Referencing Styles

A guide to the reference styles used at the University of St Andrews

New Edition

This information applies to the 6th Edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.  A 7th edition of the manual is now published.  ONLY USE THE INFORMATION HERE IF YOU KNOW YOU NEED TO USE THE 6TH EDITION AND NOT THE 7TH.

What you need to include and types of books

Book references include:

  • Author(s) or Editor(s)
  • Year of publication
  • Title (italicised)
  • (Edition statement)
  • Place of Publication
  • Publishing

Ebook references include:

  • Author(s) / Editor(s)
  • Year of Publication
  • Title (italicised)
  • (Edition Statement)
  • [Format] - only where the book is also available in print
  • Retrieved from
  • DOI or URL


Fields marked in blue are only included where the source contains that information.

Where the reference takes up multiple lines, indent the reference from the second line. The reference list should have double-line spacing.

The basic in-text citation format is:

(Author surname, year, p.)

The basic reference format is:

Author, A.A. (Year). Title of book. Edition. Publication data.

In-text citation:

(Esgate, Groome, & Baker, 2005, p. 42)

Reference list entry:

Esgate, A., Groome, D., & Baker, K. (2005). An introduction to applied cognitive psychology. Hove: Psychology  Press.

In-text citation:

(Boutang, & De Lara, 2016, p. 68)

Reference list entry:

Boutang, J., & De Lara, M. (2016).  The biased mind: how evolution shaped our psychology including anecdotes and tips for making sound decisions.  [PDF version]. Retrieved from:


  • In-text citations are within parenthesis, and contain the author(s) surname(s) and year of publication. The page number is given if you are referring to a specific page/section, always give page numbers if you are quoting. If you refer to the authors within your text, only the date is needed in your in-text citation. If you refer to the year in your text, only the author(s) is needed in your in-text citation.
  • Ensure you include all the punctuation required in your reference.
  • For multiple authors follow the advice in the Author Rules tab, paying attention to the use of commas, ampersand, and ellipses.  Surname is followed with a comma, a space, then the initials.  No space is given between initials when more than one is needed for an author's forename.
  • (Date) is always within parenthesis, and followed with a "."
  • Title is always italicised, and followed with a "."
  • Location is always followed with a ":"  
  • For print resources a full-stop is given at the end of the reference
  • For e-books provide details of the format, and either the doi or URL.  No full-stop is used when you enter a DOI or a URL.
  • The second and subsequent lines of each reference should be indented.  
  • The reference list should be double line spaced.

APA basic book reference example step-by-step

Book example - Step 1: Give the first author

Esgate, A.,

Book example - Step 2: Add the second author

Esgate, A., Groome, D.,

Book example - Step 3: Add the third author

Esgate, A., Groome, D., & Baker, K.

Book example - Step 4: Add the year in parenthesis

Esgate, A., Groome, D., & Baker, K. (2005).

Book example - Step 5: Add the title in italics

Esgate, A., Groome, D., & Baker, K. (2015). An introduction to applied cognitive psychology. 

Book example - Step 6: Add the Place: and Publisher.

Esgate, A., Groomer, D., & Baker, K. (2015). An introduction to applied cognitive psychology.

  Hove: Psychology Press.

Book Example - Formatting: References longer than one line use hanging indents

Esgate, A., Groomer, D., & Baker, K. (2015). An introduction to applied cognitive psychology.

  Hove: Psychology Press