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University of Newcastle Library guides

APA 6th Style:  Web resources

UON Library guide for APA 6th

General Rules and Examples

Resources found on the web

 

General guidelines:

  • Title capitalisation may change depending on the resource you're quoting. Be sure to check the correct tab for the online material you've found.

  • Some online resources require the use of a screen name as the author.

  • Some online resources require the use of a month and day in addition to the year.

  • See notes below about whether to add a date to the retrieval statement.

  • Always include an access URL (unless the material has an assigned DOI).

  • APA doesn't specify whether links should be plain text or 'active'. See the official APA Style Blog for more information.

 

A note about retrieval dates for web resources:

 

The information below has been updated to reflect the solidified position APA has taken on the use of access dates in retrieval statements. This supercedes any previous information available in this guide.

 

APA has noted in the APA Style Guide to Electronic Resources and the official APA Style Blog that a retrieval date is required if a web source can be expected to change over time.

In general this would mean that most websites and all documents accessed online would not require a retrieval date as APA considers them unlikely to change (without being replaced by different material that would have different citation information).

Some web pages, however, are not static and could be expected to be updated or changed (e.g. wikis). Under this guideline, such web pages would need a retrieval date to highlight when they were accessed in case of potential changes to the content. References for web pages that were previously accessed (and cited) but have now disappeared from the web could also have a retrieval date noted to show when they were available.

Please note that there are different forms of web pages (blog posts, press releases, etc) with differing formatting rules under APA - refer to the appropriate tab for the resource you are referencing.

 

Citing websites versus web pages

 

There is often confusion when referencing websites in assignments. To talk about a website in general terms, refer to the Websites section at the bottom of the page. If you are referencing information from a web page see the information directly below. For documents from the web see the tab for Online documents.

 


Web pages

 

Note that the information below has been updated

General Notes:

  • Do not italicise the title of the web page.
  • No author listed on the page? See below.
  • The year of publication may not be immediately obvious - check the for a posting, creation or update date. Include the Month and Day in your reference list entry if available. APA has determined that the copyright date from a repeated web page footer is not acceptable to use as a creation date. If you cannot find a suitable date, see the point below.
  • If no date can be found, insert "n.d." within brackets, after the author's name.
  • For in-text citations, use only the Year of the web page, do not include the Month and Day.
  • APA now considers most web pages as static objects so a retrieval date is not required. The rule of thumb is to include a retrieval date if the page is likely to change/be updated - in this case the date you viewed the information should be included. See the notes here for more information. If you have used information from a page that is no longer available on the web, you may insert a retrieval date to show when the page was active.
  • Do not insert a hyphen if you need to break a URL across lines. Break the URL before a slash or dash or at another logical division point.
  • Do not include a full-stop after the URL at the end of the reference.
  • APA doesn't specify whether links should be plain text or 'active'. See the official APA Style Blog for more information.
  • Need to direct quote from a web page? See the section below on using para. rather than p.

 

The general format of a reference entry (where you have cited specific information from a web page) is:

 

Examples:

 


 

Web pages with no author

 

In-text citation:

If the source has no author, include in-text the first few words of the reference list entry and enclose the title in double quotation marks then add the year, in the format:

("first few words of the title"Year)

Example:

... reports that the first stage of labour is significantly shorter ("Giving birth", 2009)

 

Reference list:

In the case of web pages with no author, the title moves to the first position of the reference entry.

The general format therefore is:

 

Example:

 

See Also the Missing Elements in Your Reference? page if your entry lacks other elements.

 


 

Direct quoting from web pages

 

Page 171-172 of the Publication manual of the American Psychological Association provides the following advice in relation to crediting direct quotation of sources without pagination:

Use paragraph numbers if visible, use them in place of page numbers, precede with "para". Alternatively you can count the paragraphs. For example:

Clark and Brown (2012) suggest "that all those in powerful positions in organizations display similar traits" (para. 12)

 

If the source includes headings, but not paragraph or page numbers, include the heading and the number of the paragraph following it. For example:

James (2012) conclude "bullying is at epidemic levels in organizations which do not display strong leadership at the top" (Discussion section, para. 3).

 

More information is available from the APA website.

 


 

Discussing a website in general terms

 

To cite a website as a whole or to discuss it in general terms in your assignment using APA, it is sufficient to give the site URL as part of the text, inside round brackets. There is no need for a reference list entry.

 

In-text reference

The WHO website (http://www.who.int/) is accessible in six languages and ...

Reference list

No entry needed.

Documents found online

 

This information is for general documents found online, that are not covered elsewhere in this guide.

N.B. For the following document types, refer to their specialist pages:

 

General guidelines:

  • Titles of online documents should always be italicised .

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

  • If you cannot locate a date on the document use the abbreviation (n.d.) in place of the year.

  • Online documents are considered 'static' by APA standards so don't require the use of an access date.

  • APA doesn't specify whether links should be plain text or 'active'. See the official APA Style Blog for more information.

  • For print pamphlets and brochures, refer to the specialist tab on the Health Resources page.

  • Basic format for online documents not falling into other categories is:

 

Reference list examples:

The final two examples don't require the additional description information in square brackets as it is obvious from their titles.

Press releases

 

General guidelines:

 

  • Titles of press releases should always be italicised. While some may be part of a web page (i.e. HTML format), APA specifies to treat press releases as an online document (italicised title) rather than a web page (non-italicised).

  • Provide a description of Press release in square brackets after the title.

  • Include the full date of publication (Year, Month Day). If you cannot locate a date on the document use the abbreviation (n.d.) in place of the year.

  • APA doesn't specify whether links should be plain text or 'active'. See the official APA Style Blog for more information.

 

Basic format for the entry is:

 

Reference list examples:

Blogs and blog postings

 

To talk about a blog in general terms, refer to the section at the bottom of the page. If you are referencing information from a blog see the information directly below.

 

General guidelines for specific blog posts

  • Provide the exact date of the post in the form Year, Month Day.
  • Do not italicise the title of the post.
  • Add the format description in square brackets after the title.
  • APA doesn't specify whether links should be plain text or 'active'. See the official APA Style Blog for more information.
  • Blog post format:

  • Format for comments on blog posts:

 

In-text examples:

People that work in libraries are there to help (Annoyed Librarian, 2015).

Others commented that students being shown how to use resources was important (SpacefaringLibrarian, 2015).

 

Reference list entries:

 


To discuss a blog in general terms

 

To cite a blog as a whole or to discuss it in general terms in your assignment, it is sufficient to give the blog URL in text, inside round brackets. There is no need for a reference list entry.

In-text reference

The Unpretentious Librarian blog (http://unpretentiouslibrarian.blogspot.com.au/) posts a number of entries that the professional librarian may find interesting.

Reference list

No entry needed.

Twitter & Facebook

 

To talk about a Twitter feed or Facebook page in general terms, refer to the section at the bottom of the page. If you are referencing information from Twitter or Facebook see the information directly below.

This information has been taken from the official APA Style Blog.

 

To cite a specific post use the format below.

1) Where only a screen name is available cite the author as it appears in the post, for example:

In-text reference

Irish writers are bucking the trend ... (G@GuardianBooks, 2011).

Reference list

 

2) When the real name is clear, giving the real name in the Reference List followed by the screen name in brackets, and in the text citation just using the surname and the year.

In-text reference

Julia Gillard committed her government ... (Gillard, 2011).

Reference list

 


Guidelines for Twitter and Facebook

  • Basic format is as follows:

  • Give the year, month and day, but not the time; if there is more than 1 post from the same author on the same day, distinguish them by adding a, then b, after the year, e.g., (2011a, July 13), then (2011b, July 13).
  • If no date can be established, put (n.d.) instead. If the date is reasonably certain but not recorded, you can use 'circa', e.g. (ca. 2007). 
  • Twitter posts are often short enough to provide the whole tweet in the title position, including a shortened URL if relevant. Facebook updates may need to be truncated. They are not italicized. 
  • Give a description of the form in brackets immediately after the name of the thread, e.g., [Twitter post] or [Facebook update].
  • The URL should lead directly to the post rather than to the feed in general, in order to be as direct and specific as possible about what is being cited. To obtain the exact URL, click the date/time underneath the post to be taken to an individual update page with its own URL. 
  • In-text citations are more easily managed with parentheses.
  • Because personal and friends-only Facebook pages are not retrievable by everyone, references to these pages should be handled as personal communications.
  • Retrievability: Because online social media is more about live updates than archiving, we don’t know if these status update pages will still be here in a year, or 5, or 20 years. So if you are writing for publication, it may be prudent to self-archive any social media updates you include in your articles.
  • APA doesn't specify whether links should be plain text or 'active'. See the official APA Style Blog for more information.

 


 

To discuss a Twitter feed or Facebook page in general

 

To cite a Twitter feed or Facebook page as a whole or to discuss it in general terms in your assignment, it is sufficient to give the site URL in text, inside round brackets. There is no need for a reference list entry.

In-text reference

The UON Student Central Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/UONStudentCentral) lists a number of options for students ...

Reference list

No entry needed.

Streaming video (including YouTube, Kanopy, ClickView and Netflix)

 

Streaming video is digital video content made available through online/networked means. This could be short videos on free platforms like YouTube, or longer content made available through subscription services such as Netflix, Kanopy, etc.

 

YouTube videos

General Rules for YouTube:

  • This information is suitable to use for the various free video hosting platforms, including YouTube, VEVO, Vimeo, Dailymotion, etc.
  • If the author/poster's name is not available use the screen name.
  • Add the format of 'Video file' in square brackets after the title in the reference list.
  • Be sure to include the full YouTube link. The 'Share' feature on YouTube can provide a shortened, usable link.
  • APA doesn't specify whether links should be plain text or 'active'. See the official APA Style Blog for more information.

 

In-Text Citation

(Author Surname OR Screen name, Year)

Example:

... including a library parody of the Old Spice commercials (Harold B. Lee Library, 2010).

Need to direct quote or paraphrase from a video?

Use a timestamp. Check the time that the quote starts on the video and use that in place of a page number, e.g. (Harold B. Lee Library, 2010, 0:19). Here the 0:19 refers to 19 seconds into the short video, where the quote we want starts.

 

Reference List entries:

OR

Examples:

 

Need to quote from comments on a YouTube video?

The official APA Style Blog has information on how to cite comments added to YouTube videos. They suggest being mindful of the context and reliability of the source when using these comments as references.

Kanopy and ClickView videos

General Rules for Kanopy and ClickView:

  • Kanopy and ClickView are video streaming databases available at UON.  Please be advised the the citation tool in Kanopy does not format the film correctly for APA 6th.
  • The 'authors' of the video content are treated a little differently. You will need Producer and Director information. Do not include actors as 'authors'.
  • You will most likely need to check the film's end credits to get the producer information.  You will need to add (Producer) after the initials in the reference list.
  • Kanopy includes the director information under 'Filmmakers'. If this information is not visible, you will need to click 'Show more' on the summary.  You will need to add (Director) after the initials in the reference list.
  • ClickView will usually include director information under 'Info'.
  • Add the format of 'Video file' in square brackets after the title in the reference list.
  • You will need to remove the UON proxy from the Kanopy and ClickView links.  As this is a subscription service you can a shortened version of the link - see the examples below.
  • APA doesn't specify whether links should be plain text or 'active'. See the official APA Style Blog for more information.
  • Need to use the title of the film in your sentence? Add the whole title in italics and using the normal capitalisation to your sentence (e.g. The Dressmaker). You may shorten the title if needed when you are referring to the film multiple times.

 

In-Text Citation

(Producer Surname & Director Surname, Year)

Example:

... is shown in the film The Dressmaker (Maslin & Moorhouse, 2015), where the protagonist Tilly ...

Need to direct quote or paraphrase from a video?

Use a timestamp. Check the time that the quote starts on the video and use that in place of a page number, e.g. (Maslin & Moorhouse, 2015, 1:13:20). Here the 1:13:20 refers to 1 hour 13 minutes 20 seconds into the film, where the quote we want starts.

Note for Kanopy:  the default time that shows is a countdown to the end of the film - to see the actual time that has elapsed you will need to hover you mouse of the moving dot on the timeline.

Note for ClickView:  some video titles in ClickView are 'chapterised'.  This means that the only timeframe visible is that of the current 'chapter' (the short sections the film has been divided into).  To get a suitable timestamp you will need to add the preceding chapter times together (see the chapter menu of the video).

 

Reference List entries:

Examples:

Netflix videos

General Rules for Netflix:

  • Follow the directions below (including using the link provided) no matter the device on which you have accessed Netflix (e.g. SmartTV, tablet, etc.).
  • The 'authors' of the video content are treated a little differently. You will need Producer and Director information. Do not include actors as 'authors'.
  • You will most likely need to check the film's end credits to get the producer information.  You will need to add (Producer) after the initials in the reference list.
  • Netflix provides the director information on the film's summary page.  You will need to add (Director) after the initials in the reference list.
  • Add the format of 'Video file' in square brackets after the title in the reference list.
  • As this is a subscription service you can a shortened version of the link - see the examples below.
  • APA doesn't specify whether links should be plain text or 'active'. See the official APA Style Blog for more information.
  • Need to use the title of the film in your sentence? Add the whole title in italics (e.g. The Ivory Game). You may shorten the title if needed when you are referring to the film multiple times.

 

In-Text Citation

(Producer Surname & Director Surname, Year)

Example:

The allegories of race in the film Bright (Newman, Unkeless, Sarandos, & Ayer, 2017) are not subtle ...

Need to direct quote or paraphrase from a video?

Use a timestamp. Check the time that the quote starts on the video and use that in place of a page number, e.g. (Newman, Unkeless, Sarandos, & Ayer, 2017, 1:01:57). Here the 1:01:57 refers to 1 hour 1 minute 57 seconds into the film, where the quote we want starts.

 

Reference List entries:

Examples:

Podcasts and streaming audio

For podcasts it's better to include the homepage URL of where you found audio stream rather than the full link. The homepage URL is more likely to be correct as time passes to allow the reader to access the podcast. See the official APA Style Blog for more information.

 

General format:

 

Note: 'Creator title' could be producer, host and so on, depending on the information that you can verify for the podcast. The official APA Style Blog recommends using the producer as a preference and other creators if this information is not available.

 

Example:

 

Images taken from the web

 

For images from web pages, refer to the Images, art works, maps tables, etc page.

'Research Starters' from the Library Catalogue

 

For Research Starters accessed from the Library catalogue, refer to the Book Chapters page.

Statistics (ABS)

 

For referencing statistical information from the ABS, refer to the Other: Statistics, standards, case studies, apps, etc. page.

NSW Health forms and screening checklists

 

For patient forms and screening checklists from NSW Health, refer to the Health Resources page.

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