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University of Newcastle Library Guides

APA 6th Style:  Missing elements in your reference?

UON Library guide for APA 6th

Missing Information

Missing elements in references


There will be situations when a resource is lacking some or most of the information that is required to reference it.

In this case you will need to represent the resource as best as you can with the information at hand, this involves using substitution phrases in place of the information. A detailed explanation is available at the APA Style Blog.

A simplified version is available below and as a PDF file.

Remember to always check the detailed referencing information available on the specialist resource pages in this guide.

Referencing a journal article and missing either the volume or issue number?


[Adapted from How to Write an APA Style Reference When Information Is Missing. Copyright 2012 by The American Psychological Association. Adapted with permission]


  • Title – Formatting rules for titles changes depending on the resource. Some titles are plain text, some are italicised, some are enclosed in quotes (“ ”). Check the rules in this guide as applicable to your chosen resource.
  • Format Description – This is not required for all titles. Examples include [Fact sheet], [Pamphlet], [Protocol], [Photograph], [Video file], etc. Check the rules in this guide as applicable to your chosen resource.
  • Access – Provide the DOI for any resource that has one listed (electronic or print). Where no DOI is listed, provide a retrieval statement with a URL for online resources (without a DOI), or a publisher location and name for print resources.
  • Personal Communication - see guidelines here.