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Paige Jackson
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Typepad HTML Email Hello Brent Rossow, Thanks for your comment. It was clearly an oversight on my part – I appreciate your catch and will update the original post shortly. Paige
Toggle Commented Sep 24, 2013 on Ellipses—When and How? at APA Style Blog
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TypePad HTML Email As you point out, presenting dates in text is not something the Publication Manual gives guidance on. My personal preference would be November 30.
Toggle Commented Dec 6, 2012 on Numbers Anyone? at APA Style Blog
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By Paige Jackson The APA Style guideline on how to format meta-analysis references changed from the fifth to the sixth edition of the Publication Manual. Because of unintended consequences of that change, we have reverted to the fifth edition format... Continue reading
Posted Aug 31, 2012 at APA Style Blog
Thanks for catching that! My post was indeed confusing on this point. Section 4.31 says to use approximations for days, months, and years, not for all units of time as I had specified in my post. So words should not be used for other approximate units of time such as seconds or minutes.
Toggle Commented Jul 19, 2012 on Numbers Anyone? at APA Style Blog
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Hello Seema Sarmad, Thanks for your comment. I have never heard of a practice whereby one cites simply the first author followed by the year, when there are in fact three to five authors for the document in question, and as a reader, I would find that confusing. That’s not to say that there aren’t some university-specific style guidelines that follow that practice. But, no, it’s not APA Style!
Toggle Commented Aug 8, 2011 on Et al.: When and How? at APA Style Blog
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by Paige Jackson Ellipses —those little dots in the middle of a sentence—can be mystifying. Their purpose is to let the reader know that some part of a quotation has been left out. Sometimes, text is omitted from the middle... Continue reading
Posted Apr 22, 2011 at APA Style Blog
Right you are—“& et al.” would translate to “and and others.” If you have any other specific style questions, you may want to email us at [email protected];
Toggle Commented Apr 1, 2011 on Et al.: When and How? at APA Style Blog
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Hello Katie Byers, The general rule is that for in-text citations you list as many authors as needed to distinguish among references. So since you need to list two authors to distinguish between the two references and as you point out, it would be inappropriate to then use “et al.” since there’s only one other, you would list all three authors for both references. Hope this helps! Paige
Toggle Commented Mar 11, 2011 on Et al.: When and How? at APA Style Blog
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Good catch, thanks! I’ve corrected the original post.
Toggle Commented Feb 7, 2011 on Et al.: When and How? at APA Style Blog
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Hello Rintzezelle. Thanks for your comment. When there is more than one reference that shortens to (Smith et al., 2000), as in your example, you would cite as many author surnames as is necessary to distinguish the references (see the exception in section 6.12, p. 175). In your example, five of the six authors are the same, so the in-text citations would include all six references at each mention: (Smith, Johnson, Williams, Jones, Brown, & Davis, 2000) and (Smith, Johnson, Williams, Jones, Brown & Miller, 2000). Hope this helps.
Toggle Commented Feb 7, 2011 on Et al.: When and How? at APA Style Blog
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by Paige Jackson This week, we continue on down the list of frequent APA Style stumbling blocks compiled by Dr. Anthony Onwuegbuzie and colleagues (Onwuegbuzie, Combs, Slate, & Frels, 2010). These authors contributed a recent guest post to our blog,... Continue reading
Posted Feb 4, 2011 at APA Style Blog
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Thanks for your comment, Leslie. Yes, hyphenation is subjective, and there will always be cases where it seems unclear what to do. You’ll be okay as long as you’re consistent and follow the basic guidelines. For the examples that you give—computer graphics applications and video game dispute—hyphens aren’t necessary because it’s unlikely that these phrases would be misread. The en-dash approach for cases where one element of a compound is open is offered by Chicago but is not mentioned in the APA Publication Manual. You mention alternative approaches to presenting video game magazine dispute. I suspect that according to both style manuals, either hyphenating the phrasal adjective or recasting the phrase would work. And as to just video game dispute, that would be hard to misread, so a hyphen shouldn’t be needed. You ask generally about what is or isn’t an accepted open compound, so I’ll take a stab at it: Hyphenate according to meaning; consult APA Style guidelines; and when in doubt, recast the sentence. Finally, you ask about how to present the two alternative meanings of more complex examples. According to APA style, compounds that include a comparative adjective do not take a hyphen. So I suggest resolving the dilemma by recasting the phrase rather than using a hyphen—for example, additional complex examples and examples that are more complex for the two alternative meanings.
Toggle Commented Jan 21, 2011 on Hyphenation Challenges at APA Style Blog
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Thanks for your comment, Chris. As to your first example, high school teacher, the Publication Manual refers to high school in section 4.13, page 97, as a permanent compound, so your opting to leave it open is correct per APA Style. The discussion can become muddled when one considers temporary compounds, such as middle school age children, where reasonable people can disagree as to which approach minimizes the potential for misreading. I’ve seen this type of compound adjective with two hyphens; with an en-dash between school and age (an alternative perspective offered in Chicago); and open, as you prefer. On the one hand, it fits under the third item in Table 4.1 on page 98—“an adjective-and-noun compound when it precedes the term it modifies”—and as such would be hyphenated per APA Style. On the other hand, a guiding principle of the section on hyphenation is that if a compound adjective can be misread, use a hyphen, and alternatively, if it’s highly unlikely that a compound adjective will be misread, don’t use a hyphen.
Toggle Commented Jan 21, 2011 on Hyphenation Challenges at APA Style Blog
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Hello, Annette. I suspect you’ve already scoured the Publication Manual for information on presenting these statistics. There is an example of odds ratio as a column head on in Table 5.8 on page 139, and the abbreviation/symbol for odds ratio (OR) is given on Table 4.5 on page 120. There is no specific mention of how to present odd ratios in text. There is also no mention of the number needed to treat, relative risk, or intention to treat in the Publication Manual. You may want to consult articles from journals in your field for relevant conventions for presenting these statistics.
Toggle Commented Jan 20, 2011 on APA Style: Who We Are at APA Style Blog
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by Paige Jackson Following on from last week’s post about APA Style rules that writers find most challenging (according to a recent article by Onwuegbuzie, Combs, Slate, & Frels, 2010), this week we tackle a common hyphenation error: failing to... Continue reading
Posted Jan 20, 2011 at APA Style Blog
Thanks for your thoughtful comment, Susan. You ask whether the two instances in which “available from” is used are typos. I believe not – in Example 40, the document is “available from” a subscription database, and in Example 49, the video must be purchased from the APA website. I infer that “available from” was specified in these examples because they refer to something that must be purchased. That said, this issue has created confusion and frustration, and as you mention, we encourage universities to adapt APA style to suit their own use. I’m not sure I could go so far as to encourage universities to use “available from,” but there is certainly a logic to it, given that where a document was retrieved from is sometimes not the same as where a reader might be most likely to locate it.
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by Paige Jackson We have been heartened by the volume and thoughtfulness of the questions and suggestions we’ve received on the APA Style Blog, and we’re always looking for ways to help writers learn more about APA Style. We thought... Continue reading
Posted Jan 13, 2011 at APA Style Blog
Hi Chris. Good question. You can usually tell by looking at a document who the author is, if there is one. In Chelsea’s first example, if you go to the URL, you’ll see that Freakonomics is clearly identified as the author. (In this case, "Freakonomics" happens to be the nom de plume of the blogger as well as the name of the blog—so identifying the author is understandably confusing.) Unfortunately, the second URL is no longer live, but another article on the same topic published by msnbc the following day lists no author. And msnbc is simply the outlet, just as The New York Times is for the Freakonomics blog post. Does that help?
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Hi Alex. Thanks for your question! Chelsea is off this week, so other members of our team are fielding her questions. You would format the reference according to Example 19 (electronic versions of print books) and Example 25 (book chapter, print version): Surname, Initial. (2011). Name of chapter. In Initial. Initial. Surname & Initial. Surname (Eds.), Name of book (7th ed., Chapter 4) [Kindle DX version]. Retrieved from Amazon.com As Chelsea mentioned in her post on citing a Kindle, citing e-books can be confusing because they often lack page numbers, so the chapter page range usually included in a chapter reference is omitted in the example above and instead, I’ve included the chapter number, which essentially gives the reader the same information. Hope this helps.
Toggle Commented Dec 21, 2010 on How Do I Cite a Kindle? at APA Style Blog
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Hello Sara Weber. You raise an important point—-Should the URL given in the reference list reflect the path the author of the paper in question took to locate the document or should it reflect the path that is mostly likely to lead the reader to the document? The Publication Manual chose the latter course and specifies that the homepage URL be used—-even if the author had used a private database to actually locate the document. With two exceptions, the reference examples in the Manual specify the use of “Retrieved from” rather than “Available from.” It is not unusual for universities to adapt APA Style for their own use, and this may be an instance where it makes sense to do so, particularly if you are encountering many references that were located on university databases. Replacing “Retrieved from” with “Available from” will likely be considered for the next edition.
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Hello hiperlaxoschilenos. If there is no year of publication given, you would write "n.d." per section 6.28 in the Publication Manual. For a discussion of how to format such a reference, see section 7.03, and in particular the third bullet. The reference list entry would appear as follows: Pither, C. (n.d.). Cognitive behavioural approaches to chronic pain. Retrieved from Wellcome Trust website: http://www.wellcome.ac.uk/en/pain/microsite/medicine3.html The in-text reference would be Pither (n.d.) or (Pither, n.d.). If you have any other questions about specific applications of APA Style, you may want to e-mail [email protected]
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Hello, Florida. I share your frustration. The cut-and-dried answer is to use DOIs to the extent possible – as more documents are assigned DOIs, the whole issue of which URL to use will go away. Indeed, I suspect that many of the documents you are seeking to cite actually have DOIs. You may want to take a look at a recent blog post on this topic. DOIs are swiftly becoming the standard in publishing. Although they may be clunky and awkward, they provide a dedicated link to a publication. In online articles, DOIs will someday be hyperlinked, providing a direct link to the article being referenced. This is a powerful tool that we simply cannot overlook. I guarantee that you will see DOIs popping up in more places in the future; our attempts to adapt to their use now will only benefit us in the long run and allow us to provide more useful information to our readers. And it also means that oftentimes we can sidestep the murky question of which URL to use when.
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Good question, Vicki. I would consider what you refer to as the "first URL" to be the document webpage -- there is no need for additional reference list entries for each in-text citation to different parts of the document. It's a reasonable expectation that the reader will be able to navigate to various parts of the document from that document webpage -- and providing multiple references to different parts of the same document would be comoparable to providing references to multiple chapters of a book, for example. As with any other text citation, for quoted or paraphrased material, enough information would need to be provided to facilitate the reader's locating the relevant passage. Page numbers are preferred, but many electronic sources don't have page numbers. In such cases, either visible paragraph numbers or the heading and number of the paragraph should give the reader sufficient information (see 6.05 in the Publication Manual).
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Thanks for your comment. A key part of the sentence you quote is "in general." And as I mentioned in the post you were responding to, what should guide your decision is what is most likely to lead the reader to the document in question. In your situation, database information clearly suits your purpose best. So, yes, it is permissible to use database information in your situation. And to respond more generally, the Publication Manual is intended to facilitate clear and effective communication and is certainly not intended to hamstring particular users into implementing a style rule that is counterproductive for their purposes. We understand that some universities adapt APA style for their needs and are supportive of institutions' making exceptions to APA style when that is most effective.
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Thanks, Keith. Your point is well taken, and this issue has caused confusion and frustration among a number of our readers. As a result, it will be reconsidered as we look at possible modifications to reference formatting for the next edition. Small comfort now, I know! I did want to point out that because online journal articles sometimes include supplemental material, it’s important to differentiate between the print and online versions of an article in the reference information (see section 2.13 in the Publication Manual). While including the “Retrieved from” annotation is by no means the only way to make that distinction, there does need to be some way to convey to the reader whether the print or online version is being cited. I appreciate your thoughtful contribution to our blog. Paige
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