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APA Style (7th edition)

Based on the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th edition.


Web sources can be difficult to cite because some of the information cite your source may be difficult to find. For example, the author information or publication date. This means that you will need to look carefully through the webpage to find the pieces of information you need to build out your complete citation.

Citing Web Resources: Basic Format

As explained in the Principles of References List section, a citation in APA Style provides four basic elements: Author, Date, Title, and Source.

The basic citation format for a webpage or website is:

Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Date). Title of the online work. Website Name, URL. 

Below is a citation example for a webpage on a satirical news website:

Citing Web Resources: The Details

Author(s) – list the author by last name, first name initial. Put a period after the first name initial. (sections 9.7 - 9.9)

  • More than one author – list authors by last name, first name initial (up to 20 authors); put a comma in between the names, and put an ampersand (&) before the last author. [e.g. Hayward, D., Smith, A., & Brown, J.]
  • More than 21 authors – list the first 19 authors and insert three ellipsis points […] then add the last author without an ampersand (&) before the last author (see Chapter 10, example 4 on pg. 317).
  • No author – when there is no author, start with the title of the work (section 9.12).
  • Group authors – such as government agencies, associations, nonprofit organizations, hospitals, etc.  Spell out the full name of the group in the reference list followed by a period. (section 9.11).

Title - capitalize using sentence case (i.e. only capitalize the first word of the title and of the subtitle, and any proper nouns).  (sections 9.18 & 9.19)

  • Titles that are part of a larger work (e.g. book chapters, newspaper article, magazine article, journal articles) – do not italicize or use quotation marks.
  • Titles that are stand alone works (e.g. books, reports, newspaper, magazine and journal) – Italicize 

DOIs & URLs - both DOIs (Digital Object Identifier) and URLs should be treated as hyperlinks beginning with "http://" or "https://".  The hyperlinks should be live and takes readers directly to the content.  It is not necessary to state "Retrieved from" or "Accessed from" before a DOI or URL. (section 9.35).

  • Follow the current recommendations of the International DOI foundation for DOIs formatting.  Currently, the format is:
  • Do not add a period after the DOI or URL as it may interfere with the hyperlink functionality.

Missing elements - see the chart on what to do when certain citation elements are missing in the Reference List, "What To Do When Information is Missing" section.

Database Sources - Only provide the database name if the reader need to go to the specific database to retrieve the cited work (i.e. limited circulation works or archived works).  Do not need to include database name for works that can be accessed from most academic research databases such as ProQuest, EBSCOhost, JSTOR, Google Scholar, etc. (section 9.30).

Retrieval date - Retrieval date is not needed for most online sources or archived online sources.  Only include retrieval date for sources with contents designed to change over time and the page/content is not intended to be archived (section 9.16). 

  • Follow the format: Retrieved October 11, 2019, from https://xxxxx

More Examples

Webpage on a website with a group author

World Health Organization. (2018, March). Questions and answers on immunization and vaccine safety.

Webpage on a website with no date

Boddy, J., Neumann, T., Jennings, S., Morrow, V., Alderson, P., Rees, R., & Gibson, W. (n.d.). Ethics principles. The Research Ethics

Guidebook: A Resource for Social Scientists.

Blog post

Klymkowsky, M. (2018, September 15). Can we talk scientifically about free will? Sci-Ed.


Webpage on a website with a retrieval date

U.S. Census Bureau. (n.d.). U.S. and world population clock. U.S. Department of Commerce.  Retrieved July 3, 2019, from

Note: Retrieval date is included for this source because the contents of the page is designed to change over time and the page/content is not intended to be archived.  See section 9.16 of the APA Manual.

Wikipedia entry

List of oldest companies. (2019, January 13). In Wikipedia.


Note: Cite the archived version when possible so your reader can find the version you used.  If no archived version available then provide the retrieval date (shown in the previous example). See p.329 of the APA Manual.

YouTube Video

Tasty. (2018, March 7). 7 recipes you can make in 5 minutes [Video]. Youtube.

Online Video

Faderman, L. (n.d.). Harvey Milk's radical vision of equality [Video]. TEDed,


Badlands National Park [@BadlandsNPS]. (2018, February 26). Biologist have identified more than 400 different plant species growing in

@BadlandsNPS #DYK #biodiversity [Tweet]. Twitter.

Note: When citing social media, include the username or profile in square brackets.  See section 10.15. 

Note: Retain hashtags and links.  Replicate emojis if possible.  If you are not able to recreate the emoji, provide description of the emoji in square brackets, for example, [face with tears of joy emoji].  See section 10.15. 

Instagram photo or video

IVC Library [@IVCLibrary]. (2020, April 20). We’re celebrating #nationallibraryweek2020 [party popper emoji] with Words of Inspiration

Contest! [Photograph]. Instagram.

Tips and Helpful Tricks

Author: Look for the author name at the top or bottom of the page. (Ex: Kathleen Wong). The rules of APA ask you to only use the author's last name and first initial(s) - (Ex: Wong, K.)

Title of webpage or post: Look for the title at the top of the page. (Ex: "Hawaiians are Taking to the Streets and Exercising their First Amendment Rights")

Title of the website: What is the name of the website hosting this information? (Ex: ACLU)

Organization or Company Responsible for the Website: Look in the footer at the copyright information or in the About Us section of the website. (Ex: American Civil Liberties Union)

Date Published or Last Updated: Publication dates will generally appear at the top of an article or webpage (Ex: July 25, 2019). However, you will need to reformat it so that it fits the formatting rules of APA (Ex:  2019, July 25). If you do not see a publication date, use the Last Updated date for the website, usually found in the bottom corner footer. 

Retrieved from (URL): Use the web address in your address bar that brought you to the resource. To fit within the rules of APA, use the entire URL including protocol and www but deactivate the link (ex: