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APA Referencing Guide

Based on the NWU Referencing Guide.

Internet and other electronic information sources

Note that scientific journal articles retrieved from the internet should be treated as online journal articles.

Articles or webpages from a website

When the author of the webpage or article and the publisher of the website are the same, omit the publisher name to avoid repetition.

Provide the date as specific as available on the webpage, e.g. if the month and or day is known, include that also in the reference list entry, in the form of (year, month day).

The title of the webpage or article should be typed in italics.

National Institute of Mental Health. (2018, July). Anxiety disorders. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health.

Text reference:
(National Institute of Mental Health, 2018).

When the contents of a page are meant to be updated but are not archived, include a retrieval date in the reference list entry.

Fagan, J. (2019, March 25). Nursing clinical brain. OER Commons. Retrieved September 17, 2019, from

Text reference:
(Fagan, 2019).

Electronic newsletters

APA Referencing - Electronic Newsletter


Blog posts can be used as sources of information but you have to make sure it is scientific and reliable.

The author of a blog post can be a person or persons but it can also be an organisation or company, or even a group author.

If possible give the exact date, e.g. year, month and day in the reference list, but only the year in the text reference.

APA Referencing - Blogs

Blog comments

Determining the author of a blog or comment is sometimes difficult. Use the name of the individual who commented on the blog post or the screen name (it can sometimes be something weird that doesn’t look like a name, e.g. Cu4t).

The date should be the date when the comment was published (not that of the blog post).

For the title, type the word “Re: “ in front of the title of the blog post.
Use the URL of the comment.

APA Referencing - Blog comments

Social media

Nowadays posts from social media are also used as information sources. For an individual’s name, use the surname, followed by his / her initials. Give the screen name in square brackets if available. If only the screen name is available, use that form of name. For an organisation, use the name as found on the page.

Give the exact date (year, month and day) of the post.

Give the title or caption of the post. If it is a long post / caption, use the first 20 words of the post. After the title, give in square brackets the type of post, e.g. [Status update], [Tweet] [Instagram post].

Provide the exact URL (click on a post’s date stamp) of the status update.

1. Facebook

APA Referencing - Facebook

2. Twitter

Elsevier [@ElsevierConnect]. (2019, July 9) 3 tips on preparing a literature review [Tweet]. Twitter.

Text reference:
(Elsevier, 2019).

3. Instagram

Jansen, J. [jdjansen007]. (2018, May 25). “Recognising your own brokenness is part of owning your story” [Post]. Instagram.

Text reference:
(Jansen, 2018).

Audiovisual and other media on the internet

1. PowerPoint

UNAIDS. (2018). Global AIDS update 2018 [PowerPoint]. › media_asset › 2018-global-aids-update-slides-part1

Text reference:
(UNAIDS, 2018).

2. Video

Robinson, K. (2006, February). Do schools kill creativity? [Video]. Talk presented at an official TED conference.

Text reference:
(Robinson, 2006).

3. YouTube video

Simple Science Answers. (2013, August 2). Pharmacodynamics made simple! [Video]. YouTube

Text reference:
(Simple Science Answers, 2013).

4. Podcast

Trump, D. (2018, September 25). President Trump speech at the UN General Assembly [Podcast].

Text reference:
(Trump, 2018).

Lecture notes on an LMS (eFundi)

LMS = learning management system, e.g. eFundi.

Franken, A. (2019). Occupational hygiene investigation. Study unit 3 [PowerPoint presentation]. Unpublished lecture notes for BHIG211 on eFundi. eFundi@NWU. Retrieved April 29, 2019, from

Text reference:
(Franken, 2019).