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University of Newcastle Library Guides

APA 6th Style:  Govt documents

UON Library guide for APA 6th

General Rules and Examples

Government documents & reports


General points for creating reference list entries for government documents and reports:

  • For press releases, policy briefs and directives, fact sheets, pamphlets, etc, refer to the Web resources page.

  • Many government reports are authored by departments, units or agencies - APA refers to these as 'corporate authors'. If this is the case for your document, include the department / unit / agency as the first element in the reference.

  • APA style does not require the inclusion of the government jurisdiction / level in the reference – such as the Australian Government or the name of the state government. Use only the department, unit or agency name, e.g. 'Australian Government Department of Education and Training' would only use 'Department of Education and Training'. Note that if the name of the state is part of the department name – e.g. Queensland Health – then it should be included.

  • APA style also requires that the publisher and author should be recorded as they appeared when the document was originally published, whether in print or online. You will need to access the full version of the document to check this. Where the author is a government department, unit or agency, do not amend the name to their current title.

  • Government document titles appear in italics.

  • Include report or paper numbers (if available) in brackets after the title.

  • Provide a description of the kind of resource in square brackets after the title if it assists the reader to identify less-typical types of sources (e.g., brochures, press releases, policy briefs, fact sheets). If not needed then leave these descriptions out.

  • For print documents include only the first place of publication if more than one is listed. For U.S. publications include the official state abbreviation after the city. This is also acceptable for Australian states and territories. For all other countries, spell out the name in full (e.g., New York, NY; Frenchs Forest, N.S.W.; Abingdon, England).

  • Some government documents may be assigned a DOI or "digital object identifier". If this is the case the DOI must be added to the reference. If no DOI is found, then the URL of the online publication site is included. Check the What are DOIs? page for more information.

Government documents in print format


The format for a reference to a government document in print format is:

Note: When the author is also the publisher, use Author to indicate the publisher (as in the example below).


Reference list examples:


Government documents - online with a URL


The general format for a reference to a government document available online (but not assigned a DOI) is:


Reference list examples:


Note: In the case of the National Health and Medical Research Council example above, "Updated May 2015" is part of the title (and not a report number) so would need to be italicised.

Government documents - online with a DOI


The general format for a reference to a government document assigned a DOI is:

Pamphlets and brochures (print)


A number of government agencies still publish print pamphlets and brochures.

For referencing information and examples, refer to the Health Resources page.



Pamphlets and brochures (online)


For pamphlets and brochures found online, refer to the Web resources page.

In-text citations


If the source is a corporate author such as a government department include the department's name within the in-text citation, plus the year of publication, in the format:

For example:

... thousands of teachers, principals, early childhood workers and academics have graduated and gone on to make their mark in and out of the classroom in communities (NSW Education, 2013).


If an author's name is known by a common acronym (eg. ABS [Australian Bureau of Statistics], AIHW [Australian Institute for Health and Welfare]), include the full name, plus the acronym in the first in-text citation, in the format:

For example:

"Over half of people aged 15 years and older (56%) considered their overall health to be very good or excellent, and 29% stated that their health was good" (Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), 2009, p. 3).

In subsequent references, include just the acronym:

... 19% of people aged 18 years and over were current daily smokers (ABS, 2009).

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