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Libraries and Learning Skills

APA 6th Edition - University of Lincoln

Referencing system for Psychology

General Guidelines

APA style

There are two components to APA referencing: citing within the text of your paper, and the reference list at the end.

  • All sources of information and data, whether quoted directly or paraphrased, are cited with parenthetical references in the text of your paper.   For example:  (Mayer, 2010).
  • Double-space your entire paper, including the Reference list and any block quotes (unless advised differently by your tutor/lecturer).


Other disciplines use a Bibliography to list work that is not cited in the paper.  In APA a Bibliography is not used at all.  The reference list is used and only includes sources that are actually mentioned in the paper.


Plagiarism is the use of another author’s ideas and words, either intentionally or unintentionally, without acknowledging the source of the information.  It is an academic offence and will be treated seriously by the University (see University General Regulations).

Avoid plagiarism by referencing correctly.

Turnitin is software that detects plagiarism and can be used by your tutor to ensure academic integrity.  See details on Blackboard for more details.

Secondary referencing

Note: Secondary quotes should be used very rarely.


Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

If a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) is listed on either a print or an electronic source it must be included in the reference. (The School of Sport and Exercise do NOT require a DOI with the journal article references).

  • A DOI is a unique alphanumeric string that is used to identify a certain source (typically journal articles) and MUST be included in your references.
  • It is often found on the first page of an article. Example: https://doi:10.1080/14622200410001676305.
  • DOIs are typically found on the top left-hand corner of abstracts, listed in the Table of Contents or printed at the top or bottom of an article.
  • You can use a metadata search system called to look up an article and find the DOI.  This site also includes a form which allows you to retrieve a DOI for journal articles, books, and chapters by simply cutting and pasting the reference list into the box.
  • Use the APA flowchart at to determine when to include DOIs, URLs, or database information in your reference citations.

Printable Guide

Need help?

Alexis Lamb ( and
(Academic Subject Librarian for Psychology and Sport)
(01522) 886078

Subject guides available at:

Tracey Newby (
(Academic Subject Librarian for Education)
(01522) 886087

Subject guide available at: