already used a date for a narrative citation, then you can refer to the author by name without the date for subsequent narrative citations. However, all parenthetical citations must have both the author's name and year. You should also include some in-text citations throughout the paragraph for any sentence that does not make it clear you are still referring to the same work. Include a full in-text citation at the end of the paragraph.


Among epidemiological samples, Wagtail (2003) found that early onset social anxiety disorder results in a more potent and severe course. Wagtail also found …. It can also be seen in Wagtail’s study that … Wagtail confirmed that ... The study also showed that there was a high rate of cat related incidents (Wagtail, 2003).

However, if you are citing more than one work in the paragraph, you will need to use full and correct citations for every sentence or clause where the information from those works has been used.


Two authors have the same name?

Same author and date

In the reference list:

Order the references in the reference list alphabetically by title (excluding 'A' or 'The'). Assign the letters after the date according to their order in the reference list (not the order of appearance in text).

Longley, L. (2008a). Anaesthesia and analgesia in rabbits and rodents. In Practice, 30(2), 92-97.

Longley, L. (2008b). Clinical refresher: Intubation of rabbits. Companion Animal, 13(5), 68-70.

In text citation:

Longley (2008a) notes that many small animals are susceptible to...

"Positioning of the rabbit is paramount to the technique of intubation" (Longley, 2008b, p. 68).

…the use of a laryngoscope (Longley, 2008a, 2008b).

Different authors, same surname, different first initial:

If the reference list includes two or more primary authors with the same surname, order the references alphabetically by the first author's first initial.

Smith, K. T. (2017). Hospital marketing and communications via social media. Services Marketing Quarterly, 38(3), 187-201.

Smith, S. A., & Brunner, S. R. (2016). The great whoosh: Connecting an online personal health narrative and communication privacy management. Health Communication, 31(1), 12-21.

Include the first author's initials in all in-text citations, even if the years are different:

…including the use of social media (K. T. Smith, 2017).

…such as online health narratives (S. A. Smith & Brunner, 2016).

Different authors with the same surname and the same first intial:

In the reference list:

If multiple first authors share the same surname and the same initials arrange it by the year of publication.

Multiple-author entries with the same first author and different subsequent authors should be arranged alphabetically by the surname of the second author (refer to the APA manual, 7th edition, p. 305).

Jones, L., & Mays, N. (2016). The experience of potentially vulnerable people during cold weather: Implications for policy and practice. Public Health, 137, 20-25.

Jones, L., & Tanner, T. (2017). ‘Subjective resilience’: Using perceptions to quantify household resilience to climate extremes and disasters. Regional Environmental Change, 17(1), 229-243.

In text citation:

Cite the works in the standard author-date format (APA, 2020, p. 267)

Jones and Tanner (2017) show that...

...and associated health implications (Jones & Mays, 2016).

I read about it in another source

Academically, it is better to find the original source and reference that.

If you do have to quote a secondary source:

  • In the text you must cite the original author of the quote and the year the original quote was written as well as the source you read it in. If you do not know the year the original citation was written, omit the year.
  • In the reference list you only list the source that you actually read.

In text citation:

Wembley (1997, as cited in Olsen, 1999) argues that impending fuel shortages ...

Wembley claimed that "fuel shortages are likely" (1997, as cited in Olsen, 1999, pp. 10-12).

Some have noted that fuel shortages are probable in the future (Wembley, 1997, as cited in Olsen, 1999).

In the reference list:

Olsen, M. (1999). My career. Gallimard.

You are citing more than one source in the same sentence

You need to cite all the sources you have used in a sentence.

If you wish to put two or more in-text citations in the same brackets, they go in the same order that they appear in the reference list (i.e. alphabetically and then, if the names are the same, by year).

Separate the in-text citations by different authors with a semicolon ; and a space. Two works by the same author are separated by a comma.

(Drongo, 2014; Frogmouth et al., 2000).

(Drongo, 2014, p. 5; Frogmouth et al., 2000, p. 12).

(Drongo, 2014; Frogmouth et al., 2000; Sunbird & Jay, 2010, 2012).

If you have multiple works by the same author, use a comma to "stack" the years within the same citation:

(Longley, 2008a, 2008b; Smith, 2014, 2016).

There's no title

If a work has no title (such as an image or a set of raw data) put a brief description of the work in [brackets] in the place of the title (do not italicise). Always lead with the type of work, and then briefly provide more information if necessary (e.g., Photograph of... Hand-drawn map showing...).

For example:

Bryan, S. (2019). [Photograph of a book display].

McBurnie, B. (2015, May 4). [Interview given as part of the White Gloves series].

Please note, artworks without a specific title may be given the title Untitled (or Untitled III, for example, if part of a series). This is the official title of the work. You may wish to include a description of the work with the title. You should always include a brief description of the type of work (e.g., Photograph, Painting, Sculpture, Infographic), for an artistic work.

For example, either of these would be correct:

Chapple, R. (1991). Untitled [Sculpture of an abstract form]. James Cook University Library, Townsville, Australia.

Chapple, R. (1991). Untitled [Sculpture]. James Cook University Library, Townsville, Australia.

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