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🧠 APA Style 7th Edition: The Changes You Need To Know

The American Psychological Association has announced the newest version of their publication manual: the 7th edition. It will be officially released in October, and arrives just over 10 years since the 6th edition was published. Here’s what we know so far:

Reference list and citations

Fundamentally not much is changing to the way citations are formatted, so if you are comfortable with writing citations according to the 6th edition rules then it should be a smooth segue into the 7th edition. Here are the most notable changes:

  • Website URLs no longer need to be preceded with “Retrieved from” unless there is also a retrieval date.
    Kluger, J. (2019, July 18). Elon Musk told us why he thinks we can land on the Moon in ‘less than 2 years.’ Retrieved from Time website: https://time.com/5628572/elon-musk-moon-landing/
    Kluger, J. (2019, July 18). Elon Musk told us why he thinks we can land on the Moon in ‘less than 2 years.’ Time website: https://time.com/5628572/elon-musk-moon-landing/
  • Ebooks no longer require the type of ebook to be listed (e.g. PDF, Kindle etc)
    Green, J. (2018). The fault in our stars [Kindle Version]. Retrieved from: https://www.amazon.com/Fault-Our-Stars-John-Green-ebook/dp/B007Z8ZKS2/
    Green, J. (2018). The fault in our stars. https://www.amazon.com/Fault-Our-Stars-John-Green-ebook/dp/B007Z8ZKS2/
  • Journal DOIs are now displayed as a doi.org URL instead of with the “DOI:” prefix.
    Patel, V., & Jenkins, R. (2012). Putting evidence into practice: the PLoS Medicine series on global mental health practice. PLoS Medicine, 9(5), 44. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1001226
    Patel, V., & Jenkins, R. (2012). Putting evidence into practice: the PLoS Medicine series on global mental health practice. PLoS Medicine, 9(5), 44. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001226
  • The publisher location is no longer required for books or similar mediums.
    Salinger, J. D. (2001). The catcher in the rye (pp. 23–24). New York: Back Bay Books.
    Salinger, J. D. (2001). The catcher in the rye (pp. 23–24). Back Bay Books.
  • Up to 20 authors can now be included in a reference list entry before needing to omit others with an ellipsis. Previously, only six would be displayed before omitting the rest with an ellipsis.
    Foster, M., Thompson, A., Perez, G., Moore, D., Torres, G., Peterson, H., … Cox, W. (2018) Title…
    Foster, M., Thompson, A., Perez, G., Moore, D., Torres, G., Peterson, H., Foster, M., Thompson, A., Perez, G., Moore, D., Torres, G., Peterson, H., Foster, M., Thompson, A., Perez, G., Moore, D., Torres, G., Peterson, H., Foster, M., … Cox, W. (2018) Title…
  • As for in-text citations, any reference with more than three authors can now be shortened to the first author and et al. Previously only references with six or more would be shortened this way.
    It is believed that only 55% of bibliographic data is correctly located by Google Scholar (Zeitlyn, Beardmore-Herd, Hinrikus, Hook, 2018)
    It is believed that only 55% of bibliographic data is correctly located by Google Scholar (Zeitlyn et al., 2018)
  • Guidelines and citation examples are being added for newer information sources that have emerged or grown in popularity since the 6th edition, like social media messages and videos, and other electronic mediums.

Punctuation and layout

The manual now states to always use a single space after any body-text punctuation, whether it is at the end of a sentence or not. In the 6th edition, two spaces would be required at the end of a sentence, while a single space would be used after punctuation that was not at the of a sentence. Other important changes include:

  • The term Running head: should no longer be prefixed to the running head on the title page. Now, only the actual title and a page number (typically 1) should be used.
  • Heading fonts sizes for levels 3 through 5 have been changed to make them easier to read.
  • APA style 6th edition requires the Times New Roman font in 12pt size, which is a relatively small serif font that can be hard to read. But font lovers rejoice! — The 7th edition adds Calibri size 11pt, Arial 11pt, Lucida Sans Unicode 10pt, and Georgia 11pt as allowed fonts.
    💡 A serif font is one with extra strokes or curly lines added to each letter. A sans-serif font is a simpler font without these extra strokes, and is easier to read. The font this page is written in is a sans-serif font.

Bias-free language

  • Guidelines are being added to use bias-free language when referring to people or entities. This means using the word “they” or “their” instead of gender pronouns like “he”, “she”, “his” and “her”.
  • Descriptive phrases should be preferred instead of nouns to label people.

Samples

Students new to writing and citing in APA style will be pleased to see complete examples demonstrating visually how to lay out a paper in the 7th edition style. This includes the title page, main body, bibliography, and any other nuances. We also have this information available in our APA Format Guide, and our APA Citation Generator is there to help you format your citations.

When will APA 7th Edition begin to be used?

The American Psychological Association is not expecting to see the 7th Edition used in practice until Q2 in 2020. And as a student, you should always check with your professor or teacher whether they’re expecting the 7th edition, or the 6th edition.

📚 Librarians: MyBib is now on the G Suite Marketplace

We’ve been asked for G Suite integration a lot recently and today we can finally announce that, in collaboration with Google, MyBib is now available on the G Suite Marketplace. If you’re a school that uses G Suite, Google Apps, or Google SSO (single sign-on) you can now add MyBib to your Google Apps domain. This adds a direct login button to the apps menu for all the students in your domain, and allows them to tie their MyBib account with their Google account.

Aside from the convenience of having a quick and easy way to launch MyBib, it also ensures that your student’s citations will be saved on their Google school account, eliminating the risk of losing work if they forget to login. And in the future we’ll be adding a direct integration to Google Docs so that citations can be managed, inserted, and updated automatically from within their papers. In short: everyone’s lives are easier!

You can go straight through to the listing with this link: https://gsuite.google.com/marketplace/app/mybib/154836275460

🎉 New Feature: Embed bibliographies in your LMS, blog, or website

Bibliographies are most often associated with academic papers, but academic papers aren’t the only medium where information is cited. In fact, most of the information that we pass on day-to-day usually comes from somewhere else. And just like when we write academically, it’s also good practice to cite the sources of the information we share in order to back up our claims and statements.

Worldometers estimates that over 5 million blog posts are written every day. Marketingprofs puts the number at around 2 million, although that was four years ago. Either way, a lot of information is constantly being pushed out, and in the era of fake news it’s more important than ever to make it clear where that information originated from. That’s why, here at MyBib HQ, we’ve been working on a way to embed bibliographies and reference lists created with MyBib directly in a webpage, like a blog or learning management system.

We’ve added a new option to the Download menu: Link. This option will provide you with a short snippet of HTML code that you can insert into your blog or website article. Wherever you put it will make a cool button appear that loads your entire source list onto the page when clicked. It remains connected to your MyBib project too, so changes you make are updated when the button is next clicked.

Our goal is to make it as easy as possible for authors of digital articles to link to the sources they’ve referred to in their articles. Please let us know what you think, and fire over any ideas to help us improve it further.

We’ve included an example just below! (but note: if you’re reading this in the ‘What’s new’ popup box please click through to the main article first or it won’t work)

View Bibliography

🎉 New Feature: Invite others to your bibs!

January’s almost behind us, and we’ve just added another hot new feature to MyBib. Building a bibliography with a group can be tedious (not to mention lonely 😛). Group members are throwing sources and updates at you from every direction, and it falls on your shoulders to make sure they’re all cited — and correctly too. That’s a pressure you could do without.

We have the solution — we’ve added a way for your group members to securely access one of your bibliographies from their own computer so they can make changes without you.

Screenshot showing a citation preview

To enable access to your bibliography, first click the new Share button and turn on Sharing, then send the special link to each of your group members. They just need to visit the link and presto — they’re in! You still keep overall control of your bibliogaphy and can remove them if you need to, plus you’ll get live alerts every time they make a change.

Give it a try, and we’d love to know what you think. You can give us feedback using the speech bubble icon in the bottom-left corner of the tool.

🎉 New Features: Tips for citation data and more

It’s almost 2019 and we’ve got some big improvements on the way (spoiler: notecards is one of them). For now though, here’s a couple of smaller updates.

First up, be prepared to see helpful tips when entering data for each citation. These include pointers for finding specific pieces of information, and examples of the data you should be entering. We’ve also included some warnings to make sure you’re capitalizing words that should be capitalized, and lowercasing those that shouldn’t.

Screenshot showing information tips

We’ve added a couple of quality improvements too — you can now select multiple citations and then drag them to other projects, or delete them all in a single click.

Screenshot showing selecting multiple citations

🎉 New Feature: Citation previews

We’ve just added a live preview to each citation form. Now, when adding or editing a citation you can immediately see how it will be formatted before saving it.

Screenshot showing a citation preview

This is especially useful for learning how adding or removing a piece of data can affect the citation as a whole. For example: when citing a webpage in MLA format where a website name hasn’t been added, the article title is italicized. However once a website name has been added the article title returns to normal but is surrounded with quotation marks instead, while the website name becomes italic in its place. That’s a significant change, and easily mistaken too.

In the future we want to add more useful features like this that help to explain the hows and whys of the citation process instead of automating it blindly. When we can present a learning opportunity alongside the automation then everyone wins.