Tag Archives: apa style

APA Style Joins the Mobile Age

mobileWith smart phones becoming ubiquitous, many researchers are finding that mobile apps are becoming an important part of research. But citing a mobile app can be tricky – after all, it does not fit into the guidelines for traditional software and it is not the same as a printed product. Here are a few things you should know when citing a mobile app:

  • Instead of an author, and app has a rights holder. The rights holder may be an individual, but it may also be a group or a company.
  • Use the publication date of the version you used, even if previous or updated versions are available.
  • If you are only using an entry, article, reference, or portion of the app, that can be noted just as you would in a print reference. That information simply goes at the beginning of the reference.
  • List how you accessed the app – whether you downloaded it from the Apple Store, Google Play, or another Web site.
  • Don’t put a period at the end of the Web address.

Here are some examples:

Rightsholder, A. B. (year). Title of App (Version 1) [Mobile application software]. Retrieved from http://webaddress.com

Article Title. (year). In Title of App (Version 1) [Mobile application software]. Retrieved from http://webaddress.com

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Citing Sources in the Digital Age

APA style seemed fairly straightforward when you were just citing books and journal articles. But with the advancement of digital media, there’s a score of new sources that don’t necessarily fit into the procedures you’ve grown accustomed to using. Here’s a quick primer on how to cite two new media sources.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Have you noticed a long string of numbers and letters at the end of citations recently and wondered what that was? A digital object identifier (DOI) is a unique link that identifies content and its location on the Internet. A DOI address will provide information over time as to where to find a digital object, making it easier and more convenient to locate digital information (while URLs may change, DOI addresses will not). When journal articles are published now, they are assigned a DOI address – a persistent link that will always lead investigators to the same piece of digital information. To locate an article using a DOI address, simply append the DOI string with http://dx.doi.org/ (and then enter the numeric string immediately following).

When making a reference list, simply add DOI, followed by a colon, the DOI number string, and put the date retrieved in parenthesis. Close this phrase with a period. Here’s an example:

Author name. (Year). Article name. Journal Title, page numbers. doi: XX.XXX/XXXXXXXXXX

Citing E-books

With the advent of e-readers, many people are getting their information in hi-tech ways. It isn’t as simple as citing a page number in a print product. When formulating your reference list, make sure you know the type of e-book version you use (Adobe Digital Editions and Kindle DX are two popular kinds). Instead of publisher information, include the book’s DOI address or the site where you downloaded the book originally. Here’s an example:

Author name. (Year). Title [Adobe Digital Editions version]. doi: XX.XXX/XXXXXXXXXX

In-text citations get a bit more difficult because e-books often lack page numbers, and those that have page numbers are usually only the same for people using the same device you are using. To cite in text, follow APA’s rules for using direct quotations in materials without pagination. Give the reader the major sections, such as chapter, section, and paragraph number in lieu of a true page number.

More questions on how to cite digital sources? Check out www.apastyle.org.

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