APA Referencing: Web content

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APA Referencing: web content

Basic format to reference material from the web

The basics of a reference list entry for a Web page or Web document:

  • Author or authors. The surname is followed by first initials.
  • Year (in round brackets).
  • Title.
  • Web address.
  • The first line of each citation is left adjusted. Every subsequent line is indented 5-7 spaces.

Example: American Psychological Association. (2018). What you need to know about willpower: The psychological science of self-control.

                        Retrieved from www.apa.org/helpcenter/willpower.aspx

Please note:

  • Include author(s) surname for web page/ web document  references where possible. An author may be a corporate body or organisation responsible for creating, producing or publishing a web page or website.
  • Where there is no identifiable author or authoring body, use the title of the web page or website.
  • Check the web page for the date of the last update. Advice on this can be found in the videos at the bottom of this page.

Referencing material from the web: Examples

Material Type In-Text Example Reference List Example
Web Document

…family experience with psychosis (Johnson, 2018).


Ava Johnson (2018) reflects on her own experiences…

Johnson, A. (2018). “It doesn’t need to be this way”: The promise of specialised early intervention in psychosis services. Retrieved from https://iepa.org.au/network-news/it-doesnt-need-to-be-this-way-the-promise-of-specialised-early-intervention-in-psychosis-services/

Where the web page is part of a larger whole, do not italicise the title. Capitalize only the first word of the title (and subtitle, if relevant).

Where a title already contains punctuation, such as the double quotes in the above example, retain these in your reference.

Web Document: No date

Of course, massage is also effective for many musculoskeletal disorders (Association of Massage Therapists, n.d.).

Association of Massage Therapists. (n.d.). Benefits of massage. Retrieved from http://www.amt.org.au/massage-and-you/benefits-of-massage.html

Use the abbreviation n.d. (no date) in place of the year of publication.

Web Document: No Author

…may not predict outcomes in later life (“Researchers Replicate Famous,” 2018).


A recent article, “Researchers Replicate Famous” (2018), revisited earlier findings…

When a work has no identitfied author, cite in-text the first few words of the reference entry (usually the title) and the year. Use double quotation marks if you are referring to the title of an article, chapter or web page, using Headline Case. 

Just italicize the title if you are referring to the title of a periodical, book, brochure or a report, see Book: No Author

Researchers replicate famous marshmallow test, make new observations. (2018). Retrieved from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2018-05-replicate-famous-marshmallow.html?utm_source=tabs&utm_medium=link&utm _campaign=story-tabs

Web Document: (Online reference work, no author or editor)

MIMS Online

Plavix, generic name Clopidogrel has been effective in treating... ("Plavix", 2017).

In place of the author cite the first few words of the reference entry (usually the title) and the year. Include double quotation marks as the entry is part of a larger work.

Plavix. (2017). In MIMS Online. Retrieved from https://www.mims.com.au


Publication date: Use revision date as listed in Full PI.

Web Document: Government Department as Author


…listen to women and girls from these communities (Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet [PM&C], 2017). 

If you want to cite from the report more than once; in the first citation provide the full name of the organisation, as above. In subsequent citations use the abbreviated organisational title e.g.:

According to the PM&C (2017) report… 

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. (2017). Understanding the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and girls: A joint project with the Australian Human Rights Commission. Retrieved from https://pmc.gov.au/sites/default/files/publications/factsheet-supporting-indigenous-women-girls.pdf

Titles of reports are in italics. Capitalize the first word of the title and subtitle and any proper nouns.

Web Document: ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2017)

Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2017). Childhood education and care (No. 4402.0). Retrieved from http://www.abs.gov.au

Add the ABS report's Catalogue Number after the title.

Web Document: Organisation as author Exercise may be the last thing you feel like doing, but it can help (Black Dog Institute, 2017).

Black Dog Institute. (2017). Managing depression with exercise. Retrieved from https://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/docs/default-source/factsheets/managingdepressionwithexercise.pdf?sfvrsn=16

Website Kidspsych is a wonderful interactive website for young children (http://www.kidspsych.org). When referring to a website in general, but not specific information on a web page or web document, it is sufficient to give the address of the site in your text. No Reference List entry is required.
Blog Post


…attempts to dissuade inadvertently entrench a mistaken belief (Stafford, 2018).




…withdrawal from antipsychotic medications (markps2, 2017).

Note that the author's alias does not have any capitals, so we retain it exactly as found, both in-text and in the Reference list (see right).

Stafford, T. (2018, January 3). The backfire effect is elusive [Web log post]. Retrieved from https://mindhacks.com/2018/01/03/the-backfire-effect-is-elusive/


A blog comment where the author uses an alias would be referenced as follows:


markps2. (2017, May 31). Re: What triggers that feeling of being watched? [Web log comment]. Retrieved from https://mindhacks.com/2017/05/26/what-triggers-that-feeling-of-being-watched/#comments

Video Blog Post (YouTube) …competing stresses of being a nursing student doing placements (Rojek, 2018).

Rojek, H. (2018, February 19). Stress and anxiety in nursing school: How to be in control [Video file]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/GqmX2JqjYMw

Podcast: Web …..plants sense without a brain (Krulwich, 2018).

Krulwich, R. (Presenter), & McEwan, A. (Producer). (2018). Smarty plants [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from https://www.wnycstudios.org/

Podcast: Radio show …(Rheinberger & Hogan, 2018).

Rheinberger, J. (Script Writer), & Hogan, A. (Director). (2018, April 19). Episode 109 [Podcast radio programme]. In C. Thompson (Producer), Nerdzilla. Hobart, TAS: ABC Local Radio. Retrieved from http://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/nerdzilla/episode-109/9671578

For an episode from a radio series, use the same format as for a chapter in a book, but list the script writer and director in the author position and the producer in the editor position.

Generally the homepage URL would be given.  However, if this makes the specific resource difficult to locate, use the more direct URL.

TV Show: Online Streaming (Mosley, Overton, Pringle, & Hatherley, 2018)

Mosley, M. (Presenter), Overton, P. (Executive Producer), Pringle, K. (Producer), & Hatherley, E. (Producer). (2018, July 17). The truth about getting fit [Television programme]. Retrieved from https://iview.abc.net.au/

For an episode from a television series, use the same format as for a chapter in a book, but list the script writer and director in the author position and the producer in the editor position.

Computer Software (Schoonjans, 2008)

Schoonjans, F. (2008). MedCalc Statistical Software (Version [Computer software]. Palo Alto, CA: 3d2f.Com. Retrieved from http://3d2f.com/programs/13-638-medcalc-statistical-software-download.shtml

Reference list entries are not necessary for standard off-the-shelf software. Provide entries for specialised software. Add the version number after the name of the software.


Video Transcript

This introductory video will demonstrate how to reference web pages and web documents using the APA Referencing style 6th edition.

The essential elements you require to create a web page reference includes: Author, Date published, Title, ‘Retrieved from’ statement followed by the Web address. The use of correct Punctuation is another important element of the APA style.

Highlighted is the key information on a webpage required to create a full reference. If there is no individual author or authors listed, use the organisation responsible for the content of the information as the author.

This is an example of a web document: Some web documents such as a publication from the Australian Bureau of Statistics will have a catalogue number. The catalogue number is placed in round brackets after the title. The names of organisations as authors are usually listed in full each time they appear in an in-text citation. However, where the organisations name is long and the abbreviation is familiar, the name can be abbreviated in subsequent citations. In the first occurrence include the full name as well as the abbreviation. If there is no date available, use the abbreviation “n.d” in round brackets, which stands for "no date“. 

This is an example of how you would reference an online video. and a blog post

For further assistance, follow the link to the APA referencing Guide. Contact the Victoria University library. Through: ‘Ask a Librarian’ chat and email or ask for help at any Library service desk.