Purdue Online Writing Lab College of Liberal Arts
Reference List: Electronic Sources
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Note: This page reflects the latest version of the APA Publication Manual (i.e., APA 7), which released in October 2019. The equivalent resource for the older APA 6 style can be found here .
Important Note: Some electronic citations necessitate the use of brackets. APA style dictates that brackets should directly surround their content without spaces (e.g., [bracketed content] should look like this). When possible, include the year, month, and date in references. If the month and date are not available, use the year of publication. Additionally, APA 7 th edition no longer requires the use of “Retrieved from” before URLs or DOIs; special exceptions, however, are made for resources that are unarchived. Including the retrieval date for these sources indicates to readers that the version of the work they retrieve may be different than what was originally used.
Please note: the following contains a list of the most commonly cited electronic sources. For a complete list of how to cite electronic sources, please refer to the 7 th edition of the APA Publication Manual.
Webpage or Piece of Online Content
If the page names an individual author, cite their name first:
Lastname, F. M. (Year, Month Date). Title of page . Site name. URL
Price, D. (2018, March 23). Laziness does not exist . Medium. https://humanparts.medium.com/laziness-does-not-exist-3af27e312d01
If the resource was written by a group or organization, use the name of the group/organization as the author. Additionally, if the author and site name are the same, omit the site name from the citation.
Group name. (Year, Month Date). Title of page . Site name. URL
American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. (2019, November 21). Justice served: Case closed for over 40 dogfighting victims . https://www.aspca.org/news/justice-served-case-closed-over-40-dogfighting-victims
If the page's author is not listed, start with the title instead. Additionally, include a retrieval date when the page's content is likely to change over time (like, for instance, if you're citing a wiki that is publicly edited).
Title of page . (Year, Month Date). Site name. Retrieved Month Date, Year, from URL
Tuscan white bean pasta. (2018, February 25). Budgetbytes. Retrieved March 18, 2020, from https://www.budgetbytes.com/tuscan-white-bean-pasta/
If the date of publication is not listed, use the abbreviation (n.d.).
Author or Group name. (n.d.). Title of page . Site name (if applicable). URL
National Alliance on Mental Illness. (n.d.). Mental health conditions . https://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Mental-Health-Conditions
APA 7 treats Wikipedia articles as special instances of entries in reference works. Thus, there are a few differences between reference entries for pages on Wikipedia and those for generic webpages.
Title of article. (Year, Month Date). In Wikipedia. URL of archived version of page
Quantum mechanics. (2019, November 19). In Wikipedia . https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Quantum_mechanics&oldid=948476810
Wikipedia articles often update frequently. For this reason, the date refers to the date that the cited version of the page was published. Note also that the manual recommends linking to the archived version of the page, rather than the current version of the page on the site, since the latter can change over time. Access the archived version by clicking "View History," then clicking the date/timestamp of the version you'd like to cite.
Online Scholarly Journal Article: Citing DOIs
Please note: Because online materials can potentially change URLs, APA recommends providing a Digital Object Identifier (DOI), when it is available, as opposed to the URL. DOIs are an attempt to provide stable, long-lasting links for online articles. They are unique to their documents and consist of a long alphanumeric code. Many—but not all—publishers will provide an article's DOI on the first page of the document.
Note also that some online bibliographies provide an article's DOI but may "hide" the code under a button which may read "Article" or may be an abbreviation of a vendor's name like "CrossRef" or "PubMed." This button will usually lead the user to the full article which will include the DOI. Find DOIs from print publications or ones that go to dead links with doi.org's "Resolve a DOI" function, available on the site's home page .
APA 7 also advises writers to include a DOI (if available), even when using the print source.
Article from an Online Periodical with DOI Assigned
Lastname, F. M., & Lastname, F. M. (Year). Title of article. Title of Periodical, Vol.( Issue), page numbers. DOI
Drollinger, T., Comer, L. B., & Warrington, P. T. (2006). Development and validation of the active empathetic listening scale. Psychology & Marketing, 23 (2), 161-180. https://doi.org/10.1002/mar.20105
Article from an Online Periodical with no DOI Assigned
If an online scholarly journal article has no DOI and is published on a website, include the URL. If an online scholarly article has no DOI and is published on a database, do not include a URL or any database information. The only exception is for databases that publish articles that are in limited circulation (like ERIC) or that are only available on that particular database (like UpToDate). Note that retrieval dates are required for unarchived sources that are likely, or intended, to change over time.
Perreault, L. (2019). Obesity in adults: Role of physical activity and exercise. UpToDate . Retrieved January 12, 2020, from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/obesity-in-adults-role-of-physical-activity-and-exercise
APA 7 th edition does not provide guidance on how to cite abstracts. However, if you only use information from the abstract but the full text of the article is also available, we advise you to add "[Abstract]" after the article or source name. If the full text is not available, you may use an abstract that is available through an abstracts database as a secondary source.
Online News Article
Note: The format for this type of source depends on whether your source comes from a site with an associated newspaper.
If the source does come from a site with an associated newspaper, leave the title of the article unformatted, but italicize the title of the newspaper.
Lastname, F. M. (Year, Month Date). Title of article. Title of Publication . URL
Richards, C. (2019, December 9). Best music of 2019: Lana Del Rey sings lullabies about the end of America. Washington Post . https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/music/best-music-of-2019-lana-del-rey-sings-lullabies-about-the-end-of-america/2019/12/06/6e82c5ec-15d8-11ea-a659-7d69641c6ff7_story.html
On the other hand, if the source doesn't come from a site with an associated newspaper, italicize the title of the article, but leave the name of the site unformatted.
Lastname, F. M. (Year, Month Date). Title of article . Name of publishing website. URL
Jones, J. (2020, May 10). Why flats dominate Spain's housing market . BBC. https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20200506-why-do-flats-dominate-spains-housing-market
Electronic or Kindle Books
It is not necessary to note that you have used an eBook or audiobook when the content is the same as a physical book. However, you should distinguish between the eBook or audiobook and the print version if the content is different or abridged, or if you would like to cite the narrator of an audiobook.
Lastname, F. M. (Year). Title of book . Publisher. URL
Lastname, F. M. (Year). Title of book [eBook edition]. Publisher. URL
Lastname, F. M. (Year). Title of book (N. Narrator, Narr.) [Audiobook]. Publisher. URL (if applicable)
Dissertation/Thesis from a Database
Lastname, F. M. (Year). Title of dissertation or thesis (Publication No.) [Doctoral dissertation or master’s thesis, Name of Institution Awarding Degree]. Database Name.
Duis, J. M. (2008). Acid/base chemistry and related organic chemistry conceptions of undergraduate organic chemistry students (Publication No. 3348786) [Doctoral dissertation, University of Northern Colorado]. ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global.
Entry in an Online Dictionary, Thesaurus, or Encyclopedia with a Group Author
Note: An online dictionary, thesaurus, or encyclopedia may be continuously updated and therefore not include a publication date (like in the example below). If that’s the case, use “n.d.” for the date and include the retrieval date in the citation.
Institution or organization name. (Year). Title of entry. In Title of reference work . URL
Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Braggadocio. In Merriam-Webster.com dictionary . Retrieved January 13, 2020, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/braggadocio
Entry in an Online Dictionary, Thesaurus, or Encyclopedia with an Individual Author
Lastname, F. M. (Year). Title of entry. In F. M. Lastname (Ed.), Title of reference work (edition). Publisher. URL or DOI
Martin, M. (2018). Animals. In L. A. Schintler & C. L. McNeely (Eds.), Encyclopedia of big data . SpringerLink. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-32001-4_7-1
Note: If the dictionary, thesaurus, or encyclopedia does not include an edition, simply skip that step.
Lastname, F. M. or Name of Group (Year). Title of dataset (Version No.) [Data set]. Publisher. DOI or URL
Grantmakers in the Arts. (2019). Arts funding trends, United States, 1994-present (ICPSR 37337) [Data set]. National Archive of Data on Arts & Culture. https://www.icpsr.umich.edu/icpsrweb/NADAC/studies/37337
Graphic Data (e.g. Interactive Maps, Infographics, and Other Graphic Representations of Data)
Give the name of the organization or individual followed by the date and the title. If there is no title, in brackets, you should provide a brief explanation of what type of data is there and in what form it appears. Include the URL and the retrieval date if there is no publication date.
HatchMed. (2017). 8 ways to improve patient satisfaction [Infographic]. HatchMed.com. https://www.hatchmed.com/blog/2017/1/30/8-ways-to-improve-patient-satisfaction
Google. (n.d.). [Google Map of Purdue University]. Retrieved January 12, 2020, from https://email@example.com,-86.9233886,17z
Qualitative Data and Online Interviews
If an interview is not retrievable in audio or print form, cite the interview only in the text (not in the reference list) and provide the month, day, and year in the text. If the interview transcript is published in an online periodical, like a magazine, cite the interview the same way you would cite the medium where it is published, as shown below:
Schulman, M. (2019, December 8). Peter Dinklage is still punk rock. The New Yorker. https://www.newyorker.com/culture/the-new-yorker-interview/peter-dinklage-is-still-punk-rock
If it is an audio file or transcript published in a database, credit the interviewee as the author and use the following model:
Paynter, W. (1970, September 17). Interview with Will Paynter [Interview]. Studs Terkel Radio Archive; The Chicago History Museum. https://studsterkel.wfmt.com/programs/interview-will-paynter
Online Lecture Notes and Presentation Slides
When citing online lecture notes, be sure to provide the file format in brackets after the lecture title (e.g. PowerPoint slides, Word document).
Lastname, F. M. (Year, Month Date). Title of presentation [Lecture notes, PowerPoint slides, etc]. Publisher. URL
Smith, C. (2017, October 13). AI and machine learning demystified [PowerPoint slides]. SlideShare. https://www.slideshare.net/carologic/ai-and-machine-learning-demystified-by-carol-smith-at-midwest-ux-2017
Computer Software/Downloaded Software
Do not cite standard office software (e.g. Word, Excel) or programming languages. Provide references only for specialized software.
Lastname, F. M. or Name of Group. (Year). Title of software (Version No.). Publisher. URL
Maplesoft. (2019). Maple companion (Version 2.1.0). Cybernet Systems Co. https://www.maplesoft.com/products/MapleCompanion/
E-mails are not included in the list of references, though you should parenthetically cite them in your main text:
(E. Robbins, personal communication, January 4, 2001).
Online Forum or Discussion Posting
Lastname, F. M. or Name of Group [username]. (Year, Month Date). Title of post [Online forum post]. Publisher. URL
Stine, R. L. [RL__Stine]. (2013, October 23). I’m R.L. Stine and it’s my job to terrify kids. Ask me anything! [Online forum post]. Reddit. https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/1p32dl/
Lastname, F. M. or Name of Group [@username]. (Year, Month Date). Content of the post up to the first 20 words [Tweet]. Site Name. URL
Note : If the tweet includes images, videos, or links to other sources, indicate that information in brackets after the content description. Also attempt to replicate emojis if possible.
National Geographic [@NatGeo]. (2020, January 12). Scientists knew African grays are clever, but now they’ve been documented assisting other members of their species—even strangers [Tweet; thumbnail link to article]. Twitter. https://twitter.com/NatGeo/status/1216346352063537154
Lastname, F. M. or Name of Group [@username]. (n.d.). Tweets [Twitter profile]. Retrieved Month Date, Year, from URL
MLA Style [@mlastyle]. (n.d.). Tweets [Twitter profile]. Retrieved January 12, 2020, from https://twitter.com/mlastyle
Lastname, F. M. or Name of Group. (Year, Month Date). Content of the post up to the first 20 words [Type of post]. Site Name. URL
Note: If the Facebook post includes images, videos, or links to other sources, indicate that information in brackets after the content description. Also attempt to replicate emojis if possible.
U.S. Department of the Interior. (2020, January 10). Like frosting on a cake, snow coats and clings to the hoodoos at Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah [Image attached] [Status update]. Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/USInterior/photos/a.155163054537384/2586475451406120/?type=3&theater
Lastname, F. M. or Name of Group. (n.d.). Home [Facebook page]. Site name. Retrieved Month Date, Year, from URL
Little River Canyon National Preserve (n.d.). Home [Facebook page]. Facebook. Retrieved January 12, 2020 from https://www.facebook.com/lirinps/
Instagram Photo or Video
Lastname, F. M. or Name of Group [@username]. (Year, Month Date). Content of the post up to the first 20 words [Type of post]. Site Name. URL
BBC [@bbc]. (2020, January 12). Skywatchers have been treated to the first full moon of 2020-known as a “wolf moon”-at the same time as a [Photograph]. Instagram. https://www.instagram.com/p/B7OkWqbBwcf/
Lastname, F. M. (Year, Month Date). Title of post. Publisher . URL
Axelrod, A. (2019, August 11). A century later: The Treaty of Versailles and its rejection of racial equality. Code Switch, NPR . https://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2019/08/11/742293305/a-century-later-the-treaty-of-versailles-and-its-rejection-of-racial-equality
YouTube or other Streaming Video
Last Name, F. M. [Username]. (Year, Month Date). Title of video [Video]. Streaming Service. URL
Lushi, K. [Korab Lushi]. (2016, July 3). Albatross culture 1 [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_AMrJRQDPjk&t=148s
Note : The person or group who uploaded the video is considered the author. If the author’s name is the same as the username, you can omit the [Username].
Author, A. A. (Year, Month Date). Title of talk [Video]. TED. URL
Al-Mutawa, N. (2010, July). Superheroes inspired by Islam [Video]. TED. https://www.ted.com/talks/naif_al_mutawa_superheroes_inspired_by_islam#t-4909
Or (if on YouTube)
Username. (Year, Month Date). Title of talk [Video]. YouTube. URL
Tedx Talks. (2011, Nov. 15). TEDxHampshireCollege - Jay Smooth - How I learned to stop worrying and love discussing race [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MbdxeFcQtaU
Host, A. A. (Host). (Year, Month Date). Title of episode (No. if provided) [Audio podcast episode]. In Name of podcast . Publisher. URL
Prime, K. (Host). (2019, March 29). For whom the cowbell tolls [Audio podcast episode]. In Radiolab . WNYC Studios. https://www.wnycstudios.org/story/whom-cowbell-tolls
When using APA format, follow the author-date method of in-text citation. This means that the author's last name and the year of publication for the source
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Important Note: Some electronic citations necessitate the use of brackets. APA style dictates that brackets should directly surround their content without