Referencing and academic integrity

The American Psychological Association (APA) System

Primary sources

Primary sources: more than one author

A primary source is an original source, such as the book or journal article you have read.

Where there is more than one author, reference as follows:

Two to five authors:

Smith and Brown (2008) argue that teaching staff should introduce students to referencing as early as possible

Teaching staff should introduce students to referencing as early as possible (Smith & Brown, 2008)

Research on referencing indicates that unintentional plagiarism is increasing in further education (Green, Rose, & Warner, 2007)

Tip:

Use & between author names within brackets; use 'and' between author names in a sentence. For three or more authors, ensure there is a comma before the and or &.

Six or more authors:

Use the first named author and indicate others using 'et al.'

Smith et al. (2008) describe the ...

Primary sources: subsequent citations

If you are referring to a source more than once in the same paragraph, don't include the date after the first citation.  Include the date again in any subsequent paragraphs.

Smith (2008) highlights the importance of consistent referencing within an essay.  Smith stated that... 

Where there are three or more authors, use et al. after the first citation.  Include the date again in any subsequent paragraphs.

Green, Rose and Warner's (2007) research on referencing indicated that unintentional plagiarism in increasing in further education.  Green et al. argued that... 

If you are discussing a single source for an entire paragraph, introduce the source at the beginning and then summarise without subsequent citations.

Green, Rose and Warner's (2007) research on referencing idicated that unintentional plagiarism in increasing in further education.  Briefly the authors ... [summary of findings]

Tip:

When citing multiple references, list them in alphabetical order and separate with semicolons - e.g. (Abbott, 1991, 1995; Keating, 2005)

If two more more sources are published by the same author in the same year, use an alphabetical index to distinguish between sources - e.g. Brown (2010a) and Brown (2010b).