We all know the popular phrase “Change is constant”… this change is also experienced in the academics, especially in research writing. The American Psychological Association (APA) has introduced the 7th Edition of the APA Publication Manual, which replaces the 6th edition published in 2009.
Citing online material has become more common, the use of inclusive and bias-free language is increasingly important, and the technology used by researchers and students has changed.
The 7th edition addresses these changes by providing better and more extensive guidelines. This article outlines the biggest changes that you should know about.
The association anticipates that most people will start using the 7th Edition in the spring of 2020 (between March and June) or thereafter.
It’s best to check the university’s thesis manual or website of the journal you want to get published into see which APA guidelines you should follow. The table shows the biggest changes in the latest edition compared to the old one.
|APA 6th Edition||APA 7th Edition|
|Publisher location is required in the reference. E.g. “New York, NY: McGraw-Hill”||The publisher location is no longer included in the reference. “McGraw-Hill.|
|In-text citation for works with three or more authors must contain the name of all authors when citing for the first time. “et al” is used subsequently.||The in-text citation for works with three or more authors is now shortened right from the first citation. You only include the first author’s name and “et al.”.|
|Surname and initial is provided for first 7 authors in the reference list.||Surnames and initials for up to 20 authors (instead of 7) should be provided in the reference list.|
|Font is usually Times New Roman 12||Increased flexibility regarding fonts: options include Calibri 11, Arial 11, Lucida Sans Unicode 10, Times New Roman 12, and Georgia 11.|
|Contributors who are not authors or editors are not included in citations and references.||Clear guidelines are provided for including contributors that are not authors or editors. For example, when citing a podcast episode, the host of the episode should be included; for a TV series episode, the writer and director of that episode are cited.|
|URL is included in the reference but must be preceded by “Retrieved from” in addition to a retrieval date.||URLs are embedded directly in the reference, without being preceded by “Retrieved from,” unless a retrieval date is needed.|