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APA 7th Edition - Citation Guide - CBS Library

The Generic Reference

If you are trying to cite a source that is not listed here, and you cannot find guidelines from APA elsewhere, you can create a generic reference. The Publication Manual lists certain elements that should be included in a generic reference:

  • Who / Author - Who is responsible for this work? This can be a person (author or editor) or an organization. If there is no author or editor, follow the guidelines discussed in No Author.
  • When / Date - When was this work published? A year (Year) is usually acceptable, although you may need to include a month and day (Year, Month Day). If there is no date, use n.d.: (n.d.).
  • What / Title - What is this work called? This is the title of the actual work you are using, not necessarily a larger 'container' like a website. If there is no title, you must create one, and enclose it in square brackets [ ]. You may also wish to clarify the format of the item in square brackets, after the title. Examples could be [Painting], [App], or [Video].
  • Where / Source - Where can I retrieve this work? This can be a book, website (with URL), journal, publication information, or something else.

Make sure to be familiar with what other APA citations look like consult the Reference Components.


Author. (Date). Title [Format]. Source.

Source: Publication Manual, 9.4

Using Mendeley? (or another reference management tool)

Use the form for "Book" or find the form that match the material best, you can also try "Unspecified". In some cases it might be better to do the reference manually.

What is Mendeley?

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