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APA Citation Style Guide

This guide will support you in creating common citation formats in the APA (American Psychological Association) Style - 7th edition.

As cited in (secondary source)

You should always do your best to locate the original, primary source. But in some cases, such as when an original work is out of print, unavailable, or in another language, you may need to cite a secondary source.

In your Reference List you will list the secondary source you used. In the text, you'll include reference to both the original and the secondary source.

EXAMPLE - Reference list entry

Lacey, S., & Lomness, A. (2020). Better together: Assessing a leisure reading collection for an academic and public library partnership. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 46(1), Article 102023.

Parenthetical in-text citation: (Diers & Simpson, 2012, as cited in Lacey & Lomness, 2020)

Narrative in-text citation: Diers & Simpson (2012, as cited in Lacey & Lomness, 2020)

**Also check out the APA Style website for more on this topic:

(APA, 2020, p. 258)

Business databases

If you have a journal article, report, book or book chapter, audiovisual material, or news or magazine article retrieved from a business database, use the APA rules for those sources. However, some formats from business sources are not covered under typical APA rules.

Do not include database names for reports obtained from common academic business databases such as Business Source (Ebsco Host) and ABI/Inform (ProQuest) - instead, use the template for reports. Do not include a retrieval link.

Do provide the database name where the database is not one usually found in academic institutions, or that primarily has proprietary content, such as IBISWorld, BCC Research, Bloomberg, Passport.

(APA, 2020, p. 297. See also Databases with Original, Proprietary Content)

Include a retrieval date when the content changes over time, and the archived content is not made available (APA, 2020, p. 290).

The Academic Business Librarians of BC have created an APA for Business Sources guide with examples and explanations of how to cite more business databases. Contact a UBC business librarian for help with citing business sources.

EXAMPLE - SWOT analysis by Marketline, from Business Source Ultimate database

Marketline. (2020, April 4). Apple Inc.: Company profile.

Parenthetical in-text citation: (Marketline, 2020)

Narrative in-text citation: Marketline (2020)

EXAMPLE - Industry report from IBISWorld database

McGrath, S. (2019, November). Software publishing in Canada: Industry report 51121CA. IBISWorld. Retrieved June 23, 2020 from

Parenthetical in-text citation: (McGrath, 2019)

Narrative in-text citation: McGrath (2019)

EXAMPLE - Market research report from BCC Research database

McWilliams, A. (2019, November). Bionics: Technologies and global markets (Report No. HLC196B). BCC Research. Retrieved June 29, 2020 from 

Parenthetical in-text citation: (McWilliams, 2019)

Narrative in-text citation: McWilliams (2019)

Conference papers and presentations

EXAMPLE - Published conference paper

Warkentin, D., Woodworth, M., Hancock, J. T., & Cormier, N. (2010, February 6-10). Warrants and deception in computer mediated communication [Paper presentation]. Proceedings of the 2010 ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, Savannah, GA, United States. 

Parenthetical in-text citation: (Warkentin et al., 2010)

Narrative in-text citation: Warkentin et al. (2010)

EXAMPLE - Poster presentation

Crema, L. & Savage, S. (2019, May 2). Open textbook and OER project [Poster presentation]. Celebrate Learning Week, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Parenthetical in-text citation: (Crema & Savage, 2010)

Narrative in-text citation: Crema and Savage (2010)

(APA, 2020, p. 332-333)

Data sets

Only list the year of most recent publication or update. Do not include the month and date of publication.

EXAMPLE - figshare

Newbury, R., & Hodges, K. (2018). Newbury and Hodges bobcat diet data.xlsx [Data set]. figshare.

Parenthetical in-text citation: (Newbury & Hodges, 2018)

Narrative in-text citation: Newbury and Hodges (2018)


Garrick, R. C., Kajdacsi, B., Russello, M. A., Benavides, E., Hyseni, C., Gibbs, J. P., Tapia, W., & Caccone, A. (2015). Data from: Naturally rare versus newly rare: Demographic inferences on two timescales inform conservation of Galápagos giant tortoises [Data set]. Dryad.

Parenthetical in-text citation: (Garrick et al., 2015)

Narrative in-text citation: Garrick et al. (2015)

Because the OSF platform allows for consistent updates, always include a retrieval date before the DOI link.

EXAMPLE - Open Science Framework (OSF)

Pither, J., & Pickles, B. J. (2020). Below-ground biotic interactions moderated the postglacial range dynamics of trees [Data set]. OSF. Retrieved April 17, 2020, from

Parenthetical in-text citation: (Pither & Pickles, 2020)

Narrative in-text citation: Pither and Pickles (2020)

EXAMPLE - Scholar's Portal Dataverse

French, L., & Pavlidis, P. (2019). Replication data for: Relationships between gene expression and brain wiring in the adult rodent brain (Version 1.0) [Data set]. Scholar's Portal Dataverse.

Parenthetical in-text citation: (French & Pavlidis, 2019)

Narrative in-text citation: French and Pavlidis (2019)

Narrative in-text citation: Garrick et al. (2015)

EXAMPLE - Statistics Canada

Statistics Canada. (2019). Table 13-10-0096-05 Life satisfaction, satisfied or very satisfied, by age group [Data table].

Note: include the table number before the title.

Parenthetical in-text citation: (Statistics Canada, 2019)

Narrative in-text citation: Statistics Canada (2019)

More Statistics Canada examples

Dissertations and theses

Citations for dissertations and theses reorganize elements depending on whether they are published or unpublished.


  • An unpublished dissertation or thesis includes the name of the university as the source.
  • A URL is generally not included as an unpublished document is assumed to be in print or a digital document unavailable publicly.


  • A published dissertation or thesis includes the type of document and the university name in the title, in square brackets.
  • A database name will be included, because it is not a commonly held academic database, e.g. ProQuest Theses and Dissertations is not something most universities would subscribe to (APA, 2020, p. 297).
  • Alternatively, an archive name may be used as the source, e.g. Open Collections.
  • Include the URL if retrieved from an archive, but not if retrieved from a database.

(APA, 2020, pp. 333-334)

EXAMPLE - Published doctoral dissertation retrieved from archive

Wang, X. (2019). New chelators for radiopharmaceutical chemistry [Doctoral dissertation, University of British Columbia]. Open Collections.

Parenthetical in-text citation: (Wang, 2019)

Narrative in-text citation: Wang (2019)

EXAMPLE - Published master's thesis from database

Ferguson, J. (2010). Queer Japanese cinema: A rich and diverse cultural history's challenge to hegemonic ideologies of gender and sexuality (Publication No. MR82331) [Master's thesis, University of British Columbia]. ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global.

Parenthetical in-text citation: (Ferguson, 2010)

Narrative in-text citation: Ferguson (2010)

Reports and gray literature

Reports and gray literature include many types of documents, such as:

  • Government or agency reports
  • Technical reports
  • Press releases
  • Annual reports
  • Policy briefings or other briefing notes
  • Codes of ethics


For reports, include a report number if available, in brackets after the title of the report. The title of the report should be italicized, the report number should not. Title of report (Report No. 123).

For gray literature, include the type of document as a description in square brackets. Title of document [Description].

Reports and gray literature may be written by individuals, or by groups such as governments or government agencies, corporations/organizations, committees, or associations.

Include a publisher, unless the publisher is the same as the author.

(APA, 2020, p. 329)

The below are selected examples. More examples can be found in the APA's Publication Manual on pages 329-331.

EXAMPLE - Annual report

BC Cancer. (2018). 2018 BC Cancer research annual report. Provincial Health Services Authority.

Parenthetical in-text citation: (BC Cancer, 2018)

Narrative in-text citation: BC Cancer (2018)

EXAMPLE - Code of ethics

Canadian Nurses Association. (2017). Code of ethics for registered nurses.

Parenthetical in-text citation: (Canadian Nurses Association, 2017)

Narrative in-text citation: Canadian Nurses Association (2017)

EXAMPLE - Government agency report

BC Housing. (2017). A scan of leading practices in affordable housing. 

Parenthetical in-text citation: (BC Housing, 2017)

Narrative in-text citation: BC Housing (2017)

EXAMPLE - Policy brief

Rural Evidence Review. (2019). Citizen-patient-community participation in health care planning, decision-making and delivery through rural health councils [Policy brief]. University of British Columbia Centre for Rural Health Research.

Parenthetical in-text citation: (Rural Evidence Review, 2019)

Narrative in-text citation: Rural Evidence Review (2019)

EXAMPLE - Press release

UBC Okanagan News. (2020, April 16). UBCO teams up with community partners to design medical PPE [Press release]. University of British Columbia.

Parenthetical in-text citation: (UBC Okanagan News, 2020)

Narrative in-text citation: UBC Okanagan News (2020)



Organization. (year). Title of the standard (Standard No. 1234). https://xxxxx OR database.


Canadian Standards Association. (2019). Canadian highway bridge design code (CAN/CSA Standard No. S6-19). Techstreet.

Parenthetical in-text citation, first time cited: (Canadian Standards Association [CSA], 2019)

Subsequent in-text parenthetical citations: (CSA, 2019)

Narrative in-text citation, first time cited: Canadian Standards Association (CSA) (2019)

Subsequent in-text narrative citations: CSA (2019)

For more examples, please consult the APA Style Blog entry on ISO Standard References: