FAQ

Here you'll find answers to common questions about the APA-style.

At NIH you must use the APA standard in bachelor assignments, and it is recommended to use in master assignments.

EndNote will help you keep track of all your references, and makes it easier to insert references and generate a reference list in your documents.

No year of publication
Sources by the same author(s) published in the same year
 
Multiple sources at the same time 
Personal communication (interview, letter, e-mail, lecture, chat etc.) 
Secondary source 
The use of IBID
Quotes
Tables, figures and pictures
Footnotes
The reference list - layout and order

No year of publication

If the document doesn't have a year of publication, use n.d. (= no date).

  • In the text: (Author, n.d.)
    The same incident occurred twice (Gjertsen, n.d.).
  • In the reference list: See the different types of sources in this document for proper citation.

Sources by the same author(s) published in the same year

Sometimes you cite sources by the same author(s) published in the same year. In the reference list the sources are sorted alphabetically by title, and you add letters (a, b, c etc.) after the year of publication. The letters are used in the text to cite the sources, regardless of the order in which you are referring to the sources.

  • In the text: (Author, yearletter)
    Most people said it was impossible (Syversen, 2012c), but after all they were optimistic (Syversen, 2012a).
  • In the reference list: Put the letters after the publication year.

Multiple sources at the same time

Sometimes you want to cite multiple sources at the same time – sources by different authors, by the same author(s) or by the same author(s) published in the same year.

  • In the text: (Author, year)
    Different author(s): (Andresen, 1988; Bergh, 2004; Syversen, 1999)
    The same author(s): (Syversen, 1999, 2000, 2002)
    The same author(s) same year: (Syversen, 1999a, 1999c, 1999d)
  • In the reference list: See the different types of sources in this document for proper citation.

Personal communication (interview, letter, e-mail, lecture, chat etc.)   

When using personal communication, you only name the sources in the text. Remember that you must have permission from the sender to use letters and e-mails.

  • In the text: (Syversen, email, the 3rd of July, 2003)
  • In the reference list: do not include

Secondary source

Secondary sources are sources you found in another source (primary source). In the text you name the original work and provide the citation for the secondary source. Only the secondary source is included in the reference list.

  • In the text: In Nygaard’s study (as cited in Syversen, 2003) he argues that…
  • In the reference list: Syversen, H. (2003). How to make the best out of the talents. London: Routledge. 

The use of IBID

In the APA-style you do not use IBID.
(IBID is short for ibīdem, and it means "in the same place". IBID is used to refer to the source cited just before. You can only use it at the same page as the source you are referring to, and no other source must be referred to in between.)

Quotes

You can reproduce previously published material as a quotation, and the source of the quotation must be cited as a brief reference in the body of the text and as an entry in the reference list. The quotation can be direct or indirect.

NB! If you  have translated a quote, it is no longer a direct quote. A translation is a form of interpretation and rewording, and is no longer a verbatim reproduction and hence an indirect quote - see the example below.

  • Direct quotation (verbatim) in the text
    Dreams are "the royal road to the unconscious" (Freud, 1900, p. 45).
  • Indirect quotation (rewording) in the text
    Freud (1900) argued that dreams lead us into our subconscious (p. 45).
  • Indirect quotation (translation) in the text
    Freud (1900) said that dreams are the right road to the unconscious (p. 45).
  • In the reference list
    Freud, S. (1900). The interpretation of dreams. London: Hogarth Press.

Direction quotations must be clearly set off typographically from the rest of the text. It is common to use quotation marks or indentations, depending on the length of the quotation. Quotations with fewer than 40 words must be incorporated into the text using quotation marks. If the quotation is longer than 40 words, indent the quotation and place a blank line before and after the quotation. Do not use quotation marks for the latter.

In principle, you must not make changes to the wording, spelling or punctuation of the direct quotation. However, there are exceptions:

  • An error in the quotation – add [sic] after the error
    "Injury prevention is importat [sic] to us."
  • A quotation within a quotation – add single quotation marks before and after the quotation
    "Intent means that the offender has ‘intentionally and wilfully’ carried out an unlawful act."
  • Omission of words – add space…space where the omitted words were
    "Mountain climbing is an extreme sport … and should be prohibited."
  • Your own emphasis – add [emphasis added] after the quotation
    "Ritual planning documents are an absurdity" [emphasis added]
  • Explanations – add the explanation in square brackets
    "It [the Ministry of Culture] should never have approved from the plans from BK."

If you cite a quotation from an e-book or web document without page numbers, write the author of the document followed by one of these:

  • the sentence's number if available, or you can count sentences from the start of the document
    People planning for retirement also “need to stockpile their emotional reserves” (Chamberlin, 2014, paragraph 1).
  • a headline and the sentence's number within that section
    He also said that "I couldn't survive 2 weeks without contact with other people" (Hansen, 2015, How to survive, paragraph 5).
  • a shortened headline (or the 3-4 first words of the headline) in quotation marks, if the headline is to long to be written in it's entirety
    The whole experience was like "an exciting challenge with a little bit of 'impossible' to it" (Nilsen, 2007, "A social and exciting experiment"). 

In the reference list you cite the source as an e-book or a web document.

Tables, figures and pictures

A lot of images are protected by copyright, and you have to search permission to use them. But it's easy to find images that you can freely use in your assignment. Try Free digital photos and Flickr.

If you find a table, figure or image on the Internet where it is impossible to find a licensee, it is likely that it is posted without the licensee's consent. We recommend that you find another table, figure or image, and avoid using sources of unknown origin.

In order to use a table or summary from a table/figure/photograph, you must obtain permission from the original author and copyright holder, and credit him/her/them. The letter(s) giving such permission must be attached to the academic paper/scholarly work.

If the author/copyright holder has been deceased for 70 years or more, you do not need a permission. Please note that you must still provide the name of the person who created the table/figure/photograph. If it is difficult to know how long the author/copyright holder has been deceased, you can contact the publisher.

If the  table/figure/photograph contains test items, you must also obtain permission from the holder of the rights to/author of the study.

Each table/figure/photograph that is reproduced must be followed by a footnote on the same page. The footnote must credit the original author and copyright holder. The source must not be entered in the reference list.

Figure reproduced from a journal article
Footnote. From Title of article, by E. N. Author and C. O. Author, 2000, Journal title, 50, p.22. Copyright 2000 Name of copyright holder. Reproduced by permission.

Figure reproduced from a book
Footnote. From Title of book (p.103), by E. N. Author and C. O. Author, 1999, Place of publication: Publisher. Copyright 1999 Name of copyright holder. Reproduced by permission.
Table reproduced from a journal article
Footnote. The data in column 1 is taken from Title of article, by E. N. Author and C. O. Author, 2010, Journal title, 50 , p.22. Copyright 2010 Name of copyright holder. Reproduced by permission.
Adapted table reproduced from a website (only a small portion of the table) 
Footnote. From http://folk.uio.no/runeb/antioksidant_tabell.htm, 1999, Place of publication: Publisher. Copyright 1999 Name of copyright holder. Adapted with permission.

Footnotes

Footnotes are used to provide additional information you do not wish to include in the running text because the information is not a part of the reasoning being presented, but you feel it is important to include it.

If the information you have placed in a footnote is truly important, you should consider whether it should be incorporated into the running text. If not, you should consider whether you should include the information at all.

We recommend using footnotes rather than endnotes because footnotes are more reader friendly.

Footnotes are placed at the bottom of the same page in which the footnote appears. It is preferable to place a number after an individual word or sentence to refer to the footnote.

The reference list - layout and order

  • Double line spacing between the entries. 
    For entries consisting of more than one line, the second and subsequent lines must be indented.
  • Alphabetically by author (by title if it doesn’t have an author).
  • Several documents by the same author(s): the oldest document is listed first.
  • If the entry consists of an institution, association etc. or a title, ignore any initial articles such as a,an, the.

Example showing the order:
Bull, A. (2003). Jumping castle's mysteries. New York: Elsevier.

The history of medicine. (1992). London: Sage.

Iversen, K. (2000). Long laces and accidents on the athletics track. Oslo: Pax.

The Norwegian Trotter Association. (2001). The Black Beauty and gambling: How to win the grand prize in harness racing. Oslo: The Trotter.

  See the reference list for the APA-tutorial for an example on the correct layout and order.

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