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.
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.”
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.
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 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.
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.
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!