Common Business Citations in APA Format

Consult the Publications Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA) for detailed explanations and additional examples.  Copies are available at the Cal State San Marcos Research Help Desk (BF76.7.P83 2009) or on Reserve.


Articles, News or Trade
Articles, Scholarly

Company  Information
Chapter or Section of a web document

Data Set  (user created)

Encyclopedia, Reference Source or Chapter in a book
Legal Citation Formats
Personal Communication

Additional style citation guides


General Guidelines
Purpose of citation is to recognize the author's work and to facilitate your reader's or professor's ability to find the material.

A URL is not a citation nor is it a company name.   When citing an entry or article from within a restricted access database such as ReferenceUSA, Proquest's ABI Inform do not use the whole URL string as these are session dependent.

Authors, use only first and middle initial.
Author, A. A., & Author, B. B.  If no author begin with title (date)...

Electronic Databases.   Cite ONLY home URL for the database.  Do not cite the whole URL for the entry or article as it is session specific and will not lead to anything.


How to cite in text
Cite as (last name or company name, year). Example: (Longboard Grotto, 2003).

Example: Interactive Web tutorials have been developed to teach business at a number of institutions (Flanagan, 1999. Roy & Elfner (2002) examined student satisfaction of technologies for business instruction. 

Recommended Citation Generators
A note of caution about Citation Generators.
... NOT ALL ARE ACCURATE!  Like everything you need to know the basics and use them with caution and expect to have to make corrections. 
EbscoHost databases and Proquest have built in citation generators for each article. Use Cite This, or email citation. Know bug: Proquest authors and dates may need reformatting.

KnightCite developed by Hekman Library Calvin College
Son of Citation Machine

DocsCite developed by Arizona State University to help cite government documents

Owl at Purdue APA Style.  Highly recommended
Sample paper with notations to APA instructions in Manual

Cite the article as you would any print article and add the electronic access information at the end.
DOI: To access electronic articles preference is given to supplying an Digital Object Identifier, a unique number for an article. Inclusion of the DOI, if available, facilitates retrieval
How to find a DOI (Digital Object Identifier)
Example: doi:10.1108/03090560710821161

If no DOI end with the home page, do not paste the whole URL, of the database name,

Articles, News or  Trade


News article with DOI:
Webb, M.  (2009, November). CSUSM Pushes the Limit of Preparing Students for the Future. San Diego Business Journal, 30(44), 23.  Retrieved January 20, 2010, from ProQuest Newsstand. (Document ID: 1900092801).

News article, no DOI, in Lexis Nexis Academic
Wildstrom, S.H. (1999, Apr. 5 ). A big boost for net privacy. Business Week, p. 23. Retrieved from



Articles, Scholarly

Example: Klimoski, R., & Palmer, S. (1993). The ADA and the hiring process in organizations. Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research, 45(2), 10-36. doi: 10.1037/1061-4087.45.2.10




Chapter in a book
Heifetz, R. A. (1994). On a razor's edge. In Leadership without easy answers (pp. 125-149). Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press.

Whole book
McDonald, M. & Keegan, W. J. (1997). Marketing plans that work. Boston: Butterworth-Heinemann.

e-book, no DOI
Stark, J. (2010). Building iPhone apps with html, css, and javascript [1st ed]. Retrieved from


Company  Information

Author (date). Title of work. Database source. Retrieved from http://homeurlonly.htm
Title of company (date). Publisher, database source. Retrieved from source name.


Entries in library databases

Citigroup, Inc Annual Report (2003). Retrieved from
in text: (Citigroup, 2003).

Hoover's Inc. (2010, February 16). Harley Davidson, Incorporated: In-depth record. Retrieved from LexisNexis Academic database.

InfoUSA. (2010). Rubio's Restaurants Inc.  Retrieved from ReferenceUSA database.

Company website

Qualcomm (2010). FY 2009 4th Quarter Earnings Release. Retrieved from the Qualcomm, Inc. website


Chapter or Section of a web document
Cite the most specific webpage that you reference in your paper and include a link to the specific page.

Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Date of publication). Title of article. In Title of book or larger web document (chapter or section number). Retrieved from     (courtesy of Owl at Purdue)

Spain: Culture (2010). In GlobalEdge. Retrieved January 18, 2010 from


Industry statistics
U.S. Census Bureau. (2010). Musical instrument and supplies stores NAICS: 45114. Washington DC: Author. Retrieved January 21, 2010 from the World Wide Web:


Data Set  (user created)
For customized datasets derived from an electronic database


MediaMark Reporter (2008).  Give your data set a name in italics. Retrieved January 30, 2008 from MediaMark Reporter

Industry statistics
U.S. Census Bureau. (2010). Musical instrument and supplies stores NAICS: 45114. Washington DC: Author. Retrieved January 21, 2010 from the World Wide Web:


Encyclopedia, Reference Source or Chapter in a book
See Reference list: other print sources. In Purdue Owl. 


Encyclopedia, No author:
Physical Fitness Products.  (2007). In Encyclopedia of American industries. (pp. 671-675). Millerton, NY: Grey House Publications.

Reference work, Author:
Basham, M. (2009).  Restaurants.  In Standard & Poor's industry surveys. (Vol. 1). New York: Standard &Poor's.

Reference work: Multiple Authors: (authors in order as they appear)
Edell J. A. & Burke, M. C. (19980. Feelings towards ads. In Bearden, W. O. & Netemeyer, R. G. In Handbook of marketing scales (2nd ed., pp. 283-285). Thousand Oaks: Sage.

Legal Citation Formats

See Lexis Nexis guidance for legal citations use the Uniform System of Case Citation (Blue Book).

To get the data for this YouTube clip you will need to extract speaker or author name, introductory slide, and other info.

Example: Steuer, D. (2010).  Section 2: Effects of economic downturn. 2010 county of San Diego economic roundtable. Retrieved January 21, 2010 from


Personal Communication
APA rules states that you cite your interviews or emails in the text only since they are not retrievable. Your professor may also require you to list them in the Works Cited list.

Example: (J. Welch, personal communication, January 21, 2010)

Additional style citation guides:

Style guide finder:  Quick summaries of MLA, APA, Chicago, and others, including how to cite online sources.

Submit your own examples


Compiled by
Cecilia Villegas, CoBA CSUSM '05 and Ann Fiegen
Cal State San Marcos
July 2003 rev.1/10