APA Manual 7th Edition: The 9 Most Important Changes

The American Psychological Association (APA) introduced the 7th edition of the APA Publication Manual (in October 2019), which replaces the 6th edition of the manual published in 2009. Since then, several things have changed. This article discusses the 9 most important changes in the 7th edition of the APA manual.

29.11.2020

APA Manual 7th Edition: The 9 Most Important Changes

There are several academic citation styles such as APA, MLAChicago/Turabian, and IEEE. APA is the most common style used to cite sources within the social sciences. This article will give you a brief guide on the 7th edition of the APA Publication Manual (published in October 2019). For more information, please consult the APA Publication Manual (7th edition).  

APA citation style is the official style of the American Psychological Association (APA) and commonly used to cite sources in psychology, education, and the social sciences.  The APA style originated in a 1929 article published in Psychological Bulletin that framed the basic guidelines. These guidelines were eventually expanded into the APA Publication Manual and updated regularly.

APA Style consists of rules or guidelines that a publisher observes to ensure a clear and consistent presentation of a manuscript. The purpose of the APA style is to uniform use of such elements as selection of titles, headings, subheadings, citation of references, tone, punctuation, and abbreviations, presentation of numbers and statistics, formatting of tables and figures, and many other elements that are a part of written material.

APA Style 7th Edition

The American Psychological Association (APA) introduced the 7th edition of the APA Publication Manual (in October 2019),  which replaces the 6th edition of the manual published in 2009. Since then, several things have changed. Here are some of them:

  • In-text citations are shortened.

  •  Publisher’s location is no longer included in the reference when you cite from a print book.

  • Up to 20 authors in the reference list format was updated.

  • DOIs are formatted the same as URLs.

  • URLs are no longer preceded by “Retrieved from,” unless a retrieval date is needed.

  • For ebooks, the format, platform, or device (e.g., Kindle book) is no longer included in the reference.

  • Inclusive bias-free language

  • Tables and figures formats were updated.

The 7th edition details these changes by providing better and more extensive guidelines. This blog summarizes the most important changes that you should know about. The most important changes regarding references and in-text citations in the 7th edition of the APA are as follows:

1. In-text citations are shortened

  • In-text citation rule has changed from APA 6th edition guidelines on using “et al.,” which recommend listing all author names in the first citation up to five authors but then using “et al.” for the second and subsequent citations. 

  • According to the 7th edition of the APA Publication Manual, the in-intext citation for works with three or more authors is now abbreviated right from the first citation. You only include the first author’s name and “et al.”

APA6th edition

(Alison, Brier, Levy, & Wan, 2019)

APA 7th edition

(Alison et al., 2019)

 

See this article for more information and examples about the use of et al.’’ in APA 7th edition. 

2. The publisher location is no longer included in the reference list

  • APA Manual 6th edition requires you to include the publisher location when you cite it from a print book. The city and state should be included for US-based publishers, the city and country for publishers anywhere else.

  • In the 7th edition of the APA manual, you do not need to include the publisher location or databases where you retrieved it.

  • When the author and publisher are the same, omit the publisher as well.

APA 6th edition

Wan, T.H. (2002). Evidence-based health-care management. Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers. 

APA 7th edition

Wan, T.H. (2002). Evidence-based health-care management.  Kluwer Academic Publishers. 

 

APA 7th edition

The American Psychological Association. (2020). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.).

3. How to list multiple authors in the reference list

With the new update, last names and initials for up to 20 authors in the reference list should be provided in the list of reference.

  • For a work with up to 20 authors, include all of the names in the reference.

  • When the work has 21 or more authors, replace all authors after the 19th (except the final author) with ellipses, followed by the final author.

Parenthetical citation: (Wiskunde et al., 2019)

Narrative citation: Wiskunde et al. (2019)

APA 6th edition

Wiskunde, B., Arslan, M., Fischer, P., Nowak, L., Van den Berg, O., Coetzee, … Kovács, A. (2019)

 

 

APA 7th edition

Wiskunde, B., Arslan, M., Fischer, P., Nowak, L., Van den Berg, O., Coetzee, L., Juárez, U., Riyaziyyat, E., Wang, C., Zhang, I., Li, P., Yang, R., Kumar, B., Xu, A., Martinez, R., McIntosh, V., Ibáñez, L. M., Mäkinen, G., Virtanen, E., . . . Kovács, A. (2019). Indie pop rocks mathematics: Twenty One Pilots, Nicolas Bourbaki, and the empty set. Journal of Improbable Mathematics27(1), 1935–1968. https://doi.org/10.0000/3mp7y-537

4. DOIs are formatted the same as URLs and the label “DOI:” is no longer required

  • Most journal articles and books have a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) assigned to them.

  • This unique identifier is stable (it doesn’t change over time) and makes retrieving a source easier for readers.

  • With the APA Manual 7th edition, DOIs are formatted the same as URLs.

  • The label “DOI:” is no longer used in APA style.

APA 6th edition

:10.0000/3mp7y-537

APA 7th edition

https://doi.org/10.0000/3mp7y-537

5. Citing web pages: URLs are no longer preceded by ‘‘Retrieved from’’

  • With the APA Manual 7th edition, URLs are no longer preceded by “Retrieved from,” unless a retrieval date is needed.

  • The website name is included (unless it’s the same as the author).

  • Web page titles are italicized.

 

APA 6th edition

Bologna, C. (2019, October 31). Why some people with anxiety love watching horror movies. HuffPost. Retrieved from https://www.huffpost.com/entry/anxiety-love-watching-horror-movies_l_5d277587e4b02a5a5d57b59e

 

APA 7th edition

Bologna, C. (2019, October 31). Why some people with anxiety love watching horror movies. HuffPost. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/anxiety-love-watching-horror-movies_l_5d277587e4b02a5a5d57b59e

6. Citing ebooks

  • With the 7th edition of the APA Manual, ebooks from academic databases are treated the same as print books. 

  • Database information is no longer required for ebooks.

  • The formats or devices are no longer required in the reference.

  • The publisher is included in the reference.

  • If available, DOI or non-database URL should be included.The DOI is formatted according to the new 7th edition guidelines.

 

APA 6th edition

Kool, I. M. (2013). Loving APA all through graduate school. [Kindle version]. doi: http://doi.org/10.543w20.x032

 

APA 7th edition

Kool, I. M. (2013). Loving APA all through graduate school. Three Letters University Press.https:/doi.org/10.543w20.x032

7. The word ‘Article’ is included 

The word ‘Article’ is included before an article number or eLocator for a journal article without a page range.

 

APA 6th edition

Burin, D., Kilteni, K., Rabuffeti, M., Slater, M., & Pia, L. (2019). Body ownership increases the interference between observed and executed movements. PLOS ONE, 14(1), e0209899.

 

APA7th edition 

Burin, D., Kilteni, K., Rabuffeti, M., Slater, M., & Pia, L. (2019). Body ownership increases the interference between observed and executed movements. PLOS ONE, 14(1), Article e0209899.

8. Inclusive and bias-free language

  • The 7th edition of the APA Publication Manual encourages authors to use bias-free language and help them reduce bias around topics such as gender, age, disability, racial and ethnic identity, and sexual orientation.  

  • The new edition encourages authors to use they/their instead of he/she or his/her. Thus, avoid using “he or she” to refer to people of unspecified gender.

  • Use words to define characteristics relevant and distinguishing among people. 

  • Be specific about age ranges, types of conditions, gender identity, origins and affiliations of people, sexual orientation, and their socio-economic background or status.

Here are some examples:

  • The singular “they” or “their” is endorsed as a gender-neutral pronoun.

APA 6th edition

The results will depend on how he or she analyzed the data at hand.

APA 7th edition 

The results will depend on how they analyzed the data at hand.

 

  • Use descriptive phrases instead of using adjectives as nouns to label groups of people.

  • Transsexuals (Incorrect)

    • Transgender people (Correct)

  • Instead of using broad categories, give specific ages ranges

    • People 50 and over (Incorrect)

    • People in the age range of 50 and 60 (Correct)

9. APA Paper Format

  • More font options available: 

  • Calibri 11, Arial 11, Lucida Sans Unicode 10, Times New Roman 12, and Georgia 11.

  • No more running head

  • The running head is omitted in student papers. If used, the running head is identical on all pages, including the title page.  No ‘Running head:’ notation on the title page.

APA 6th edition 

(Title page) Running head: THE EFFECT OF BURNOUT ON HRQOL

APA 7th edition 

(Title page) THE EFFECT OF BURNOUT ON HRQOL

  • Headings

The following table demonstrates how to format headings in APA Style (Source: Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association).

APA format headings

Note. In title case, most words are capitalized.

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