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APA 6th Edition - Copenhagen Business School: Specialised software

How to reference with APA

Citing specialised software

  • References are not necessary for standard software and programming languages, such as Microsoft Word, Java, Adobe Photoshop and SPSS. In the text, give the proper name of the software, along with the version number – e.g. IBM SPSS Statistics for Windows, Version 21.0.
  • Do provide reference entries for specialised software or computer programmes with limited distribution.
  • Do not italicise the title of software.
  • The rightsholder may be an individual, a group or a company.
  • If an individual has proprietary rights to the software, name them as the author; otherwise, treat such references as un-authored works.
  • The date is the year the version you used was released, even though previous versions may have been released in different years. 

Specialised software


In-text citation

(Alloway, Wilson & Graham, 2005)


Reference List

Alloway, T., Wilson, G., & Graham, J. (2005). Sniffy: The virtual rat (pro version 2.0.) [Computer software]. Belmont, CA:




Software author(s) surname, Initial(s). (Date of software release). Title of software (Version number) [Source of software e.g.    

       computer programme, language etc]. Location and name of organisation who produced the work.



In text citation

(NASA, 2013)


Reference List

NASA. (2013). NASA App (Version 1.43) [Mobile application software]. Retrieved from



Author Surname, Initial(s). (Year). Title of software or programme (Version number) [Mobile application software]. Retrieved

       from URL


Printable Guide


Mendeley is referencing software which allows you to:

  • store references
  • organise references
  • generate citations
  • generate reference lists
  • share references

To get a Mendeley account on the CBS Library Institutional Licence please visit CBS Mendeley Guide

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