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OCTH 5903 - Research in Occupational Therapy: APA Citations

APA Citation Information

APA Information

The American Psychological Association originally created a publication manual to provide a common structure for all journal manuscripts in the area of the social sciences.

Many other disciplines (including psychology, the behavioral sciences, nursing, personnel administration and many areas within education) have adopted this as their professional writing standard as well.

In an academic environment, you will often be expected to conform to this standard when writing. At this point, you should be mostly concerned with creating an accurate reference list using proper format and providing citations within the text to give credit for an idea or concept to the source from which you got it.

Remember that, with APA, capitalization, italicization, and punctuation are crucial components of citation. Check your citations against the APA Style Manual for these small, but important, details.

Important Note: There is a new citation format for articles found online (APA Style Guide to Electronic References, 2007). The biggest change is including the DOI (Digital Object Identifier) at the end of the citation instead of: Retrieved on date from name of database.   A link to this resource is below.

If there is no DOI listed (look on the item record and the first & last page of the article), replace that with Retrieved from name of database.

Physical Resources

For assistance with citations, proofreading, and more visit an NSU Writing Center Location:


You can visit the Citation Station on the 2nd floor of the John Vaughan Library in Tahlequah anytime to see a sample paper and checkout related citation resources. 

Print Resources

Plagiarism Can Ruin Your Life!

When using the work of other people, always remember to

  • Give credit if you use their words (quotation).
  • Give credit if you use their sentiments or ideas (paraphrasing/summarizing).
  • Give credit if you use their methods, techniques, or conclusions (replication/modification of prior work).

Avoid accidental plagiarism through proper citation methods.

Use the following GALILEO guides to understand more about citing sources:

Check out these useful sites for additional information:

Web Resources for APA Style Guide

Don't Give Up!

Remember, if you get stuck or need additional help, you can always contact one of NSU's Writing Centers or your friendly librarian for assistance!

APA Citations from PubMed and ScienceDirect

Many of our databases provide simple methods for obtaining citations in various standard formats. Unfortunately, the PubMed and ScienceDirect databases do not. You can, of course, build citations on your own, and the Writing Center provides a number of resources in their Writer's Toolkit to help with that (see the below link). However, there is a shortcut that will get you started, using the library's Discovery search system.

Remember that you must always double-check your citations before turning in your final product! Citation creators often have mistakes. Libraries on both NSU campuses have copies of the APA Style Manual available for use.

Whenever you find an article, book, or other published resource that you want to cite, take note of the exact title. Then go to the Advanced Search in Discovery ( or click on "Advanced Search" from the library homepage). Type or paste the title into the second search box, next to the "Title" search index option:

Example showing where to place the title on the Advanced Search screen

Click "Search", and then verify on the following screen that the title matches exactly what you're looking for. If so, click on the "Cite" link below the entry:

Example of the result of a title search in Discovery

A window will pop up allowing you to choose your preferred format. Once you've done so, the citation will appear in the text box, and you will be able to copy and paste it wherever it's needed. 

Example of the citation window

NOTE: It takes some time for new citations to make it into the Discovery database. If an article is very new (published within the past week), it may not appear there.