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APA 6th referencing style

A guide to using the APA 6th referencing style.

Reference list formatting

  • A reference list is arranged alphabetically by author last name.
  • If a reference has no author, it is cited by title, and included in the alphabetical list using the first significant word of the title.
  • If you have more than one item with the same author, list the items chronologically, starting with the earliest publication.
  • Each reference appears on a new line.
  • The reference list is double lined spaced (between each reference AND within each reference)
  • Each item in the reference list is required to have a hanging indent.

Morawska, A., & Sanders, M. R. (2006). Self-administered behavioral family intervention for parents of toddlers: Part I.

                 Efficacy. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 74(1), 10-19. doi:10.1037/0022-006X.74.1.10

  • References should not be numbered.
  • If there is no date, the abbreviation n.d. may be used.
  • Use the full journal name, not the abbreviated name.

Difference between reference list and bibliography

  • A reference list only includes the books, articles, and web pages etc that are cited in the text of the document.
  • A bibliography includes all sources consulted for background reading, even if they are not cited in the document


  • Article or chapter titles use sentence case - the first word uses a capital letter with each subsequent word in lower case. The exceptions are for names eg. countries and after a colon: eg. Writing prose in Australia: Words of wisdom from the best
  • Books (including for book chapters) and reports titles use sentence caseThese should also be italicised eg. Publication manual of the American Psychological Association.
  • Journal, magazine and newspaper titles should be provided in full and use capitals where appropriate (rather than sentence case) eg. Psychological Review. These should be italicised.
  • Website titles should be italicised if the work can be considered to stand alone eg. government report. If the work is part of the page and can't be considered to stand alone, the title should not be italicised. 

Publisher details

  • For places of publication in the USA, include the city/town and the state, using the official USA Postal Service 2 letter abbreviations eg. Boston, MA
  • For places of publication outside the USA, include the city/town and country eg. Brisbane, Australia
  • For publisher names, words like "Co.", "Publishers" or "Inc." should not be included. For example, use Springer, not Springer Publishers.
  • If there are more than two locations recorded for a place of publication, use the location that is listed first.

Multiple works with same author(s) and same year

  • Arrange works with the same author(s) and same year alphabetically by title in the reference list.
  • Add the relevant letter after the year (which is used for in-text references). The first reference listed uses "a", second uses "b" etc.
  • If the date is either "in press" or n.d. (for no date), include a dash then the relevant letter at the end eg. (in press-a) or (n.d.-a)

Yang, Q., & Harris, J. G. (2010a). Dynamic range control for audio signals using fourth-order level estimation. Paper presented at the 129th Audio Engineering Society Convention, San Francisco, CA.

Yang, Q., & Harris, J. G. (2010b). A higher-order spectro-temporal integration model for predicting signal audibility. Paper presented at the International Conference on Acoustics, Speech, and Signal Processing, Dallas, TX.

Example reference list

Community. (2009). In J. Scott & G. Marshall (Eds.), A dictionary of sociology (3rd Rev. ed.). Retrieved from

Carson-Chahhoud, K. V., Ameer, F., Sayehmiri, K., Hnin, K., van, A. J. E., Sayehmiri, F., . . . Smith, B. J. (2017). Mass media interventions for preventing smoking in young people. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (6). Retrieved from doi:10.1002/14651858.CD001006.pub3

Dutton, W. H. (2013). Oxford handbook of Internet studies. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.

Elvrum, A. K. G. (2016). Assessment of hand function in children with bilateral cerebral palsy. (Doctor of Philosophy), Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway.

Gull, F., Ceccacci, S., Menghi, R., & Germani, M. (2016). An adaptive smart system to foster disabled and elderly people in kitchen-related task. Paper presented at the Proceedings of the 9th ACM International Conference on Pervasive Technologies Related to Assistive Environments, Corfu Island, Greece.

Morawska, A., & Sanders, M. R. (2006). Self-administered behavioral family intervention for parents of toddlers: Part I. Efficacy. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 74(1), 10-19. doi:10.1037/0022-006X.74.1.10

Productivity Commission. (1999). Australia's gambling industries: inquiry report. (10). Australia: Author.

Scheinin, P. (2009). Using student assessment to improve teaching and educational policy. In M. O'Keefe, E. Webb & K. Hoad (Eds.), Assessment and student learning: Collecting, interpreting and using data to inform teaching (pp. 12-14). Melbourne, Australia: Australian Council for Educational Research.

Seow, W. K., Clifford, H., Battistutta, D., Morawska, A., & Holcombe, T. (2009). Case-control study of early childhood caries in Australia. Caries Research, 43(1), 25-35. doi:10.1159/000189704

Siegel, R. D., & Yalom, V. (2016). Integrating mindfulness into counseling and psychotherapy. San Francisco, CA: Kanopy Streaming.

The Coca-Cola Company. (2017). 2016 sustainability report. Retrieved from The Cocoa Cola Company website:–update/2016-Sustainability-Report-The-Coca-ColaCompany.pdf