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APA 7th Edition: A Guide to What's New: Citation Changes

This guide will help you with the changes in the 7th edition of American Psychological Association citation and formatting.

What is APA 7th edition?

APA stands for American Psychological Association, the organization that created this citation and paper formatting style.  Every time they revise their citation and formatting guidelines, they call that revision a new numbered edition.  Until fall 2019, the version of APA in use was 6th edition, but mid-fall 2019, the APA released new citation and formatting guidelines--the 7th edition.  This style of formatting and citation is used in a number of social science fields, such as psychology and education.  This guide is here to let you know about changes made to APA citation and formatting in the 7th edition, and to point you to other useful resources.

Need a quick video overview of changes in 7th edition APA citation style?  Take a look at our 7th edition APA citation video tutorial.

Major Citation Changes

Reference list citation changes:

  • If you’re creating a citation for an article with between 2 and 20 authors, list their last names and initials, and put an ampersand before the last name listed. If you’re creating a citation for an article with more than 20 authors, include the first 19 authors, type an ellipsis (…) and then add the last author’s name.

    • Example:  Hayes, A., & Seaborn, S.  (2000).  The ascent of the bossa nova.  Music History Journal, 22(3), 50-55.

    • Example:  Bartlet, J., Bartlet, A., Lyman, J., Ziegler, T., Moss, D., Cregg, C.J., McGarry, L., Young, C., Hampton, M., Bailey, W., Harper, A., Santos, M., Vinick, A., Schott, A., Hoynes, J., Wiley, W., Ritchie, R., Heston, J., Stackhouse, H.,...Fitzwallace, P.  (2006).  The importance of speechwriting:  A longitudinal study.  Political Journal, 2(4), 102-188.

  • With web addresses, or URLs, you don’t need to write “Retrieved from” in front of a web address unless there's an additional reason you need to include a retrieval date for the website (if, for instance, the website has changed since you viewed it).

  • If the article you’re citing has a DOI, you don’t have to type DOI: before a DOI is listed, and you should list a DOI as a hyperlink. In other words, a DOI should start with https://doi-org or https://doi.org/

  • If the author and publisher of a work are the same organization, list the organization as the author. You don’t need to list it again as the publisher, or write “Author” where the publisher information would go. No publisher name will tell the reader that the author and publisher are the same.

    • Example: Elizabethan Historians of Orono.  (2020).  Red hair and Greensleeves:  A chronology of Tudor England.

  • For a book or book chapter, only include the publisher name, not where the publisher is located.

    • Example:  Burach, R.  (2018).  Truck full of ducks.  Scholastic.

In-text citation changes:

  • If you’re citing an article that has three or more authors, list only the first author’s name and then include the words “et al.” (Latin for “and others”), even the first time you cite a work in-text.
    • Example:  While Bartlet et al. (2006) suggest that speechwriting is a more personal endeavor...
    • Example:  ...think of speechwriting as a more personal endeavor (Bartlet et al., 2006).

Additional Resources

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Amber Gray
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