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HomeGuidelines > Resources > Sharing your Web research > APA style for citing social science research on the web             


 

 

 

APA style for citing social science research on the web

The American Psychology Association (APA) style works for most social science projects.

Note: The APA calls for references to be double-spaced, with a regular paragraph indent or a hanging indent. We're going to show you examples in a single-spaced format. Hopefully, the APA will forgive us. 

Web Site—If you want to direct readers to an entire Web site, but not a specific document on that site, all that is needed is the address of the site in the text body. 

      A great place to research law information is on a Web site called FindLaw (http://www.findlaw.com).

You don't need to make an entry in your reference list when you cite an entire Web site in the text of the document, if you are using the APA Style guide.

 

 

Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing about.
—Benjamin Franklin

 

 

 

 

 

Personally I am always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught.
—Winston Churchill

 

 

 

 

 

 

Man must not check reason by tradition, but contrariwise, must check tradition by reason.
—Leo Tolstoy

 

 

 

 

 

 

The tradition of all the dead generations weighs like an incubus on the brain of the living.
—Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte

 

 

 

 

 

Orthodoxy is the Bourbon of the world of thought. It learns not, neither can it forget.
—Thomas Huxley

 Articles or a Specific Document from a Web Site–—Documents on the WWW share many of the same elements found in traditional print documents. So, citations are similar to APA guidelines for print material. Here are three examples.

  •  An announcement or article from a news service:

      American Institute of Petrochemicals. (1999, October 16). AIP public policy action alert: Legislation affects ability to recuperate investment in restoration of drilling sites [Announcement]. Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved June 24, 2000, from the World Wide Web: http://www.aip.com/ppa/recup.html

  •  An article with an identified author:

       Daza, J. (2001). Technology planning: What small business needs to know. Technology Today, 36, 14-15. Retrieved July 15, 2001, from the World Wide Web: http://www.atc-1.com/technologytip.htm

  •  An article with no author identified:

     From infrastructure to structured cabling: Why spend the extra? (2001, August). Convergence, 51, 75-79. Retrieved September 3, 2001 from the World Wide Web: http://scs.com/news/stc.html

 Online Databases

The APA provides a basic retrieval formula for online databases accessed via the Web. If the database does not contain certain aspects that the formula requires, such as item number, just leave them out.

Author, date, source database, name of database item (in italics or underlined), item number if applicable, retrieval date, WWW, and URL. Our example does not have an item number, so we skip it.

      Caldwell, P. (2000 October 3). The Scientific and Technical Information Network. Encryption: Predicting the impact on Internet crime. [Online database]. Retrieved March 3, 2001 from the World Wide Web: http://www.fiz-karlsruhe.de/onlin_db.htm.

 E-mail—E-mail communications from individuals should be cited as personal communications. Personal communications are not cited in the reference list according to the APA guidelines—they should be cited in text.

      The manner in which the wound should be cleaned depends on the wound classification. (R. P. Chavez personal communication, June 28, 2001).

Discussion Groups—The APA makes a distinction between retrievable online postings and non-retrievable postings. Personal e-mail is considered non-retrievable and, as pointed out, needs only to appear in your text. This goes for non-retrievable discussion and newsgroups postings, as well. However, retrievable postings (ones that someone else can find again later) need to be cited as shown in the following example.

      Tourbucket, M. (1998). Currency connections. International Currency Discussion List [Online]. Retrieved January 12, 1999 from the World Wide Web: http://www.icd.edu/finance-dl/15478

Newsgroups—The same rules apply to newsgroups as did to discussion groups.

Chat Sessions—The same rules for discussion groups, newsgroups, and email apply to chat sessions. If the session is retrievable via a transcript, then you have to cite it. If not, just include it in your text, as you would a personal e-mail.

Lists—The same rules for discussion groups, newsgroups, and email apply. If the e-mail is retrievable, then you have to cite it. If not, just include it in your text, as you would a personal email.

FTP Site—Use the same format as you would to cite a Web Page or a specific document from a web page and insert ftp in place of the http://www.

Telnet Site—Use the same format as you would to cite a Web page or a specific document from a Web page and insert telnet in place of the http://www.

GOPHER Site—Use the same format as you would to cite a Web Page or a specific document from a Web page and insert Gopher in place of the http://www.

 See

APAStyle.org. 2001. Electronic references. http://www.apastyle.org/elecref.html

Thanks to our co-citationologist, Joyce Daza, for her many contributions to these articles.

 

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