APA American Psychological Association (7th ed.)

APA is one of the most commonly used citation styles. In fact, many journal and publisher styles are based on APA. Citavi's "APA American Psychological Association, 7th ed." citation style is based on the following guidelines:

American Psychological Association. (2019). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

The APA style is a typical author-date style that uses in-text citations containing author last names and the year of publication.

Information about APA 6th edition can be found here.

In-text citation examples

... (McLoughlin & Luca, 2000) ... Bawden and Smith (2001, pp. 220–221)

Bibliography entry examples

  • Journal article
    Bawden, D. (2001). Information and digital literacies: A review of concepts. Journal of Documentation, 57(2), 218–259. https://doi.org/10.1108/EUM0000000007083
  • Book
    Sharpless Smith, S. (2010). Web-based instruction: A guide for libraries. American Library Association.
  • Contribution in an edited book
    Sorcinelli, M. D. (2010). Ten principles of good Practice in creating and sustaining teaching and learning centers. In K. H. Gillespie (Ed.), The Jossey-Bass higher and adult education series. A guide to faculty development (2nd ed., pp. 9–23). Jossey-Bass.
  • Internet document
    American Library Association (2000, January). Information literacy competency standards for higher education. http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/acrl/standards/informationliteracycompetency.cfm
  • Conference presentation

    McLoughlin, C., & Luca, J. (2000, December 9–14). Learning through self-direction: The influence of task design on team-based professional knowledge building in an online environment. [Paper presentation]. ASCILITE Conference, Coffs Harbour, Australia.  http://www.ascilite.org/conferences/coffs00/papers/catherine_mcloughlin.pdf

Special characteristics

Author names are either joined by "and" or "&" depending on whether they appear inside parentheses or not:

  • Example within parentheses: (McLoughlin & Luca, 2000)
  • Example with no parentheses: McLoughlin and Luca (2000)

In-text citations should always only contain a maximum of two authors. Exception: if two different teams of authors could otherwise not be differentiated from each other, additional author names should be added until it is clear.

If a work has more than 21 authors, only the first 19 and the last author are listed in the bibliography. An ellipsis is used in place of the omitted author names.

Frequently Asked Questions

1) Why do multiple authors continue to appear in in-text citations instead of just the first author and et al.?

If shortening the citation to the first author name and et al. would potentially lead to ambiguous references because another group of authors from the same year would shorten to the same citation, additional authors are added until the citations are unambiguous:

" 8.18 Avoiding Ambiguity in In-Text Citations
. ...To avoid ambiguity, when the in-text citations of multiple works with three or more authors shorten to the same form, write out as many names as needed to distinguish the references, and abbreviate the rest of the names to 'et al.' in every citation."
2) Why do initials sometimes appear in citations in addition to last names?

If you cite two authors with the same last name, APA requires the first initial so that the authors are not ambiguous:

" 8.20 Authors With the Same Surname
If the first authors of multiple references share the same surname but have different initials, include the first authors’ initials in all in-text citations, even if the year of publication differs. Initials help avoid confusion within the text and help readers locate the correct entry in the reference list (...).
(J. M. Taylor & Neimeyer, 2015; T. Taylor, 2014)
If the first authors of multiple references share the same surname and the same initials, cite the works in the standard author-date format. (...)
If multiple authors within a single reference share the same surname, the initials are not needed in the in-text citation; cite the work in the standard author-date format.
(Chen & Chen, 2019)"

If you can rule out this reason, check if you correctly entered first and last names in Citavi. To do, right-click the name in your project. On the shortcut menu, click Edit "[Name]". If the first name appears in the Last name field, copy and paste it into the First name field.

Also check if you added the name to Citavi more than once with different spellings. If yes, merge the spelling variants via the menu Lists > Persons and organizations.

3) Can the APA style be used as a footnote style?

No. If you want to work with a footnote citation style that uses a similar format, select Footnote: author date from the Citation system dropdown menu when you search for a style.

4) Is there a German-language version of the APA style?

Yes. If you want to use the APA style in German, you can use the DGPs citation style. Although this style isn't an official translation, it is an extremely close adaptation:

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Psychologie. (2016). Richtlinien zur Manuskriptgestaltung (4., überarb. und erw. Aufl.). Göttingen: Hogrefe.

It differs from the APA style in the following ways:

  • German abbreviations are used (S. instead of p./pp.; Aufl. instead of ed.; Hrsg. instead of eds., etc.).
  • If multiple authors are listed, no comma is used before "&" or "und".
  • If a work has more than seven authors, no ellipsis is used between the sixth author and the last author.
  • The access date for internet documents appears in the bibliography (as was the case in the APA 5th ed. style guidelines).
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