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Referencing (TAFE)

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A digital object identifier (DOI) is a combination of letters and numbers string assigned by a registration agency (the International DOI Foundation) to identify content. The publisher assigns a DOI when your article is published and made available electronically.

It is recommended that when DOIs are available, include them for both print and electronic sources. The DOI is usually located on the first page of the electronic journal article, near the copyright notice. The DOI can also be found on the database landing page for the article.



Author, A. A. (Year of publication). Title of article. Title of Journalvolume(issue), pp. xxx-xxx.

Pashkova-Balkenhol, T., Lenker, M., Cox, E., & Kocevar-Weidinger, E. (2019). Should we flip the script?: A literature review of deficit-based perspectives on first-year undergraduate students’ information literacy. Journal of Information Literacy, 13(2), 92-111.


Author, A. A. (Year of publication). Title of book. Publisher. https://doi

Brown, L. S. (2018). Feminist therapy (2nd ed.). American Psychological Association.

If publication date is not available use no date or circa (about.approxmately) c. before the year 
No date
 For sources that do not have a date of publication, substitute ‘n.d.’ (no date) after the name of the author.

 For example: 

 In-text citation

( Author, n.d.)
 (Southey, n.d.)

 Reference List
 Southey, R. (n.d.). The life of Nelson. Blackie.
Approximate Date or estimated date
In text citation
( Author, c. Year)
( Author, Year?)
 Southey (c. 1977)
(Southey, 1977?)


There are three main ways to cite social media content in an APA Style paper:

  • generally with a URL,
  • as a personal communication, and
  • with a typical APA Style in-text citation and reference list entry.

Note: If you discuss any website or page in general in a paper (including but not limited to social media), it is sufficient to give the URL in the text the first time it is mentioned. No reference list entry is needed. Here is an example:

 "News agencies like CNN provide breaking news coverage to millions of people every day on their website ( and Twitter account ( In our first investigation, we analyzed the content of CNN’s Twitter feed during the year 2012" (


In-text citation

(Author, Year)

Author (Year)

(News From Science, 2019)

News From Science (2019)

Reference list entry

Author. (Year, Month Day). Content of the post up to the first 20 words [Status update]. Facebook. https://xxxxx

News From Science. (2019, June 21). Are you a fan of astronomy? Enjoy reading about what scientists have discovered in our solar system—and beyond? This [Image attached] [Status update]. Facebook.

  • Provide the first 20 words of the Facebook post as the title. Count a URL or other link, a hashtag, or an emoji as one word each, and include them in the reference if they fall within the first 20 words. 
  • If a status update includes images, videos, thumbnail links to outside sources, or content from another Facebook post (such as when sharing a link), indicate that in square brackets (APA, 2020, p. 349).


In-text citation

(Author, Year)

Author (Year)

(APA Databases, 2019; Gates, 2019)

APA Databases (2019) and Gates (2019)

Reference list entry

Author, A. [Twitter handle]. (Year, month day). Content of the post up to the first 20 words [Content Tweet contains if any] [Tweet]. https://xxxx

APA Databases [@APA_Databases]. (2019, September 5). Help students avoid plagiarism boy emoji and researchers navigate the publication process. More details available in the 7th edition @APA_Style table [Tweet]. Twitter.

Gates, B. [@BillGates]. (2019, September 7). Today, it’s difficult for researchers to diagnose #Alzheimers patients early enough to intervene. A reliable, easy and accurate diagnostic would [Thumbnail with link attached] [Tweet]. Twitter.


  • Provide a retrieval date since the contents of the page can change.
  • Replicate emojis when possible and count them as one word
  • Social media posts may also contain nonstandard spelling and capitalization, hash tags, links and emojis.
  • Do not alter the spelling and capitalisations a social media reference. Retain hash tags and links.

Note: This format can be used for other forms of social media like Instagram (APA, 2020, p. 349).

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