The APA Publication Manual


As a student, you will be assigned to write scholarly papers. Papers are written using an approved style guide. Using a style guide provides uniformity in structure and contributes to clear communication. Most Schools and Colleges of Nursing have adopted the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (5th edition) as the approved style guide.

A Little History and Introduction to the 6th Edition

The Publication Manual was originally developed to assist authors in preparing manuscripts for publication in psychology journals. Over time, these guidelines gained acceptance among other journal publishers and academic institutions, prompting several revisions of the original guidelines. The most recent release is the 6th edition (2010). Although the Publication Manual was not specifically designed to guide students in writing general papers for academic coursework, many institutions have adopted the guidelines. Because student papers are not generally submitted for journal publication, the rules may not apply universally to all types of written work. Each academic institution usually provides guidelines to assist students in applying the format to papers developed within their educational programs. Changing over to the latest edition is a challenge for Universities and you are encouraged to check with your faculty or department chair as to which is the preferred version. There are a number of differences in formatting the paper so this is important that you identify the edition that is required at your school. Please click here for a brief summary of the 2010 6th Edition format changes.

6th Edition

5th Edition (2001) and Electronic References Guide(2007)

The 5th edition was released in 2001 and to address the emerging electronic applications, the APA Style Guide to Electronic References (2007) was introduced. This was a PDF document that offered updates and new information for formatting electronic references in APA style. These updates included changes to the retrieval statement for electronic resources as well as an emphasis to use an assigned DOI (Digital Object Identifier). In this guide, the it was recommended that use of the retrieval statement was no longer necessary for materials that are unlikely to be changed or updated.

5th Edition