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Social Work

APA Style

(This APA style guide last revised: 10/9/19)

The NEW 7th edition (© 2020) APA style Manual was released Oct. 1, 2019, along with their
new official APA style Blog.

Coming soon to this guide: APA Style 7th ed. examples.

Please see tabs indicating "7th ed." for Manual Introduction and Instructional Aids for transitioning to new style as reflected in the Manual.

Current examples reflect the 6th edition, 2nd printing (© 2010) of the Publication ManualAPA Style Guide to Electronic References, 6th ed. (© 2012); and APA Style Blog 6th Edition Archive 


NMU will switch to 7th edition beginning January 2020 with the winter semester. However, the 6th edition examples will remain available on this guide through August 2020 in order to accommodate graduate student theses & dissertations.

Note: Enforcement of APA style is up to course instructor or publication editor.

Note that examples below reflect APA's change to DOI format on March 1, 2017.

For one article:

  1. Check the first page of article (usually in smaller print near journal logo, copyright, or near author email address).
  2. If not on article, check database record/abstract (sometimes labeled as DOI). CINAHL began adding DOI's in 2009.
  3. If DOI does not appear on either article or in database, search the Cross/Ref DOI Lookup using article author/title

For list of references:

  1. Create an account at Cross/Ref. After you submit your request, you will receive an e-mail. Please click on the provided link to activate your account.
  2. Next, go to Simple Text Query Form and enter your e-mail address, then copy & paste entire reference list into box. Click submit.

An individual DOI may be verified/searched:
Resolve a DOI name

Do steps in order:

  1. Look for web address on the article.
  2. Type complete journal title in web browser address bar.
  3. Check database record.
  4. Search journal title in Ulrich's (works great for journal title with common words).

NOTES: Journal titles which begin with BMC or other online-only journals often use document numbers instead of issue numbers, as in this example in volume 15: 15:366. However, do not use the document number in your reference; instead, provide the volume number followed by page numbers indicated on PDF. See third example below.

Please verify DOI format with journal author guidelines before submission.

Journal Article (continuous pagination throughout volume)

  • Wilens, T. E., & Biederman, J. (2006). Alcohol, drugs, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: A model for the study of addictions in youth. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 20, 580-588.

Journal Article (continuous pagination throughout volume), more than seven authors

  • Caselli, D., Carraro, F., Castagnola, E., Ziino, O., Frenos, S., Milano, G. M., . . . Aric, M. (2010). Morbidity of pandemic H1N1 influenza in children with cancer. Pediatric Blood & Cancer, 55, 226-228.

Journal Article which provides a volume number and document number instead of an issue number on the article itself (example: 15:366), and each article in the volume usually begins with page number 1.

  • Norris, E., Shelton, N., Dunsmuir, S., Duke-Williams, O., & Stamatakis, E. (2015). Virtual field trips as physically active lessons for children: A pilot study. BMC Public Health, 15, 1-9.

Journal Article (paginated by issue)

  • Klimoski, R., & Palmer, S. (1993). The ADA and the hiring process in organizations. Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research, 45(2), 10-36.

Cochrane Database Report retrieved from Cochrane Library

  • Shaw, K., O'Rourke, P., Del Mar, C., & Kenardy, J. (2005). Psychological interventions for overweight or obesity. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (2).

Advance online article (published online before print; may or may not include pagination; indicate initial page number or range if available).

  • Jung, T. I., Hoffmann, F., Glaeske, G., & Felsenberg, D. (2009). Disease-specific risk for an osteonecrosis of the jaw under bisphosphonate therapy. Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology. Advance online publication.


Journal Article (continuous pagination throughout volume)

  • Arakji, R. Y., & Lang, K. R. (2008). Avatar business value analysis: A method for the evaluation of business value creation in virtual commerce. Journal of Electronic Commerce Research, 9, 207-218. Retrieved from

Journal Article (paginated by issue)

  • Williams, J. (2008). The victims of crime. Sociology Review, 17(4), 30-32. Retrieved from

Journal Article (paginated by issue), more than seven authors

  • Fuchs, D., Fuchs, L. S., Al Otaiba, S., Thompson, A., Yen, L., McMaster, K. N., . . . Yang, N. J. (2001). K-PALS: Helping kindergartners with reading readiness: Teachers and researchers in partnerships. Teaching Exceptional Children, 33(4), 76-80. Retrieved from

Magazine Article (page numbers appear on article)

  • Bower, B. (2008, Feb. 9). Dawn of the city: Excavations prompt a revolution in thinking about the earliest cities. Science News, 173(6), 90-92. Retrieved from

Newspaper Article (no page number provided)

  • Heinlein, G. (2007, July 24). Michigan smoking ban takes big step. Detroit News. Retrieved from

Newsletter article, retrieved from publisher web site

Unless newsletter article is paginated, exclude pages numbers.

  • Dowd, N., O'Donnell, P., & Snoek-Brown, J. (2007, Winter). WeLead and academic libraries: A bright future. Wisconsin Association of Academic Librarians WAAL Newsletter, 24(1). Retrieved from

Provide holding database home or entry page URL. 

Journal Article (continuous pagination throughout volume)

  • Billson, C. J. (1892). The Easter hare. Folklore, 3, 441-466. Retrieved from
  • Langdon, S. W., & Preble, W. (2008). The relationship between levels of perceived respect and bullying in 5th through 12th graders. Adolescence, 43, 485-503. Retrieved from

Article in a journal

  • Darling-Hammond, L., & Falk, B. (1997). Using standards and assessments to support student learning. Phi Delta Kappan, 79(3), 190-199.

Article in a Popular Magazine

  • Caloyianis, N. (1998, September). Greenland sharks. National Geographic, 194(3), 60-71.

Article in a Newspaper (Discontinuous pages)

  • Von Drehle, D. (2000, January 15). Russians unveil new security plan. The Washington Post, pp. A1, A21.

(Informally Published or Self-archived Work, Manual, p. 212) 

Individual web page

Since web pages and documents are similar to print, references to them include the same elements such as author, date, title, etc. Note that proper names and acronyms are capitalized. Date of retrieval is included because "the source material may change over time" (Manual, p. 192, and

IMPORTANT NOTE: the web page title is not italicized because APA considers web pages informal publications. If the web page is also available as an online document/report (for example in PDF), please download that report, cite in-text appropriately, and use the online report format instead (click here to jump to those examples).

Web page: Individual person(s) as author(s) (note capitalization of proper names, & when persons are authors you must include name of website)

  • Lewis, O., & Redish, L. (2011). Native American tribes of Wisconsin. Retrieved April 19, 2012, from the Native Languages of the Americas website:

Web page: Group of people as authors: Mayo Clinic Staff (if citing more than 1 section, use "Print" URL)

  • Mayo Clinic Staff. (2014). Gestational diabetes. Retrieved October 1, 2014, from

Web page: Organization as author, shows update year

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2012). Diabetes & pregnancy. Retrieved October 1, 2014, from

Web page: Organization as author, no update year (note capitalization of proper names)

  • Milwaukee Public Museum. (n.d.). Stockbridge-Munsee history. Retrieved April 16, 2012, from

Note regarding citing an entire web site source

When discussing an entire web site (as opposed to a specific page on the web site), an entry does not appear in the reference list, but is cited within text as shown in the following sample sentence:
The International Council of Museums web site provides many links to museums, codes of ethics, and the museum profession (

Photographs, drawings, etc. copied or adapted from a Web Page

Notes: APA Manual (p. 192) states: "Do not include retrieval dates unless the source material may change over time." Since web page content often changes, provide the date of retrieval. Also, if you must split the URL between two lines, do so before a slash or a dash, but do not split https:// 

Following illustration title, insert type of medium in square brackets. Illustration types include diagram, photograph, painting, drawing, bronze sculpture, etc.

  • National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. (2012). Dermal absorption [Diagram]. Retrieved March 11, 2013, from

If illustration does not have a name/title, insert description including type of medium in square brackets following year. This example does not have a publication date.

  • Florida Hospital. (n.d.). [Untitled photograph of a woman.] Retrieved March 11, 2013, from
Books & Reports, retrieved online source

Electronic version of print book, retrieved from STAT!Ref (Use same URL for all STAT!Ref entries)

  • Nieswiadomy, R. M. (2008). Foundations of nursing research (5th ed.) [STAT!Ref version]. Retrieved from

Electronic version of print book, retrieved from EBSCO eBook Collection (Use same URL for all EBSCO entries)

  • Vogel, C. G. (1999). Legends of landforms: Native American lore and the geology of the land. Retrieved from

Electronic version of print book, retrieved from ProQuest Ebook Central / Academic Complete (use same URL for all entries)

  • Chandler, C. K. (2011). Animal assisted therapy in counseling. Retrieved from

Electronic version of print book, freely available, organization as author

  • American Nurses Association. (2015). Code of ethics for nurses with interpretive statements. Retrieved from

Electronic version of print book, freely available through National Academies Press (some indexed in PubMed), organization as author (DOI assigned)

  • National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. (2013). Human genome editing: Science, ethics, and governance.

Electronic version of print book, retrieved from SpringerLink (DOI assigned)

  • Valencia, C. A., Pervaiz, M. A., Husami, A., Qian, Y., & Zhang, K. (2013). Next generation sequencing technologies in medical genetics.

Electronic book - direct link unavailable or URL leads to information on how to obtain the item.
Note use of "Available from" instead of "Retrieved from"

  • Gonzalez-Mena, J. (2007). Diversity in early care and education: Honoring differences. Available from

Electronic version of book chapter from an edited book

  • Symonds, P. M. (1958). Human drives. In C. L. Stacey & M. DeMartino (Eds.), Understanding human motivation (pp. 11-22).

Report/Document available on the web, authored by individual(s)--not agency, has publication date & report number

  • Russo, C. A., & Jiang, H. J. (2006). Hospital stays among patients with diabetes, 2004 (Statistical Brief No. 17). Retrieved from Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality website:

Report/Document available on the web, no author identified, no publication date (provide title first)

  • Elementary school math instruction questionnaire results. Most significantly improved schools. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Report/Document available on the web, authored by a nongovernmental organization, no publication date

  • Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration. (n.d.). Handbook of accreditation. Retrieved from

Report/Document from institutional archive or university department web site

  • Trapp, Y. U. (2005). Multiple intelligences: The learning process in our students. Retrieved from Yale University, Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute website:
Books, retrieved print source

Book, no author or editor

  • Place title in the author's position; alphabetize on reference list by the first significant word in the title; cite in text using a few words of the title, or the whole title if it is short, in place of the author's name.

Nursing 2016 drug handbook (36th ed.). (2016). Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer.

Book, one author

  • McKibben, B. (1992). The age of missing information. New York, NY: Random House.

Book, multiple authors

  • Larson, G. W., Ellis, D. C., & Rivers, P. C. (1984). Essentials of chemical dependency counseling. New York, NY: Columbia University Press.

Edited book (editor in place of author)

  • Inness, S. A. (Ed.). (1998). Delinquents and debutantes: Twentieth-century American girls' cultures. New York, NY: New York University Press.

Book, subsequent edition (2nd, 3rd, etc.)

  • Stanfield, P., Cross, N., & Hui, Y. H. (2012). Introduction to the health professions (6th ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Article or chapter in a book where each chapter is written by a Contributor, and book has authors (not editors), subsequent edition

  • Landis, C. A., & Heitkemper, M. M. (2011). Sleep and sleep disorders. In S. L. Lewis, S. R. Dirksen, M. M. Heitkemper, L. Bucher, & I. M. Camera, Medical-surgical nursing: Assessment and management of clinical problems (8th ed., pp. 112-125). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier.

Article or chapter a book where each chapter is written by author(s), and publisher is book author (not editor), subsequent edition

  • Kouzes, J. M., & Posner, B. Z. (2007). The five practices of exemplary leadership. In Jossey-Bass, The Jossey-Bass reader on educational leadership (2nd ed., rev. ed., pp. 63-72). San Francisco, CA: Author.

Report from a private organization (author & publisher same)

  • National League for Nursing. (1990). Self-study report for community health organizations (Pub. No. 21-2329). New York, NY: Author.

Article or chapter in an edited book (editors indicated)

  • Hartley, J. T., Harker, J. O., & Walsh, D. A. (1980). Contemporary issues and new directions in adult development of learning and memory. In L. W. Poon (Ed.), Aging in the 1980s: Psychological issues (pp. 239-252). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Entry in an Encyclopedia, retrieved online, no entry author

  • Boss brass. (2009). In H. Kallmann & G. Potvin (Eds.), Encyclopedia of music in Canada. Retrieved from

Entry in an Encyclopedia, retrieved from online, entry has author name

  • Gersten, T. (2014). Hemophilia B. In National Library of Medicine, A.D.A.M. medical encyclopedia. Retrieved from

Entry in an Encyclopedia, retrieved from STAT!Ref online, no entry author

  • Vernix caseosa. (2009). In D. Venes (Ed.), Taber's cyclopedic medical dictionary (21st ed.) [STAT!Ref version]. Retrieved from

Entry in an Encyclopedia, electronic version of print book, entry author, multi-volume, direct link unavailable, retrieved from Gale Virtual Reference Library

  • Hanegraaff, W. (2005). New Age movement. In L. Jones (Ed.), Encyclopedia of religion (2nd ed., Vol. 10, pp. 6495-6500). Retrieved from

Definition Entry in a general Dictionary, retrieved online, no entry author, no date, no editor. Note: When no entry author is provided, move name of word into author position.

  • Diabetes. (n.d.). In Merriam-Webster's online dictionary (11th ed.). Retrieved from

Entry in a Dictionary, retrieved online, no entry author, no editor

  • Terrorism. (2009). In DOD dictionary of military and associated terms. Retrieved from

Entry in an encyclopedia
This includes both general and specialized encyclopedias. If an entry does not have a byline, begin the reference with the entry title and publication date.

  • Moore, C. (1991). Mass Spectrometry. In Encyclopedia of chemical technology (4th ed.) (Vol. 15, pp. 1071-1094). New York, NY: Wiley.

Entry in Mental Measurements Yearbook (MMY)
Title of the review and authorship appears in italics at the beginning of the review narrative (example provided below). Also, note that many entries published in MMY contain more than one review. Title of the test is capitalized.

Review of the Comprehensive Assessment of School Environments by NANCY L. ALLEN, Research Scientist, Educational Testing Service, Princeton, NJ:

Allen, N. L. (1992). Review of the Comprehensive Assessment of School Environments. In J. J. Kramer & J. C. Conoley (Eds.), The eleventh mental measurements yearbook. Lincoln, NE: Buros Institute, University of Nebraska Press.

Working Paper, from electronic database [ERIC] (Manual, p. 206)

  • Xu, D., & Jaggars, S. S. (2013). Adaptability to online learning: Differences across types of students and academic subject areas (CCRC Working Paper No. 54). Retrieved from

Dissertations/Theses: Doctoral Dissertations, from electronic database [ERIC] (Manual, pp. 207-208)

  • Simon, C. E. (1995). Information retrieval techniques: The differences in cognitive strategies and search behaviors among graduate students in an academic library (Doctoral dissertation, Wayne State University). Retrieved from

Speeches/Meeting Papers - Published in proceedings, limited circulation, retrieved from ERIC database (Manual, p. 192 & p. 207)

  • Lucas, L. A. (1998). Issues in the creation and coordination of an academic computing help desk. Association of Small Computer Users in Education: Proceedings of the ASCUE Summer Conference, North Myrtle Beach, SC (pp. 87-92). Retrieved from

ERIC Digest - Informally published or self-archived work, from ERIC (Manual, p. 212)

  • Schuetz, P. (2000). Successful collaborations between high schools and community colleges. ERIC Digest. Retrieved from

Dissertations/Theses: Master's Theses - Unpublished, from an electronic database [ERIC] (Manual, pp. 207-208)

  • Lopez, J. (2005). Characteristics of selected multilingual education programs from around the world: A review of the literature (Unpublished master's thesis). Dominican University of California, Retrieved from

Report - from ERIC (Manual, p. 212)

  • Brewster, C., & Railsback, J. (2002). Full-day kindergarten: Exploring an option for extended learning. Retrieved from

Speeches/Meeting Papers - Unpublished presentation retrieved from ERIC (Manual, p. 206)

  • Shaw, C. L. M. (1997, November). Customer satisfaction: Communication training and the help-desk hot-line. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the National Communication Association, Chicago, IL. Retrieved from


  • Barker, C. L., & Searchwell, C. J. (2000). Writing year-end teacher improvement plans--right now!! The principal's time-saving reference guide. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press. (ED450448)

Report - available from ERIC (microfiche-only, but without report number)

  • Morgan, D. R. (1982). Desegregating public schools: A handbook for local officials. Norman, OK: Bureau of Government Research, University of Oklahoma. (ED215005)

Speeches/Meeting Papers - Unpublished presentation (microfiche-only)

  • Kondrick, L. C., & Franklin, K. K. (2003). A conceptual model for a task analysis of methods in action research design. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Mid-South Educational Research Association, Biloxi, MS. (ED482468)

Master's thesis from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses database (written by NMU graduate student)

  • Smith-LaBrash, S. (2010). Influence of learning styles, gender, self-rated computer experience, and age on preference for computer-assisted learning versus traditional learning (Master's thesis). Retrieved from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses database. (UMI No. 1483122)

Doctoral Dissertation from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses database

  • Richardson, L. S. (2010). Elementary teachers' perceptions of grade retention (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses database. (UMI No. 3416301)

Doctoral Dissertation from a commercial database

  • Jackson, S. L. (2007). Program effectiveness of job readiness training: An analysis and evaluation of selected programs in St. Louis, Missouri (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from ABI/INFORM database. (UMI No. 3241781)

Doctoral Dissertation from an institutional database (sometimes referred to as a Commons or has ETD in url)

  • Naylor, S. M. (2007). Understanding graduate student constructs for finding meaning in the advising experience: A qualitative case study of incoming master's of social work students (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from

Master's Thesis or Doctoral Dissertation using persistent link/identifier or handle (sometimes called uri); the source address "" usually appears as part of the URL/URI.

  • Bartel, T. M. C. (2005). Factors associated with attachment in international adoption (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from

Unpublished master's thesis (not indexed in Dissertation Express or Dissertation Abstracts/Master's Abstracts)

  • Paulosky, K. A. (1997). Knowledge and attitudes of pain and activities of nurse administrators (Unpublished master's thesis). Northern Michigan University, Marquette, MI.

Note: According to Anne Gasque (Manual senior editor), since Dissertation Abstracts International is unavailable through NMU, researchers may substitute Dissertation Express information for DAI entry information.

Master's thesis indexed in Dissertation Express

  • McNiel, D. S. (2006). Meaning through narrative: A personal narrative discussing growing up with an alcoholic mother (Master's thesis). Available from Dissertation Express database. (UMI No. 1434728)

Doctoral dissertation indexed in Dissertation Express

  • Met, L. (1976). A study of the development and validation of a high school leadership training program: Evaluation of the student leadership program (Doctoral dissertation). Available from Dissertation Express database. (UMI No. 7703303)

Doctoral dissertation abstracted in Dissertation Abstracts International (DAI).

  • Gould, J. B. (1999). Symbolic speech: Legal mobilization and the rise of collegiate hate speech codes. Dissertation Abstracts International, 60(02), 533A.

Master's Thesis from a university outside of the United States, does not appear in Dissertation Express.

  • Hansen, C. F. (2007). Active support for instructors and students in an online learning environment (Master's thesis, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada).

Doctoral Thesis from a university outside of the United States, publisher is a university & name of province is included in name of university, then do not repeat the name (APA Manual, 6.30). Also, does not appear in Dissertation Express.

  • Ni, E. A.-L. (2012). New paradigms for active learning (Doctoral thesis, University of Western Ontario, London, Canada).

Doctoral Thesis from a university outside of the United States, publisher is a university & name of province is not included in name of university (include province postal abbreviation). Also, does not appear in Dissertation Express.

  • Watts, E. (1999). The freshman year experience, 1962-1990: An experiment in humanistic higher education (Doctoral thesis, Queen's University, Kingston, ON, Canada).

YouTube-type Video Blog Post

  • Goyen, A. (2007, February 22). Downtown Marquette dog sled races [Video file]. Retrieved from


  • University of Chicago. (2007, December 12). European cartographers and the Ottoman world, 1500--1750 [Video file]. Retrieved from

Video Webcast from Television Series Single Episode

  • ABC News (Producer). (2007, September 21). Dying professor's lecture of a lifetime [Video webcast] [Television series episode]. In Good Morning America. Person of the Week. Retrieved from

Audio Podcast

  • Charney, T. (Producer). (2007). Ashes to hope: Overcoming the Detroit riots. U.P. family still struggles to deal with pressure of '67 riot [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from

Film / Movie / Motion Picture

  • Chrisman, S. (Producer & Director). (2003). Lumberjack life U.P. days of yore [DVD]. Available from

U.S. Government executive document, authored by agency, with report number. Per the 9/25/18 APA Style blog post, APA recommends providing the specific government agency name for author, not the complete long form showing hierarchy of departments (although both forms are now correct).
Note that the agency publication number may appear on the web document or in the library catalog.

  • Environmental Protection Agency. (1999). Smog-Who does it hurt? What you need to know about ozone and your health (EPA Publication No. EPA-452/K-99-001). Retrieved from

Government Report/Document, authored by individual(s)--not agency, has publication date & report number.

  • Werner, C. A. (2011). The older population: 2010 (2010 Census Briefs, No. C2010BR-09). Retrieved from U.S. Census Bureau website:
  • Russo, C. A., & Jiang, H. J. (2006). Hospital stays among patients with diabetes, 2004 (Statistical Brief No. 17). Retrieved from Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality website:

Government report, no document number

  • Food and Drug Administration. (2017). Food facts: Food and water safety during power outages and floods. Retrieved from

Note: For government documents which do not have a personal author, APA recommends per the 9/25/18 APA Style blog post providing the specific government agency name for author, not the complete long form showing hierarchy of departments (although both forms are now correct). Also, not all U.S. government documents are published by GPO. As is the case for the second example below, when the publisher is the authoring agency, write: Author in the publisher's field.

U.S. Government executive document
Note that the agency publication number may appear on the document or in the online catalog.

  • Lindeman, D. A. (1984). Alzheimer's disease handbook (DHHS Publication No. OHDS 84-20813). Washington, DC: Government Publishing Office.


  • National Park Service. (2004). Pictured rocks national lakeshore: Final general management plan, wilderness study, environmental impact statement. Washington, DC: Author.

Michigan Government executive document
Michigan Department of Community Health. (2003). Michigan dementia plan summary: Reducing the burden of dementia in Michigan. Lansing, MI: Author.

For legislative and legal materials, APA uses the conventional legal citation format found in The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation. Guidelines and additional examples appear in the Manual on pp. 216-224.

Unenacted bills - Federal - retrieved through
Unless you wish to provide parallel traditional and Internet references, it is not necessary to indicate where you retrieved bill text.

For legislative materials such as hearings, reports, bills, etc., provide title, Congress, session, and date.

Josh Miller HEARTS Act, S. 1197, 111th Cong. (2009).

Unenacted bills - State - retrieved through
H.B. 4379, 95th Leg., Reg. Sess. (Mich. 2010).

Court Decision with record number identifier (Note source abbreviations - WestLaw: WL & Lexis-Nexis: LEXIS)
Note: If screen numbers are assigned, precede with an asterisk.
Hornback v. U.S., No. 03-5099, 2004 WL 68510, at *1 (C. A. Fed. Jan. 13, 2004).

U.S. Government Congressional document
For legislative materials such as hearings, reports, bills, etc., provide title, Congress, session, and date.

  • Charter schools: Hearing before the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Youth, and Families of the Committee on Education and the Workforce, House of Representatives, 105th Cong. 1 (1998).

Court decision (note that no part of entry is italicized)
United States v. Nixon, 418 U.S. 683 (1974).

When course materials such as a syllabus, lecture notes, or presentation slides (e.g., PowerPoint) are available only from the course instructor, a classmate, or accessible only through course management systems such as NMU EduCat, Moodle, or Blackboard, then such content is considered Personal Communications (APA Style Guide to Electronic Resources, 2nd ed., p. 31).\

Personal communications do not appear in the reference list, but are cited within text as follows:

L. Flood (personal communication, April 7, 2014) 

(N. Gasiewicz, personal communication, March 26, 2014).

Paper in proceedings published regularly

  • Rissman, J., Greely, H. T., & Wagner, A. D. (2010). Detecting individual memories through the neural decoding of memory states and past experience. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, 107, 9849-9854. doi:10.1073/pnas.1001028107

Paper in proceedings published regularly, more than seven authors

  • Brem, S., Bach, S., Kucian, K., Guttorm, T. K., Martin, E., Lyytinen, H., ... Richardson, U. (2010). Brain sensitivity to print emerges when children learn letter-speech sound correspondences. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, 107, 7939-7944. doi:10.1073/pnas.0904402107

Conference presentation slides

  • Clumpner, K. E. (2007, April). Interdisciplinary blog for liaisons [PowerPoint slides]. Paper presented at the annual conference of the Wisconsin Association of Academic Librarians, Wisconsin Dells, WI. Retrieved from

Conference panel abstract

  • Freier, M., Bennett, T., & Riley, A. C. (2009, March). Gender, generation, and toxicity: The implications for academic libraries of gender and generational attitudes toward competition and workplace behavior. Panel presented at the ACRL 14th National Conference, Seattle, WA. Abstract retrieved from

Published Proceedings
Capitalize the name of the symposium.

  • Barlow, D. H., Chorpita, B. F., & Turovsky, J. (1996). Fear, panic, anxiety, and disorders of emotion. In R. Dienstbier (Ed.), Nebraska Symposium on Motivation: Vol. 43. Perspectives on Anxiety, Panic, and Fear (pp. 251-328). Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press.

Proceedings published regularly (format similar to periodicals)

  • Wassenaar, L. I., & Hobson, K. A. (1998). Natal origins of migratory monarch butterflies at wintering colonies in Mexico: New isotopic evidence. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, 95, 15436-15439.

Poster presented at conference

  • Raspe, P. D. (1991, April). Relationship among given names in the Scilly Isles. Poster session presented at the annual meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists, Milwaukee, WI.

The APA Publication Manual (6th ed., p. 179) indicates that personal communications include letters, memos, telephone conversations, some electronic communications (e.g., e-mail or messages from nonarchived discussion groups or electronic bulletin boards), etc.

Personal communications do not appear in the reference list, but are cited within text as follows:

D. Walch (personal communication, January 19, 2007). 

(L. Brothen, personal communication, June 6, 2004).

Although referencing the full-text of an article is preferred, abstracts may be used as sources (Manual, p. 202).

Abstract found in database - Abstract as secondary source

  • Johnson, P. D. (1998). Rural stroke caregivers: A qualitative study of the positive and negative response to the caregiver role. Topics in Stroke Rehabilitation, 5(3), 51-68. Abstract retrieved from CINAHL database. (Accession No. 1999045958)

Abstract found on publisher web site - Abstract as original source

  • Wang, J. L., Lesage, A., Schmitz, N., & Drapeau, A. (2008). The relationship between work stress and mental disorders in men and women: Findings from a population-based study. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 62, 42-47. Abstract retrieved from

Message posted to a Blog

  • Jacobson, J. (2009, November 8). Historic health reform bill passes but at a price: Women's groups have mixed reaction [Blog post]. Retrieved from

Message posted to an electronic mailing list (archived)

  • SaFeddern, T. (2004, May 10). Summary: EBN (nursing) resources [Electronic mailing list message]. Retrieved from Nursing & Allied Health Resources Section of the Medical Library Association (NAHRS),

Graphic representation of data derived from a data set / data bank
When a figure (graph, map, chart, etc.) or table is generated/created from a data set/data bank available online, use the following to reference the data set. Since data sets/banks are frequently updated, provide the URL of the initial web page used to generate the graphic. Note to also properly caption & cite the resulting graphic or table. See examples of how to caption & cite tables & figures from another source.

  • National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. (2007). Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. Trends Data [Data file]. Retrieved from

APA How-to Videos

Note: prepared by Library faculty & staff

Basic Formatting

How-to video: APA Style - Customizing Microsoft Word settings
Shows how to customize Microsoft Word to become more APA style friendly. 

How-to APA style Video: Create Running Head & insert page numbers

Basic Explanation of APA Reference Components

** forthcoming **

APA Style: How-to videos on formatting references

Professor Strahan introduces the NMU Library APA Style guide (4:25)
Explores various parts of the new Library APA guide, including overview of resources available in each tab.

Reference for a Journal Article Assigned a DOI (digital object identifier)
How to format reference for a journal article assigned a DOI. 

Reference for a Web page
How to format reference for a web page authored by an organization (U.S. government agency).

Reference for an Authored Book
How to format a reference for a book written by authors, not editors.

How-to video: APA Style of a Sample Paper narrative
Shows how to format various types of in-text citations for APA style, & formatting numbers & percent. Includes single, multiple, & when to use et al.

How-to video: APA Style of a Sample Paper references
Explains how to format the following types of references in a sample paper according to APA Style: print book, web page, journal article assigned DOI, authored chapter in an edited book, and an article retrieved online but not assigned a DOI.

APA in Presentation Slides

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th Edition)
How to Format APA-type Content in Presentation Slides 

Note: The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association 6th ed. 2010 does not specifically address formatting style content in presentation slides. 
The following recommendations are based on information provided in Chapter 5 of the Manual, the APA Style Blog, and the APA Style Guide to Electronic References, 6th ed., 2012. Since space is limited on slides, use single line spacing in all cases (including references).

INSERTING & CAPTIONING ILLUSTRATIONS (images, pictures, etc.) retrieved from a web page

After inserting the illustration on the slide, you must caption it underneath, using single-spaced lines. The standard format is:

  • Label each figure in order, beginning with number 1. The first image is labeled Figure 1.
  • Using your own words, briefly describe what the figure shows.
  • Reprinted (retained original appearance) / Adapted (modified appearance) statement.
  • In-text citation. Note that format is different from References. The components: title/label of image, author/creator of image, publication year. 

Example of a Diagram with no modification to appearance, with a title/label, author/creator is an organization, and publication/copyright date provided:

Image of hair follicles demonstrating a properly written cpation.

Figure 1. Chemicals are absorbed in the skin by passing through hair follicles. Reprinted from 
Dermal Absorption, by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 2012.

Example of Photograph with no modification to appearance, without a title/label, author/creator is an organization, and no publication/copyright date provided:

image with no labels etc

Figure 2. Connections of non-invasive neuromuscular electrical stimulation for treating dysphagia. Reprinted from [Untitled photograph of a woman], by Florida Hospital, n.d.

At the end of your presentation, you must list your references. Here are the references to the above images. 
Although APA style requires double-spacing of reference entries, it is suggested to instead use single spacing on slides. Arrange entries alphabetically, and retain the hanging indent format in order to differentiate references. 
Yes, you may copy & paste references from Zotero to presentation slides--contact a librarian for assistance. 

[ Notes: APA Manual (p. 192) states: "Do not include retrieval dates unless the source material may change 
over time." Since web page content often changes, provide the date of retrieval. Also, if you must split the URL between two lines, do so before a slash.]


Florida Hospital. (n.d.). [Untitled photograph of a woman.] Retrieved March 11, 2013, from

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. (2012). Dermal absorption [Diagram]. Retrieved March 11, 
        2013, from

APA Captioning Tables & Figures

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association(6th Edition)
How to Caption Tables & Figures from Another Source 


Table components consist of Table & number, title in italics, the table of information, and the caption. The caption begins with the word Note in italics, followed by descriptive note(s) for the table, then the source of the table (if not created by the author). The caption appears immediately underneath the table proper. Everything is double-spaced.

Material adapted from a journal article. Note format is different from References.

Note. Descriptive note. Adapted [or Reprinted] from “Title of Article,” by F. M. Author and C. D. Author, year, Title of

Journal, volume, p. xx. Copyright year by the Name of Copyright Holder. Adapted with permission.


Note. Values are percentages. Reprinted from “Hope and Social Support as Resilience Factors Against Psychological

Distress of Mothers Who Care for Children With Chronic Physical Conditions,” by T. V. Horton and J. L. Wallander,

2001, Rehabilitation Psychology, 46, p. 387. Copyright 2001 by the Educational Publishing Foundation. Adapted with



Material adapted from a book. Note format is different from References.

Note. Descriptive note. Adapted from Title of Book (p. xx), by F. M. Author and C. D. Author, year, Place

of Publication: Publisher. Copyright year by the Name of Copyright Holder. Adapted [or Reprinted] with permission.

Note. Examples of maternal medical problems. Adapted from Preterm Birth: Causes, Consequences, and Prevention (p. 149)by R. E. Behrman and A. S. Butler (Eds.), 2007, Washington, DC: National Academies Press. Copyright 2007 by the National Academy of Sciences. Adapted with permission.


APA defines a figure as any illustration that is not a table. Figures do not have separate titles but may include a legend (if applicable). The caption begins with an explanation (which also serves as the title), followed by source of figure (if not created by the author). The caption appears immediately underneath the figure and begins with the word Figure and figure number in italics. Everything is double-spaced.

Material adapted from a journal article. Note format is different from References.

Figure #. Description/Note. Adapted from “Title of Article,” by F. M. Author and C. D. Author, year,

Title of Journal, volume, p. xx. Copyright year by the Name of Copyright Holder. Adapted [or Reprinted] with



Figure 3. Model of hypothesized relationships. Adapted from “Hope and Social Support as Resilience Factors

Against Psychological Distress of Mothers Who Care for Children With Chronic Physical Conditions,” by T. V. Horton

and J. L. Wallander, 2001, Rehabilitation Psychology, 46, p. 386. Copyright 2001 by the Educational Publishing

Foundation. Adapted with permission.

APA Review Checklist

Unless otherwise specified, page numbers indicated in square brackets refer to the 6th edition, 2nd printing or later (© 2010) of the Publication ManualAPA Style Guide to Electronic References, 6th ed. (© 2012); and APA Style Blog ( Latest changes reflected in NMU Olson Library APA Style Guide.

APA revised the DOI (Digital Object Identifier) format on March 1, 2017. Example:

APA Style is fluid (regularly changing), and some referencing formats have changed since the Manual was published in July 2009.

Therefore, it is highly recommended students consult the NMU Olson Library APA Reference Style Guide for examples, especially how to reference articles & books assigned a DOI, articles retrieved online which were not assigned a DOI, and how to reference online books & reports. However, the library's APA guide and checklists are not replacements for the entire Manual.

When preparing a product, it is highly recommended using MS Word style "No Spacing," because "Normal" style inserts extra space between paragraphs & references. 
If project is already written, change the content by highlighting narrative & references, click on Line and Paragraph Spacing, and then select: Remove Space After Paragraph.


  • Times New Roman 12-point font; everything double-spaced.

Organization & Miscellaneous

  • Include page numbers & running head as specified in DNP guidelines. Some Thesis & NMU Nursing DNP Scholarly Project guidelines specify No Running Head, and have different location for page numbers.
  • (Graduate works only) Chapters labeled according to DNP Handbook using words, not numerals.
  • In narrative, only two spaces (not one, not three) following end of sentence punctuation. Use Ctrl-H to find & replace these occurrences.
  • IRB is Institutional Review Board
  • If two sets of words are hyphenated but split, include the hyphen for both. Correct: pre- and post-test Incorrect: pre and post-test
  • Also, be consistent using word forms. If you introduce pre-test using a hyphen, keep that form throughout manuscript; do not make it one word: pretest.
  • Refer to decades without apostrophe. Correct: 2000s Incorrect: 1990's.
  • APA does not use superscripting for numbers such as 4th or 3rd. (Change Options - Proofing - Autocorrect settings in Word).

Inclusion of copyrighted material

  • Inclusion in whole (reprint) or in part (adaptation) of previously published copyrighted material requires written permission from the copyright holder[APA Manual, pp. 173-174] [DNP Scholarly Project Guidelines, p. 12]
    If original source is journal article, book, or report, contact publisher. If an instrument (survey, etc.), first contact creator directly.
    If material is from a web page, it is still protected by copyright, & students must secure permission before using. Place copies of permission correspondence (e-mail, letters) in an Appendix. 
    If permission is not received, copyrighted material must not be included in the Scholarly Project.

Chapter 4 - Mechanics of Style (Capitalization, Spelling, & Numbers) [pp. 87-124]


  • Capitalize all proper nouns and brand names of products. However, do not capitalize generic names. 
    [p. 102] Example: capitalize Tylenol, but not acetaminophen.
  • Academic course names. Spell out and capitalize specific course.
    Example: Nursing 311 not NU 311. [p. 102]
  • Do not capitalize or italicize names of laws, theories, models, statistical procedures, or hypotheses. However, capitalize personal name portion of these. [pp. 102-103] 
    Example: Roy's adaptation theory
  • Capitalize complete titles of tests, inventories, or scales. However, do not capitalize the word test or scale if it refers to subscales of tests. [p. 103]
  • First word of genera, species, and varieties are always capitalized. All are italicized. [p. 105]

Numbers [pp. 111-114]

  • Verify correct form of all numeric values. Include a comma for thousands (except dosage, temperature, years).
  • Generally, values less than 10 are spelled out, and values 10 or greater use numbers. 
    Examples: five nurses   75 patients
    However, when beginning a sentence with a number, always spell out the number as word(s). Example: One nurse supervises 15 RNs   not: 1 nurse supervises
    APA recommends not beginning a sentence with a number, and instead rewrite the sentence.

Exceptions to these general rules for numbers

  • Range of time should be numbers, as in: 9 to 12 months or 9-12 months
  • For time of day, do not spell out in words, but rather use standard conventions: 
    12:00 p.m. or at 3:00 p.m. [p. 112]
  • Use words for approximates, as in: about six weeks. [p. 112]
  • Temperature: use numerals and scale abbreviation. [p. 114] 
    Example: 98.6 °F
  • Percent: When percent sign is preceded by a number, use symbol with no space. [p. 118] 
    Correct: 12%  5% 
    Incorrect: 12 percent  5 percent   five percent   five%
  • However, when discussing percentage (no value) or percentile, spell out word.

Statistical and Mathematical Copy [pp. 116-123] Note use of italics & spacing

  • Writing p values: p < .001 or p = .005
  • Number of subjects in total sample N = vs. n = for portion of sample

Chapter 5 - Displaying Results (Tables & Figures) [125-167]

  • APA uses the following terminology: 
    Tables (row-column structure) 
    Figures (graphs, charts, maps, photos, illustrations-basically any illustration which is not a table) [p. 125]
  • Tables & figures are numbered using Arabic numerals in the order in which they appear in the work. 
    [p. 127]
  • Must label all tables & figures, even those in Appendices
  • Must caption all tables & figures.
  • The label for a table is written above. Example: Table 1 then double-space between table number and table title.
  • Insert table caption below table, beginning with: Note. 
    If information is from another source, include citation in caption according to copyright holder's directions; if none provided, use examples in Chapter 5 and as indicated on this library guide.
  • Figure number is placed underneath as part of the caption, and is italicized: Figure 2.
  • When student creates table/figure using data/info from their own research, caption needs to include only a brief description and any notes.
  • When referring to either in the narrative, capitalize the word, don't italicize, and never abbreviate: 
    Table 1  (Figure 3)

Chapter 6 - Crediting Sources (citing in-text & formatting names in references) [169-192]

Examples of how to format in-text citations appear in Table 6.1, p. 177, the In-text Citations tab of the APA guide, and here on the Library's web site.

  • In-text citation only works listed in the References. 
    Exception: When referring to an entire web site in the narrative, provide the source URL of the site in parentheses, and do not include in References. 
    Example: The American Nurses Association website ( provides a wealth of information to the newly-licensed RN.
  • Use Ctrl-F to find all occurrences & formatting of an author’s work(s) in-text & on the References list.
  • Spelling accuracy of author last names is critical.
  • Make sure to cite complete individual person author last name(s) in-text; that is, no abbreviations or shortening.
  • When citing groups/organizations the first time, spell out name and then indicate its acronym. In order to avoid confusion, recommend using well-known acronym for that group/organization. 
    Example: Here is a parenthetical first citation to a 2010 WHO report: (World Health Organization [WHO], 2010). Subsequent in-text cites to this work would then appear as: (WHO, 2010).
  • When citing more than one author parenthetically, place ampersand before last author, not the word and. Example: (Smith & Jones, 2011).

  • et al. : format inside parentheses is: (first author et al., year) Outside parentheses: first author et al. (year)
  • Applying et al. : If not using Zotero or Endnote (which tracks & automatically formats et al.), must keep track of first set of authors then subsequent use of et al. Do not revert to listing all of the authors later in the manuscript.
  • Citing six or more authors? Use: first author et al. and the year for first & subsequent cites. However, if two references shortened are the same form, include in-order first author and additional authors as necessary, followed by a comma and et al. to distinguish the works. [p. 175]

  • Citing more than one source within parentheses? Arrange alphabetical in order as they appear on the References list, and separate entries by a semi-colon. 
    Correct: (Jones & Smith, 2017; Marks & Fitz, 2012) Also, do not insert the word and or & sign after the semicolon. 
    Incorrect: (Smith & Marks, 2012; & Taylor & Fish, 2014)

  • More than one work with same first author surname (but are different people) [p. 176, Section 6.14] 
    Insert in-text all of the first author initials including capitalization and periods. 
    Example: Two works authored as follows: Barley, Zoe A. published in 2009; and Barley, Maurice Willmore published in 1972. 
    When citing these in-text, write: 
    We reviewed a number of studies authored by Z. A. Barley (2009) and M. W. Barley (1972).
  • More than one work with same first author surname (but are different people) & will use et al.(same first author/year & et al.). Insert in-text all of the first author initials.
  • When referring to individuals (not authors) in-text, omit titles (Dr.) and degrees (PhD). [p. 23]. Also provide in-text citation.

  • Secondary sources. As stated in the Manual: "Use secondary sources sparingly ... when the original work is out of print, unavailable through usual sources, or not available in English." [p. 178] 
    Generally, avoid using secondary sources. Instead, well before project deadline, try to acquire the original source cited in the secondary source. If the library does not own the original work, request through interlibrary loan (articles only take a few days, and books a little longer). 
    When writing a master's or doctoral thesis/dissertation/scholarly project, it is recommended students should not be citing secondary sources and relying upon secondary interpretations.
  • Strongly recommend referencing & citing original source of theories, not rely upon secondary sources. Examples include journal articles, books, or web page authored by theorist. Also acceptable would be reprint of author's theory in a theory book.
  • When referring to a specific figure in-text, the word is capitalized. Example: Figure 1
  • Seriation (creating lists) see Manual pp. 63-64. If including within a paragraph, APA uses letters, not numbers.
  • Direct quotation fewer than 40 words (part of sentence). Period is placed at the end of the sentence, not at the end of the quote. [Manual, p. 171]
  • Direct quotation 40 or more words (Block quotation). Period is placed at the end of the quotation itself. In-text citation follows but does not end in a period. [Manual, p. 171]
  • Emphasizing terms. Use italics the first time, and normal text thereafter. Do not use quotation marks unless indicating it as a direct quote, and then of course citing the source.
  • Abbreviations. Provide only when expected to use abbreviation more than once.
  • Avoid making et al. a possessive.
  • When citing & referencing names of software (such as SPSS, etc.), see p. 210 for rules.
  • All direct quotes must include page number, or if web page... section heading and paragraph number.

Chapter 7 - Reference Examples [pp. 193-215]

Law/legal sources: Manual, Appendix 7.1: References to Legal Materials [216-224]; The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation (2015) 


  • Begin references on a new page, then center & title it (neither bold nor underline): 
  • Only works cited in-text must appear in References (except when referring to an entire web site, which is in-text only). Works consulted but not directly cited do not belong on the list of references. 
    Exception: Writing a Literature Review-type of article (which is vastly different from the lit review section of the scholarly project).
  • Some sites may refer to web pages as "articles." In APA style, articles are published in periodicals (journals, magazines, newspapers/news sites). If it is not a periodical, reference as a web page.
  • Reference the same exact work only once in the list.
  • Make sure all entries use hanging indent, and are double-spaced.
  • Provide one space following end of sentence punctuation in References.
  • Arrange list alphabetically by first author last name.
  • Never use et al. in the References list.

Author Sentence

  • For a reference entry, list authors in the order they appear on the work.
  • Must include author middle initials when provided in the source (this is absolutely required). This directly affects the arrangement of entries in References.
  • Do not place a comma between author initials, but after the author first initial (when no middle is used), or after middle initial (when middle initial is used).
  • Must place a space between author initials.
  • When author has hyphenated first name, include periods for initials: M.-C.
  • Scandinavian author names such as van Soeren: Van is usually not the middle name, but rather part of the last name. Capitalize according to the form as it appears on the article.
  • When same exact set of authors in the same order & published same year, arrange alpha by title/part, and place lower-case letters immediately after year: (2001a) (2001b) [Manual, p. 182]. Use same year format for in-text cites.
  • When referencing works with more than 7 authors, there is a space between 6th author initial and ellipses. For example: Smith, L., . . . Bardin, T.
  • Format of author entries are last name, first initial, middle initial. Only exception is for authored chapter in an edited book.
  • When organization is author, do not include or replace name with acronym. Correct: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Incorrect: CDC.
  • When referencing U.S. government agencies as authors, do not spell out United States. Instead, provide initials without a space: U.S. 
    Also, provide the specific agency, not just the parent agency. Exception is CDC and some other well-known health agencies. See examples on APA guide & p. 205.

Publication Year

  • For journal articles, books, reports, & web pages, provide only the latest year.
  • For magazine articles, provide year, month such as: (2012, August)
  • For newspaper articles, provide year, month, day: (2017, July 10)

Capitalization of article, book, report, & web page titles

  • Basically, capitalize first word of title, & subtitle following a colon. Also proper names, abbreviations, & acronyms.
  • Titles of projects are considered proper names, and therefore capitalized.
  • Do not place quotation marks around article titles unless they appear on the article.
  • When including quotation marks in a title, the ending period goes inside, not outside of the ending quotation mark.

Source sentence: Journal articles

  • Journal titles: Do not use MEDLINE-type of abbreviations, such as Am J Nutr
  • Verify official title of journals (e.g., Formulary, not Formulary Journal).
  • Journal titles: If official title is an acronym, DO NOT expand title. Correct: JAMA, AORN Journal, AANA Journal 
    Incorrect: Journal of the American Medical Association
  • Only include location when part of official title-even if the publication title is a generic name. Correct: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Incorrect: The Mining Journal (Marquette).
  • Capitalize all significant words; that is, all words except conjunctions, articles, prepositions.
  • Italicize journal title and volume number (but not issue number or page numbers).
  • Must include volume number (unless not yet assigned due to advance publication). Suggest including issue number unless known for sure that journal uses continuous pagination throughout volume.
  • Article published in supplemental issue format is: 109(Suppl. 2)
  • Advanced online publications - Verify article status is still advanced (has not been published). Often, articles have been published between when first retrieved, and then later submitted for a grade.
  • Colons are not used in the source sentence.
  • Must provide complete beginning & ending page numbers for articles. However, if journal is published online-only which includes an article number not a page number, APA requires you provide the page number range of the PDF. Examples include titles beginning with BMC. 
    For journals which are only published in HTML format and do not provide page numbers, place a period after the issue number. For example, referencing articles from Online Journal of Issues in Nursing would look like this: Online Journal of Issues in Nursing 22(3).

DOI (digital object identifier)

  • Must provide assigned DOI; this is not a choice, but a requirement. NMU DNP students are required to use the new format (effective 3/1/17), which begins: 
    Zotero uses this new format.
  • Verify DOIs are correct and match the reference.
  • If you split a DOI address between lines, begin next line with a slash: /

DOI not appearing on article or book?

Where to locate DOI for one article

  1. Check the first page of article (usually in smaller print near journal logo, copyright, or near author email address).
  2. If not on article, check database record/abstract (sometimes labeled as DOI). CINAHL began adding DOIs in 2009.
  3. If DOI does not appear on either article or in database, search the Cross/Ref DOI Lookup using article author/title

Where to locate DOI for list of articles

  1. Create an account at Cross/Ref. After you submit your request, you will receive an e-mail. Please click on the provided link to activate your account.
  2. Next, go to Simple Text Query Form and enter your e-mail address, then copy & paste entire reference list into box. Click submit.
  • If article retrieved online is not assigned a DOI, then must provide journal home page URL. 
    Note: this is different than the URL of where you found the article.
  • Verify the correct journal URL which matches the article referenced. For example, there are at least three different journals titled Child Welfare.
  • URLs are not underlined or active (change Options - Proofing - Autocorrect settings in Word).
  • If you split URL between lines, next line must begin with a slash: /

Book, Reports, Government Documents

  • Referencing a book with editors? In most cases, reference the separately-authored chapter(s), not the entire book.
  • Very few quality/academic works lack an author. If unable to identify an author, search title in WorldCat to verify the author.

  • For reports, include report number in parentheses at end of title sentence. Also provide URL for PDF, not web page URL on which PDF link appears.
  • Print version: Include Place of publication (City, ST/Province) or (City, Country) followed by a colon : followed by publisher. 
    Name of publisher: exclude words such as Publishing, Pub., Co., or Inc. [Manual, p. 187]
  • Name of publisher: keep words such as Books and Press [Manual, p. 187]

  • Online version: Do not include exact URL, but instead the source URL (see Library's APA Guide for provider-specific examples). You may not substitute print reference information for an ebook.
  • No comma between book title and edition statement within parentheses.
  • When online reports are regularly updated, recommend using latest published report (current data).

Chapter in an edited book

  • Is the book edited, or just authored? Verify by looking at the title page and verso page (will state edited by or Ed.).
  • Begin entry by providing author(s) of book chapter. Year of publication. Title of chapter.
  • Include page numbers of entire chapter, not just cited portion.

Web pages

  • If no individual(s) responsible for page, provide organization/agency as author.
  • Include latest year of publication as indicated on web page. Except for some government agencies, most provide year.
  • Titles of web pages are no longer italicized (changed in fall 2014).
  • For web pages, indicate exact date of retrieval.
  • If source is behind a paywall or "member-only," provide home page URL.
  • Verify URLs for web pages; update broken URLs.
  • Use caution when referencing lecture notes by a graduate TA or papers posted by students, as their credibility is questionable.
  • Some sites may refer to web pages as "articles." In APA style, articles are published in periodicals (journals, magazines, newspapers/news sites). If it is not a periodical, reference as a web page.

MLA Style to APA Style References

Creating References
Transitioning from MLA Style (Handbook, 8th ed., 2016)
APA Style (Publication Manual, 6th Edition, 2010, second printing or later; 
APA Guide to Electronic References, 2012; official APA style blog) 

Created by Prof. Mike Strahan
Updated 8/24/2019

Found the following work while searching ERIC, and retrieved online after clicking
Get this for me [NMU Olson Library]

Floor Effects Associated With Universal Screening and Their Impact on the Early Identification of Reading Disabilities
Hugh W. Catts, Yaacov Petscher, Christopher Schatschneider, Mindy Sittner Bridges and Katherin Mendoza
Journal of Learning Disabilities, Vol. 42, No. 2, 163-176 (2009)

MLA Works Cited entry (retrieved from publisher web site):

Catts, Hugh W., Yaacov Petscher, Christopher Schatschneider, Mindy Sittner Bridges 

          and Katherin Mendoza. "Floor Effects Associated With Universal Screening and

          Their Impact on the Early Identification of Reading Disabilities." Journal of Learning

          Disabilities, vol. 42, no. 2, March/April 2009, pp. 163-176. doi:10.1177/0022219408326219. 

[Note that if we had found the full-text of this article in an online database, the name of the database
in italics would be inserted between the page numbers and DOI.]

APA Reference entry, DOI assigned:

Catts, H. W., Petscher, Y., Schatschneider, C., Bridges, M. S., & Mendoza, K. (2009).

          Floor effects associated with universal screening and their impact on the early

          identification of reading disabilities. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 42(2), 163-176. 


Explanation of APA reference components


APA format & notes
Author Use last name, first and middle initials. Separate two or last two authors by an ampersand (&). If work has more than 7 authors, list first 6, then three dots ... then last author. This is a major change from previous APA guidelines.
Publication Year For journal articles, only provide the year. For magazine articles, include year followed by month. For example: (2008, June).
Article Title Only capitalize first letter of first word for title and subtitle. Also capitalize proper names, acronyms, & abbreviations. Unlike MLA, no quotation marks.
Journal Title Capitalize all words except articles. Entire title in italics.
Volume Number Italics
Issue Number

Most scholarly/research journals use continuous pagination; that is, the first issue of a volume begins with page 1, and the page numbers continue until the end of the last issue in the volume.

However, in the online environment, many researchers are not familiar enough with the journal to know whether each issue is separately paginated; that is, each issue begins with page 1.

Therefore, it is recommended researchers include the issue number within parentheses (not italics) immediately following the volume number: 55(6)

Page Numbers

Include all page numbers where article appears. Do not use sloppy format, such as 163-76; instead write complete range: 163-176.

If journal is published online-only and articles are numbered, use pagination indicated in PDF form of article. Example: 1-12.

DOI - Digital Object Identifier

Unique number assigned to primarily journal articles, and some 
e-books and e-book chapters.

Note that not all articles are assigned a DOI, especially popular magazine and newspaper articles. The DOI always begins with 10 followed by a period and four digits and a slash. Example: 10.1177/

Remaining part of identifier may be all numbers, all letters, or combination of letters and numbers.

Beginning March 1, 2017, APA changed the format of the DOI to begin with 
followed by the assigned DOI. 

Even though some databases and journals may not use the current format, researchers & students are expected to follow the current standard format in their APA references.


Handouts and Guides for 7th edition

The following are instructional aids for the seventh edition Publication Manual. They can be used in homes, classrooms, libraries, or anywhere you are learning or teaching APA Style. 

Sample Papers (student & professional) 

Exploring Social Work

Locating Journal Articles

Listing of electronic journals available through NMU pertaining to Social Welfare & Social Work (scroll down to the Social Welfare & Social Work section).

Journal articles and other resources focused on social work, human services, and related areas, including social welfare, social policy, and community development. 1979 to present.

Journal articles, books, and other resources on all aspects of sociology and related disciplines. Subjects include demography, environmental interactions, family and social welfare, social psychology, human biology, women's studies, health, medicine, law, etc. 1952 to present; abstracts since 1974.

Journals, books, and other resources covering psychology and psychological aspects of related disciplines including: anthropology, business, education, law, linguistics, medicine, nursing, pharmacology, physiology, and sociology. 1805 to present.

Journal articles, books, and other resources relating to education--from early childhood to higher education. Views 'education' very broadly and covers areas such as outdoor education, corporate training, speech language therapy, etc. 1966 to present.

Google Scholar

Journal articles, books, and other resources across many subjects. Provides a "cited by" feature to indicate other papers containing a source paper as a reference.

 Popular vs. Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Periodicals
A list of criteria to use when determining the differences between popular and scholarly periodicals. See also the accompanying powerpoint presentation and the example scholarly article.

Selected Reference Sources

Reference sources offer convenient access to a wide range of information. Everything from statistical sources to specialized encyclopedias and dictionaries can be found in these sources. The following is a small sample of relevant resources for sociology and social work. Browse the collection in these call number ranges or stop by the Reference Desk to locate additional sources.

Dictionary of Social Work and Social Care

Encyclopedia of Social Work (4 volumes) 
(LRC 3rd floor) HV 35 .S6

Social Workers Desk Reference
A vital tool for practitioners and students preparing for a social work career. Each of the 146 chapters provides practice guidelines and treatment plans. 
(LRC 3rd floor) HV 40 .S6464

Encyclopedia of Sociology (5 volumes) 

Social Work Policy Analysis

Dr. Karl Johnson

Federal and State Government Resources for Social Work Policies

Are you a Distance Learner? Distance learners are those students registered for at least one NMU course which meets online-only or co-location or hybrid or off-campus/off-site, AND who are not residents of the NMU campus. This definition includes students registered for clinic, directed study, field experience, internship, practicum, study abroad, or graduate thesis/project/Continuous Enrollment Credit, AND who are not residents of the NMU campus. Register here.

Federal Government Resources

General Resources The U.S. Government’s Official Web Portal. Searches more than just the federal govermnet--state, tribal, and local: any government entity that has a web presence. Searching can be limited to a specific domain.

Catalog of Government Publications. Much like a library catalog, but only for government publications. Committee websites (linked down the this page) often leave out large parts of hearings. The published versions will eventually appear here in their entirety.

Govinfo Online resource from the Government Publishing Office. Many resources are available from this site.

  • In particular, the Federal Register. Proposed rules governing federal agencies, final rules, executive orders and other presidential documents, and noticies of scheduled public hearings, are posted daily in this publication. A much more user friendly version of this publication is the Federal Register 2.0.
  • Once any regulation is codified (made official), they are printed in the Code of Federal Regulations, a publication divided into 50 titles that represent broad areas subject to Federal regulation.

Narrower Resources Provided by the Library of Congress, this resource offers access to legislative information including bills (and their history), public laws, the Congressional Record, House and Senate Committee reports, proposed legislation, roll call votes, etc.

Legislative Tracking via GovTrackOpenStates, and LegiScan (these also track state legislation). Similar to in that you can track current legislation, but contains additional commentary, and links. Additional tracking resources can be found here via A resource created in 2003 for the public to easily search for proposed regulations and comment on them. You can sign up for alerts about a specific regulation and subscribe to RSS feeds by agency of newly posted Federal Register notices. Complimentary to, but aimed more for federal government agencies. Available here is the "Reg Map", a flowchart showing the informal rulemaking process.

The Unified Agenda "The Unified Agenda provides uniform reporting of data on regulatory and deregulatory activities under development throughout the Federal Government, covering approximately 60 departments, agencies, and commissions. Each edition of the Unified Agenda includes regulatory agendas from all Federal entities that currently have regulations under development or review. Agencies of the United States Congress are not included. Fall editions of the Unified Agenda include The The Regulatory Plan, which presents agency statements of regulatory priorities and additional information about the most significant regulatory activities planned for the coming year."

Legislative Influence Detector. This resource "helps watchdogs turn a mountain of text into digestible insights about the origin and diffusion of policy ideas and the real influence of various lobbying organizations". Also use Follow the Money and Opensecrets. The Sunlight Foundation has a list of tools to track words, money, deleted tweets, influence, etc.

Contacting Your Lawmaker

Contacting the Congress: cheat sheet from Emily Ellsworth detailing how to effectively talk to your member of Congress. Also, from the MSU Extension, Meeting with your legislator: 10 tips to help you prepare for your meeting.

What district (in Michigan) do you live in? Find out hereOr this website, whoismyrepresentative, which is nationwide. GovTrack is another locator. U.S. House: Find your Representative.

State Level: Find Your Legislator.

Social Work Organisations: The National Association of Social Workers has a page on current issues in Congress.

Specific Publications

Assistance Listings (Formerly the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA)). This website provides detailed, public descriptions of federal assistance listings available to State and local governments (including the District of Columbia); federally recognized Indian tribal governments, Territories (and possessions) of the United States; domestic public, quasi- public, and private profit and nonprofit organizations and institutions; specialized groups, and individuals. Once you identify a federal assistance listing that you�re interested in, you can link directly to grant opportunities on or follow up with that specific agency using the contact information provided.

Green Book: Overview of Entitlement Programs The official title is Background Material and Data on Major Programs within the Jurisdiction of the Committee on Ways and Means, but it's commonly referred to as the "Green Book". It provides program descriptions and historical data on a wide variety of social and economic topics, including Social Security, employment, earnings, welfare, child support, health insurance, the elderly, families with children, poverty and taxation. It has become a standard reference work for those interested in the direction of social policy in the United States. It is compiled by the staff of the Committee on Ways and Means of the U.S. House of Representatives. Govinfo contains the Green Book for 1996, 1998, 2000 and 2004.

Census Bureau Not a publication, but the entire webite. Locate and download detailed population data for specific locations or find quick summaries of cities or states. Electronic versions of The Statistical Abstract of the United States (from 1878 to 2011) are available here as are additional data sources (under "data" at the top of the webpage).

Congressional & Executive Branch Resources

Congressional Budget Office The Congressional Budget Office provides objective, nonpartisan economic analyses of pending legislation. Reports are listed by subject area under “Publications”.

Government Accountability Office The Government Accountability Office, also known as the “Congressional Watchdog”, is an independent and nonpartisan office that studies how the federal government spends taxpayer dollars. Reports (such as Welfare Reform or Foster Youth) can be searched by date, topic, or agency. Look under "Reports and Testimony" .

House Committee on Education & the Workforce. This Committee, and its 5 sub-committees, oversees education and workforce programs. Publications and legislative issues related to education and labor can be found at this website, as well as bills sent to this committee for review. The Senate has the Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions.

House Ways & Means Committee. Among their responsibilities is health care. More specifically, aspects "that relate to programs providing payments (from any source) for health care, health delivery systems, or health research. More specifically, the jurisdiction of the Subcommittee on Health shall include bills and matters that relate to the health care programs of the Social Security Act (including titles V, XI (Part B), XVIII, and XIX thereof) and, concurrent with the full Committee, tax credit and deduction provisions of the Internal Revenue Code dealing with health insurance premiums and health care costs."

House and Senate Committees A listing of House and Senate Committees and their materials from Govinfo. It is obvious from some committee titles that work is conducted on issues of social welfare, while for others it is not so obvious. More resources can be found on the committee websites themselves: Senate committee websites and House committee websites.

White House Office of Management and Budget. Within the White House is this office, which "serves the President of the United States in overseeing the implementation of his vision across the Executive Branch", as well as the Office of Regulatory and Information Affairs. Among their responsibilities is to review federal regulations.

Congressional Research Service, the research arm of Congress. These reports provide a background for upcoming legislation or a current topic of interest. There is no one, public source for them. From the Federation of American Scientists (Miscellaneous Topics might be the best place to look there), University of North TexasFulltextreportsEvery CRS Report, and a new one from

Department, Agency and Bureau Resources (selected)

Department of Health and Human Services The United States government's principal agency for protecting the health of Americans and providing essential human services. This is the big one; many government agencies related to social work listed below fall under this department.

Administration on Aging Falling under the Department of Health and Human Services, the AoA is one of the nation’s largest providers of home and community based care for older persons.

Administration for Children and Families “Federal agency funding state, territory, local, and tribal organizations to provide family assistance (welfare), child support, child care, Head Start, child welfare, and other programs relating to children and families”. Part of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality This is the lead agency charged with supporting research designed to improve the quality of healthcare, reduce its cost, improve patient safety, decrease medical errors, and broaden access to essential services.

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services This is the federal agency that administers Medicare, Medicaid and the State Children's Health Insurance Program.

Health Resources and Services Administration Among the goals of this agency are improving public health and health care systems, the elimination of health disparities, and improve health outcomes.

MedlinePLUS Bringing together authoritative information from the National Library of Medicine (NLM), National Institutes of Health (NIH), United States Pharmacopeia Drug Information, and the A.D.A.M Medical Encyclopedia.

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Also falling under the NIH umbrella, this agency offers information on a variety of alcohol-related issues and work.

National Institute on Drug Abuse Since 1974, this agency’s mission is to “lead the Nation in bringing the power of science to bear on drug abuse and addiction”.

National Institute of Mental Health Another agency falling under the National Institute of Health (NIH). Since 1946, this agency offers information on clinical trials, funding opportunities and current research, and is tailored to both consumers and practitioners in the field of mental health.

Office of Human Services Policy This agency focuses on welfare, poverty, service delivery issues, data for research, policies affecting children, youth, and families, and economic matters affecting the Department of Health and Human Services.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration This agency was created in 1993 to focus attention, programs, and funding on improving the lives of people with or at risk for mental and substance abuse disorders.

Social Security Online The Social Security Administration.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development This department’s mission is to increase homeownership, support community development and increase access to affordable housing free from discrimination.

State of Michigan Resources

The Michigan Legislature websites allows you to search for specific bills in the currrent session. RSS feeds are available for updates on those you are interested in. There are links to the House and Senate and the committees therein.

The State of Michigan's Official Website. The state Executive Branch contains the bulk of the agencies concerning Social Work, including the Department of Community Health, and the Michigan Rehabilitation Services.

The state also has links concerning Health as well as Education and Children’s Services.

For grants, search for "grants" or "grant opportunities" under the particular Michigan agency, or across all agencies at

Michigan Administrative Code. From the Office of Performance & Transformation. This office promotes continuous improvement, uniform understanding, and interagency sychronization across state agencies by leveraging shared purpose, enhanced processes, and empowering people. The rulemaking process is describedas well as links to recent and pending rule changes and latest rule activity.

The Michigan Register contains copies of all proposed administrative rules, notices of public hearings on proposed administrative rules, and administrative rules filed with the secretary of state as submitted by Michigan departments and agencies.

Michigan County Social Services Association A "statewide organization whose members are county Department of Human Services board members, directors, district managers, and supervisors." Maintains a watch on proposed legislation in Michigan of a social work nature.

Three think tanks in Michigan: The Mackinac Center "a nonprofit institute that advances the principles of free markets and limited government", the Institute for Public Policy and Social Research (IPPSR) "applies research to pressing public policy issues and builds problem-solving relationships between the academic and policymaker communities", and the Citizens Research Council of Michigan, which for over 100 years has provided "factual, unbiased independent information on significant issues concerning state and local government organization and finance" There are others in the state and they are listed here.

Gongwer News Service. Michigan state government news and political information since 1906. NMU doesn't have a subscription, but you can get a hint at what's happening. & Elections. The political section of "Michigan's Leading Web Site for News, Information and Community Interaction".

Center for Public Integrity story (November, 2015) on Integrity in Michigan's Government. (not good).

Media Resources

CQ Researcher, a publication from CQ Press. Delves into the background of issues.

Free resources concerning politics: RollCallPoliticoThe Hill. And here is a legal dictionary.

And finally, what happens when you find a topic and do some research on the Internet and find a website that also talks about your topic? Who are these people? What is this group? What are they saying? Give the website a closer look (and the sources they cite--if any) with these in mind. There are organizations that are known for fact checking, but arguably there are no unbiased opinions or evaluations:

  • Michigan Campaign Finance Network. "The Michigan Campaign Finance Network is a nonpartisan, nonprofit coalition of organizations and individuals concerned about the influence of money in politics and the need for campaign finance reform in Michigan. MCFN conducts research on campaign contributions and their relationship to election outcomes and issues of public policy, supports access to campaign finance information and develops educational initiatives for the public on the subject of campaign finance reform."
  • "A nonpartisan, nonprofit “consumer advocate” for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics. We monitor the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews and news releases. Our goal is to apply the best practices of both journalism and scholarship, and to increase public knowledge and understanding."
  • League of Women Voters . "The leaders you elect make the decisions that affect you – your job, health care, energy costs, security and more. The League helps you to get registered, get to know the candidates and issues, and get out and vote." League of Women Voters of Michigan.
  • PolitiFact. Pulitzer Prize winning resource from the Tampa Bay Tribune. Checked are "statements by members of Congress, state legislators, governors, mayors, the president, cabinet secretaries, lobbyists, people who testify before Congress and anyone else who speaks up in American politics [including campaign promises]. We research their statements and then rate the accuracy on our Truth-O-Meter – True, Mostly True, Half True, Mostly False and False. The most ridiculous falsehoods get our lowest rating, Pants on Fire."
  • resource "...illuminates the connection between campaign donations and legislative votes in unprecedented ways. Elected officials collect large sums of money to run their campaigns, and they often pay back campaign contributors with special access and favorable laws" and combines three datasets: bill texts and legislative voting records; supporting and opposing interests for each bill, and; campaign contribution data from the Center for Responsive Politics and the National Institute on Money in State Politics.
  • Every candidate and elected official from President to local government can be easily and instantly accessed through the Voter's Self-Defense System: Voting Records, Biographica & Contact Information, Issue Positions, Interst Group Ratings, Public Statements, and Campaign Finances.
  • Founded in 1975, their "in-depth, unbiased opinion research bridges this gap as our findings and data, instead of supporting one side or another in a partisan debate, powerfully clarifies public attitudes."
  • Washington Post Fact Checker.
  • NMU has a webpage on "Fake News", which fits in well here.


Zotero is a free research manager which helps you collect, organize, and manage your sources. This application works with Google Chrome, FireFox, & Safari web browsers, and integrates with word processing programs such as MS Word & Google Docs. Zotero facilitates quick in-text citing, and one-click generation of references according to a multitude of styles including APA, MLA, Chicago, Turabian, & journal-specific.

Creating an account on Zotero's website allows you to sync your collections to a central point (300MB free) from multiple computers (such as work & home). It also allows you to create groups. 

Minimum operating system requirements for Zotero version 5.x:

macOS 10.9 or later
Windows XP SP2 or later

The following steps will walk you through how to install Zotero on your browser.

Save documents & close all programs other than web browser before proceeding

Rationale: In order to finish the installation. Zotero may need to reboot your computer.

Rationale: The Zotero Connector which allows downloading information from the browser into
Zotero only works with these versions of the browser:

Chrome: Version 55 or higher
FireFox: Version 52 or higher

Once you have opened Firefox, you need to check that it is version 52 or higher. To do this, go to 
the menu heading Help, and select "About Firefox" (see screen shot below). If it says you have a 
lower-numbered version, Mozilla will automatically download & install the latest version of FireFox.


Image showing the "about firefox "button

Google Chrome
Once you have opened Chrome, you need to check that it is version 55 or higher. To do this,
go to the upper-right corner and click on three dots (see screen shot below), highlight Help, and select 
"About Google Chrome". If it says you have a lower-numbered version, Google will automatically 
download & install the latest version of Chrome.


Image showing the "about google chrome" menu option in google chrome.

Once you have the latest version of your browser, open it, download Zotero and install the program. The 
download interface automatically recognizes your specific browser and operating system and provides 
the appropriate choice.

If you receive a message preventing this site ( from installing software on your computer, 
click on the Allow button.

Proceed through the Setup Wizard. When asked about Setup Type (screen below), we recommend choosing Standard. You will be able to customize it later.

Image showing the setup type option on the zotero installer dialogue.


Once installed you will be prompted to Reboot your computer (see below). 

Picture showing the reboot option screen of the zotero installer

After you click on Finish, your computer will reboot.

Open your browser & go to the Download page to install the Connector. The download interface 
automatically recognizes your specific browser and operating system, and provides the 
appropriate choice.


image of a page linking the zotero connection for google chrome download.

This plugin allows you to create a bibliography, in-text citations, and footnotes or endnotes from within word processing software. 

Note that Zotero version 5.x automatically installs the plugin for Microsoft Word.

Open Microsoft Word, and click on the Zotero tab to display tools:

image showing Zotero's Microsoft word toolbar plugin.

Using Google Docs? No plugin required. Click here for Zotero support documentation.

Using LibreOffice? Click here for plugin.

You do not need to register your Zotero account but you may want to do this at a later date as there are a
number of advantages including the ability to sync your citations to the Zotero site, allowing you to 
access them from any computer at any time.

Zotero is a free Web application developed for Firefox, Chrome, & Safari web browsers that allows you to quickly cite in-text and format references in a multitude of styles (APA, MLA, Chicago, Turabian, etc.). Zotero allows you to collect, manage, cite, and share references you've collected for your research.

This guide will walk you through modifying the Preferences tabs screens to configure Zotero.

Important: This guide is intended for users who have just installed Zotero for the first time.

If you already have entries loaded into a past Zotero installation, we recommend you backup your Zotero folder before proceeding, and then after completing customizing, copy your old Zotero folder to a new location on either the Desktop or in Documents.

Please connect to the Internet while configuring Zotero.

If you have not yet downloaded and installed Zotero, please see the Library's Installing Zotero guide for directions with screen shots.

Please Skip this step if your Zotero already contains entries!


You need to decide where to save your Zotero files & retrieved articles. We highly recommend saving to either Documents, or to the Desktop (makes it much easier when migrating to a new computer or quickly backing up), so the first step is to create a New folder in that place & name it: Zotero To access the Preferences settings, open Zotero, then click on the Edit menu choice, and select Preferences:

Zotero pereferences page

Advanced tab -- Files and Folders sub-tab

Under Data Directory Location, click on the Choose button and select the newly-created Zotero folder which appears on your Desktop.

Zotero directory selection image


Zotero will add the information to the screen similar to above, but with your username.

You will be prompted that it must re-start Zotero.

Modify OpenURL Custom Resolver:



[either copy & paste, or right-click & Copy link address & paste]

Advanced tab image

On the General tab you may adjust the User Interface Layout, Font size, & Note font size (recommendations below).

A new feature in Version 5.0 is selecting the Layout (red outline below):

Standard Layout displays a selected entry on the right side of the list of items.

Stacked Layout displays a selected entry underneath the list of items.

All boxes are checked by default.

New to version 5.0.36 are changes to indexing PDFs, which is now automatic--no separate installer needed.

Zotero layout options


Only use if you plan on creating an account & using storage on Zotero server for yourself or group work.

Sync is also beneficial if you are using multiple computers (e.g., work & home) to manage sources.

Enter the username & password used when you created account on Zotero web site.

Note that Sync does not replace making regular backups of your local Zotero files, and cannot be used to restore your Zotero files if your hard drive is damaged or requires re-imaging

Image of sync option

PDF Indexing is a feature which allows you to drag-and-drop previously downloaded pdf files into Zotero, and then have it search for metadata on that file & create an entry for you.

As Zotero facilitates creating your own "library" of sources, enabling PDF Indexing will include those sources when searching within Zotero.

Beginning with Zotero version 5.0.36, this screen shows indexing statistics.

This is another area where you should set the Default style you will use. Note that you may always change the default. Under the Default Output Format, click on the drop arrow to change style.

Image of zotero default format preferences


There are over 9,000 citation styles available for Zotero including many styles based on individual journal titles. Zotero only comes configured with the more popular styles but you may add any of the other styles while inside of Zotero.

After clicking on the Cite tab, click on the Styles sub-tab.

Next, locate the style from the list & click on it to select.If you do not see your specific style, click on the Get additional styles... link (see screen shot below) which will open the Zotero Style Repository, and search for your style. Left-click on the style name to select, which will then load that template into Zotero.

Zotero get additional styles button

Citation Options - Real important especially for APA, MLA, & Chicago styles

Check the box next to the label: Include URLs of paper articles in references.

 Zotero include URLs in citation

It is highly recommended using the classic insert citation interface. So on the Word Processors sub-tab, 
check the box next to the label: Use classic Add Citation dialog

image of word processors options in Zotero

Important: You MUST click the ok button to save all changes.

You are now ready to use Zotero. The Videos below will show you how to use the key features of this program.

Using Zotero

The following videos will take you through the process of importing citations into your Zotero databases, manually creating an entry in Zotero, organizing your citations by collection, and using the MS Word feature to format citations in your research paper. The first two videos have some overlap. However, it is helpful to see how to import citations more than once. Also, the second video goes into more details.

As with most things, Zotero is not perfect. Always check your citations for accuracy. Zotero will not correct data or capitalized titles for instance. Be sure to check the data for each citation. You can always edit the citations in Zotero.

  1. Quick Bibliographic Demo (3:50) - A quick overview of importing citations from Websites or databases
  2. Getting Stuff Into Zotero (4:03) - A more detailed presentation on importing citations into Zotero.
  3. Manually Adding Items (3:05) - Shows you how to manually create a database entry
  4. Organizing Your Sources (3:07) - Shows you how to create folders to manage your citations.
  5. Zotero and Microsoft Word (2:55) - Shows you how to use the Zotero plugin with MS Word to create footnotes, endnotes, in-text citations, and bibliographies. There is also a helpful User Guide for the word processsor plugin.

Additional videos can be viewed at the Zotero Screencast Tutorials page.

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