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APA Referencing 7th ed.: FAQs

Authors' names

Authors with same surname

Include the author's initials in all in text citations even if the publication year is different.

In text citation

....(R. Stevens, 2017) . In later years L. Stevens (2014) suggests...

Authors with same surname and first initial

When authors share the same surname and initial but are different people (e.g Hazel Harrison and Holly Harrison) it becomes difficult to know who wrote each resource. Adding an initial doesn't help so the first name needs to be added in brackets to the in text citation and the reference list. Never include bracketed names for second and subsequent authors.

In text citation

...(Hazel Harrison, 1996).

...(Holly Harrison, 2007).

Reference list

Harrison, H. [Hazel]. (1996). Pastel school. RD Press.


Harrison, H. [Holly]. (2007). Mixed-media collage: An exploration of contemporary artists, methods, and materials. Quarry Books.

Same author, same year, different publications

Sometimes you need to cite multiple articles by the same authors that were published in the same year. To avoid confusion and so that the reader can tell them apart letters are added after the year  e.g. (2018a, 2018b, etc.). The references are alphabetized by title to determine which is “a” and which is “b.” .

In text citation

Ministry of Health [MOH] (2018b)...

...(MOH, 2018a)

Reference list


Ministry of Health. (2018a). Drinking-water standards for New Zealand 2005 (Rev. ed.).


Ministry of Health. (2018b). New Zealand drinking-water safety plan framework.

Author's names - titles, qualifications, suffixes etc

Names with titles/ qualifications

Ignore any titles or academic qualifications that are listed as part of the author's name (unless the title is nobility or for a religious official e.g. Pope Francis). If their title or academic qualification is important to the discussion, it can be mentioned in your writing e.g. In his role as a doctor, Brown found that...(2018).

See the APA blog for more extensive information about what should or shouldn't be included.

Suffixes - Sr, Jr, III etc

These suffixes are included in the Reference list but not in the in text citations.

See the Apa blog for more information

In text citation

...(Ivins, 1996).

Reference list

Ivins, W. M., Jr. (1996). Prints and visual communication. MIT Press.

What if I want to reference some information that someone else has referenced? / Secondary sources

If you read an article or book which references some information that you also want to reference, always refer to the source where you found the information, not the original source. This is known as a secondary source. For example:

Sue reads a chapter by Helen Taiaroa in her book "Weaving a coeval position of matauranga Maori within nursing practice" in which the author cites or refers to statements made by Roxanne Struthers and Cynthia Peden-McAlpine in their article "Phenomenological research among Canadian and United States indigineous populations". Sue wants to refer to Struthers and Peden-McAlpine's ideas in her assignment.

Sue would acknowledge Struthers and Peden-McAlpine in her text but her reference is to the source where she saw the information. Sue might write as her in-text reference:

...(Struthers & Peden-McAlpine, 2005, as cited in Taiaroa, 2010)


Struthers and Peden-McAlpine (2005) (as cited in Taiaroa, 2010) states...

In her reference list Sue would write a reference for Taiaroa's book because that's where she sourced the information. The entry in her References would be:

Taiaroa, H. (2010). Weaving a coeval position of matauranga Maori within nursing practice. Lambert Academic.

What is a doi?

A DOI, or digital object identifier, is a unique, permanent identification number that will take you straight to a document no matter where it is located on the Internet. You can find out more about DOIs in the 6th edition of the APA Publication Manual (pp. 188–192). A doi number always starts with a 10 and has several parts separated by a slash e.g. doi:10.1037/10412-000. A doi should be used when one is available. The format for a doi in a reference is as follows 

Note that a DOI will usually link to a record on a publisher's website, and may not always include full text, even though the Library may have full text access. It's always worthwhile checking the Library catalogue or databases & e-journals page to see if full text is available.

Publisher's names

Use the publisher's name as it is listed in the resource (including capitalization e.g. SAGE). Include words such as Publishers, Press, Books but leave out business designations such as Co., Ltd., and Inc.

When both an imprint (a division of a larger publishing company) and a publisher are listed, use the imprint as the publisher e.g. Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, not Wolters Kluwer.

When the author and the publisher are the same, leave out the publishing information.

See page 295-296 of the Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.).

Note about URLs

URLs or the website link listed as part of an entry in the reference list can be left 'live' i.e. as a hyperlink in blue with an underline. However, for aesthetic reasons, your tutor may request that the link has the blue colouring and/ or underlining removed. This can make the reference list easier to read. Please check with your tutor as to how they would like the URLs or links presented.

Using a foreword as a reference

Treat a foreword the same as a chapter in a book or edited book.

Durie, M. (2017). Foreword. In W. NiaNia, A. Bush, & D. Epston, Collaborative and indigenous mental health therapy (pp. viii-ix). Routledge.

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