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APA Citation Style

APA Style is preferred style of documentation for psychology and is frequently used in other social sciences.

Data Sets

Scrivner, E. M. (1996). Role of police psychology in controlling excessive force in 50 large cities in the United States, 1992 [Data file and codebook].

Doctoral Dissertations

Lastname, F. M. (year). Title of doctoral dissertation (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from Name of Database. (Accession or Order No.)

Boucher, H. C. (2005). Culture and implicit self-concept inconsistency (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global database. (UMI No. 3210518). 

The order number is listed under "Dissertation/thesis number" in ProQuest Dissertations. If you found the dissertation elsewhere online, for example an institutional web site, you can use the URL instead of an order number.


Unpublished interviews are considered personal communication and are cited in text only, not in the reference list. The in-text citation should include the interviewee's initials, surname, and exact date of interview, e.g. (C. M. Murray, personal communication, March 2, 2016), unless the interview was part of your qualitative data collection, in which case the identity of the interviewee should not be disclosed. If the interview has been archived, either as a recording or a transcript, cite it as archival material, as in the citation below.

Trafton, B. M. (1999). Trafton, Barbara McKnight oral history interview. (M. Richard., Interviewer). Retrieved from Bates College, Edmund S. Muskie Oral History Collection website:


Lecture notes are considered personal communication unless they have been publicly posted online (Lyceum doesn't count); personal communications are not recoverable by other researchers and should cited in text only, not in the reference list.

Ben-Shahar. T. Lecture 10: Mindfulness [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from Harvard University website:

Measurement instrument

Bavolek, S. J. (1983). Adult-Adolescent Parenting Inventory [Measurement instrument]. Unpublished instrument. Retrieved from

Do not italicize the titles of software, programs, or languages. See also the APA Style Blog: How to Cite a Psychological Test in APA Style