APA Style CENTRAL® Expert Tip: Citing Personal Communication

The purpose of a reference list in APA Style® is to acknowledge the work of previous scholars and provide a reliable way to locate that work.

What if you want to acknowledge a source that can’t be retrieved, such as a conversation, live lecture, or private letter?

This information should be treated as a personal communication, which is cited in the body of the paper but not included in the reference list.

You can cite a personal communication in your APA Style CENTRAL® paper by clicking the Personal Communication button in the editor menu or selecting from the Insert menu.

 

 

 

Once you provide the information needed—the individual’s name and the date of communication—the citation will appear in the paper body, including the words personal communication.

 

Because personal communications can’t be retrieved by a reader, they are not included in the reference listIn APA Style CENTRAL, you can edit personal communication in the body of your paper, as you would any other text.

 

Please note:

  • Research interviews with participants are NOT considered personal communication; they are qualitative data and should be reported in a way that respects confidentiality. For more, see this post on the APA Style blog.
  • If the communication was shared with you personally but is now retrievable—the conversation is on a discussion board, the lecture can be found on YouTube or a podcast, or the letter is published in a periodical or book—you can treat it as any other reference (i.e., create a reference to that retrievable source).

 

For more information, see the APA Style CENTRAL quick guide “Personal Communications.”

Related Resources

APA Style Blog: What Belongs in the Reference List?

APA Style Blog: How to Cite a Class in APA Style

APA Style Blog: Let’s Talk About Research Participants

New Features in APA Style CENTRAL®’s Writing Center – Citing Within Paper Elements

APA Style CENTRAL recently added and updated tools to help with your research and writing in APA Style. See our previous blog post for details about spell-check and appendices.

You can now cite references in abstracts, figure captions, table bodies, and table captions, in the same way you cite references in the body of the paper.

Why cite within these parts of the paper?

  • If your research is a reply or follow-up to previously published work, you’d usually cite that work in the abstract.

  • If your figure summarizes data from another published work, you’ll want to credit that researcher in the figure caption

  • If you’re doing a literature review or meta-analysis and want to summarize the results of several previous studies in a table, you’ll want to cite those studies in the table body.
  • If your table includes results you found using a concept or a survey developed by another researcher, you’ll want to credit them in your table caption.

 

 

To cite within a paper element, you can create a new reference, search for a reference in PsycINFO, or choose from My References.

Once the in-text citation is created, the reference is added to the Paper Reference List and marked as cited.

 

 

You can read the full list of platform updates on APA Style CENTRAL’s training and support page.

 

Related resources:
APA Style Blog: How to Cite Sources in a Table

APA Style CENTRAL Handout: Adding References to Papers

Tutorial: Inserting References

 

Questions?
Want to see more features added to APA Style CENTRAL?
Let us know!  support@apastylecentral.org

New Features in APA Style CENTRAL®’s Writing Center – Spell-Check and Appendices

APA Style CENTRAL recently added and updated tools to help with your research and writing in APA Style, including improved spell-check and a new location for appendices.

Spell-Check

You can Run Spell-Check Tool at any time to open a window where you choose to “ignore” or “change” words.


You can now also Check As I Write, which will underline misspelled words in red as you work.
Suggested words are provided if you click any underlined word. The spell-check includes words from the APA Dictionary of Psychology and surnames of famous psychologists, so these words will not be flagged as misspelled.

 

Appendices

Appendices are now managed in a tab below the body of the paper. You can create an appendix, or call it out in the body, in the same way you would a reference, table, or figure.

Please note: Any appendices created in a paper’s body before February 2018 will be moved automatically to the Call Out Appendices tab.

 

You can read the full list of platform updates on APA Style CENTRAL’s training and support page.

 

Questions?
Want to see more features added to APA Style CENTRAL?
Let us know!  support@apastylecentral.org

 

APA Style CENTRAL® Expert Tip – Adding Paper Sections

When you start writing a paper in APA Style CENTRAL®, you choose a template and then choose either the Student assignment or Professional manuscript version. The difference is that the Professional version includes three additional paper sections – an Author Note, an Abstract, and Keywords.

You can add these fields to a paper that was started using the Student template.

 

Click on the Customize Paper Sections on the upper right, and then select to Include Author Note, Abstract, and/or Keywords.

The Abstract and Keywords will be added as sections ahead of the Body on the left side, and Author Note will be added as a section within the Title Page.

If you have started a paper in the Professional template, and don’t want to use these fields, just leave them blank.

Tutorial Thursday: The Meta-Analysis Template

It’s Tutorial Thursday! In this series, we explore APA’s library of video tutorials available on the PsycINFO YouTube channel and the APA Style CENTRAL® YouTube channel. Please feel free to link to or embed our videos in your library websites or LibGuides, course management systems, or other locations where students, faculty, and researchers will find them.

For today’s edition of Tutorial Thursday, we’d like to highlight a video on our APA Style CENTRAL YouTube channel: The Meta-Analysis Template.

This short tutorial will help you use APA Style CENTRAL’s built-in tools to:

  • Mark meta-analysis references with an asterisk, as required by APA Style®
  • Begin the reference list with a special statement, as required by APA Style
  • Sort, preview, and use Check Services to edit your reference list
  • View a sample meta-analysis paper and other related help

 

Please feel free to link to this tutorial in any location where students, faculty, and researchers will find it!

Want to learn more? View related resources:

Do you have a “how-to” question about APA Style CENTRAL or some aspect of it you’d like to know more about? Please let us know!