[First published in Business Communication Quarterly, March 1997, pp. 59-76. Latest revision of this online version: March, 2003.]
following formats and examples are offered as models for references that
might appear in the text and in the “References” section (bibliography) of
a business writer's research paper. The formats are based on the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association,
Fifth Edition (2001). In the basic formats and examples presented, every
effort has been made to maintain consistency with published APA formats.
When no model format for a specific kind of electronic source could be found
in the Publication Manual, I extrapolated a logical APA format. Below
are special considerations for business writers using APA formats to cite
If an electronic document does not indicate the name of the author(s), refer to the document by repeating the first few words of its title. Example: (“Study finds,” 2001). If the information being referred to appears on an untitled Web page, indicate in the text of your paper where the reader is to look if he or she wishes to find a full reference to the Web site that contains that page. Example:
More companies today are using data mining to unlock hidden value in their data. The data mining program “Clementine,” described at the SPSS Web site, helps organizations predict market share and detect possible fraud (SPSS, n.d.).Readers of the preceding example will know to look for the complete citation under "SPSS" in the "References" section.
The following business-oriented examples are based on formats recommended in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Fifth Edition. APA promises to update its recommended formats at its Web site <http://www.apastyle.org/elecref.html> when future changes in electronic media warrant such revisions.
[This Web page was specifically designed for viewing with a Web browser. Some students who print a copy of it may find that, if the the system they are using is currently configured to print pages with large margins, their printed copy varies in minor ways from what they saw on their computer screens and from what APA has recommended. For example, the lines of the format examples may occasionally break at non-standard places. With this contingency in mind, we have also prepared a Microsoft Word version (apa.doc; 40K) of this page that students are invited to download and print.]
1. INTERNET ARTICLE BASED ON A MAGAZINE OR JOURNAL PRINT SOURCE
Author(s). (Date–indicate “n.d.” if date is unknown). Title [Electronic version]. Magazine or Journal Title,
volume (issue, if given), paging. [Add the date of retrieval and the URL only if you believe that the
print version differs from the electronic version.]
Honeycutt, E. D., Glassman, M., Zugelder, M. T., & Karande, K. ( 2001, July). Determinants of ethical
behavior: A study of autosalespeople [Electronic version]. Journal of Business Ethics, 32 (1),
2. ARTICLE IN AN INTERNET-ONLY MAGAZINE OR JOURNAL
Author(s). (Date). Title. Magazine or Journal Title, volume (issue), paging (if given). Retrieved [access
date] from [URL]
Whetstone, J.T. (2002). Civility and the cell phone: What would George Washington say? Electronic Journal of Business Ethics and Organization Studies, 7(1). Retrieved March 3, 2003, from
3. MAGAZINE OR JOURNAL ARTICLE FROM A DATABASE
Author(s). (Date). Title. Magazine or Journal Title, volume (issue), paging. Retrieved [date], from
[database], Article No. (if given).
Blackburn-Brockman, E. & Belanger, K. (2001, January). One page or two? A national study of CPA
recruiters' preferences for resume length. The Journal of Business Communication, 38 (1), 29.
Retrieved February 28, 2003, from InfoTrac College Edition database, Article No. A71327300.
4. NEWSPAPER ARTICLE (ELECTRONIC VERSION AVAILABLE BY SEARCH)
Author(s). (Date). Title. Name of Newspaper. Retrieved [date] from [URL]
Hilts, P. J. (1999, February 16). In forecasting their emotions, most people flunk out. New York Times.
Retrieved November 21, 2000, from http://www.nytimes.com
5. INTERNET GOVERNMENT REPORT
Sponsoring agency. (Date). Title. (Publication data). Retrieved [date] from [name of organization and
U.S. General Accounting Office. (1997, February). Telemedicine: Federal strategy is needed to guide
investments. (Publication No. GAO/NSAID/HEHS-97-67). Retrieved September 15, 2000, from
General Accounting Office Reports Online via GPA Access: http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/
6. STAND-ALONE INTERNET DOCUMENT (NO AUTHOR, NO DATE)
Document title or name of Web page. (n.d.) Retrieved [date] from [URL]
GVU's 8th WWW user survey. (n.d.). Retrieved August 8, 2000, from http://www.cc.gatech.edu/gvu/
7. DOCUMENT FROM COMPLEX WEB SITE (AUTHOR[S] IDENTIFIED)
Author(s). (Date). Title. Retrieved [date] from [Host business, agency or program]: [URL]
Gordon, C. H., Simmons, P., & Wynn, G. (2001). Plagiarism: What it is, and how to avoid it. Retrieved
July 24, 2001, from Biology Program Guide 2001/2002 at the University of British Columbia Web
8. NONPERIODICAL MULTIPAGE WEB DOCUMENT (NO AUTHOR, NO DATE)
Name of sponsoring organization or title of site. (Date). Document name. Retrieved [date] from [URL]
Greater New Milford (Ct) Area Healthy Community 2000, Task Force on Teen and Adolescent Issues.
(n.d.). Who has time for a family meal? You do! Retrieved October 5, 2000, from http://www.
9. INTERNET ADOBE ACROBAT DOCUMENT (PDF)
Author or sponsoring organization. (Date). Document title or name of Web page. Retrieved [date]
from [pdf page] at [URL]
Harris Interactive Inc. (2002). Web@work survey 2002: Cyber-addiction in the workplace.
Retrieved March 3, 2003, from page 3 at http://www.websense.com/company/news/research/
10. MESSAGE POSTED TO AN ONLINE FORUM OR DISCUSSION GROUP
Author(s). (Date of posting). Message subject line [Message ID]. Message posted to [group address]
Weylman, C. R. (2002, September 4). Make news to achieve positive press [Msg. 98]. Message
posted to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sales-marketing-tips/message/98
11. MESSAGE POSTED TO A NEWSGROUP
Author(s). (Date of posting). Message subject line [Message ID]. Message posted to [newsgroup
Yudkin, M. (2001, July 4). The marketing minute: Truth is always in season [Msg. ID:
firstname.lastname@example.org]. Message posted to
*Dr. Guffey is the author of Business Communication: Process and Product, 4e (South-Western College Publishing, 2003); Essentials of Business Communication, 6e (South-Western College Publishing, 2004); and Business English, 7e (South-Western College Publishing, 2002). She and Carolyn M. Seefer are co-authors of Essentials of College English, 2e (South-Western College Publishing, 2002).