The American Psychological Association style manual is frequently used in the social sciences including business.  However, the citation examples provided are mostly scholarly and academic in nature.  Which reference examples to use for common business publications is not always easily perceived. 

This guide lists common business publication types and maps them to APA reference examples.

This guide offeres examples of how to create a reference list and cite sources in-text or parenthetically using common business sources made available through our library subscriptions.

Crediting sources and creating reference lists is not a mechanical exercise, but requires a fair degree of judgment.  If you strive for consistency and err on the side of inclusion you should be in good shape.

APA style for electronic sources prescribes using the entire URL in the Retrieval statement. Often the full URL is not persistent.  When this is the case or when your faculty prefers cleaner citations it is acceptable to use truncated URLs pointing to the root domain name.


Market Research & Industry Reports

Market research and industry reports are may be authored by named individuals or corporate authors.  If the author is identified, use that as the 1st element of the citation.  If a corporate author is named, use it as the 1st element of the citation.  If the corporate author or publisher is not used as the 1st element, include it in the retrieved from statement. 

The title is italics and sentence style capitalization.

These examples follow the APA examples for citing technical and research reports.

Mintel Reference List

Rosenberg, J. (2018, June). Law and garden products: US. Retrieved from Mintel Academic website:

Mintel Parenthetical (direct paraphrase from report without pagination) Use the chapter or section of the report if page numbers are not given.  You do not need to include the complete chapter or section title, the 1st few words that unambigiously lead the reader to the section will do.

Housing trends, consumer confidence and unemployment are key indicators of the performance of law and garden products. (Rosenberg, 2018, "Market factors").

Mintel In-Text (direct parasphase from report without pagination) Use the chapter or section of the report if there are no page numbers.

Rosenberg (2018) observes that strong consumer confidence, low unemployment and robust housing are contributing to strong performance in the law and garden category ("Market factors").

Mintel Reference List: Multiple reports, same author, same year

Distinguish between reports with the same author, published in the same year by appending alphabet letters to the publication years in both the reference list and in-text citation

Sisel, E. (2015a, March). Non-alcoholic water enhancers: US.  Retrieved from Mintel Academic 

Sisel, E. (2015b, April). Dairy & non-dary milk: US. Retrieved from

Note that the retrieved from statement should include either the name of the database or root URL.  Choose one method and consistently apply it.

Mintel Parenthetical: Multiple reports, same author same year, short text and not direct quote, no page or chapter needed.

Young men between the ages of 18-24 consume more carbonated soft drinks than their female counterparts (Sisel, 2015a).  This difference may be attributable to health consciousness and weight concerns many young women embrace (Sisel, 2015b). Reference List, Corporate Author

Packaged Facts. (2017). Condiments and  sauses: U.S. retail trends and market opportunities. Retrieved from Parenthetical, page numbers available

Consumer enthusiasm for healthy and original foods resulted in stronger gains in price points than in volumn (Packaged Facts, 2017, p. 6). In-Text, page numbers available

According to Packaged Facts (2017), Millennials are most drawn to new foods, whereas older consumers favor organic and non-GMO foods (p.62-63).

IBISWorld: Reference List, Named Author, Report # provided.

O'Connor, R. (2018, June). Online automotive parts & accessory sales in the U.S. (IBISWorld Industry Report OD5067). Retrived from


Twitter & Facebook

Note that the titles of social media posts are not italicized.

In Text (sites as a whole)

Using social media has become a natural way for schools to reach out to prospective and current students.  V.S.B.'s Facebook page ( and  Falvey Memorial Library's Twitter feed (!/FalveyLibrary) are prime examples.

Reference List (sites as a whole)

Reference List entries are not needed to cite Facebook, Twitter or Web sites as a whole.  Simply cite in text with a parenthetical.  Another example...

For those interested in how social media is changing street protest, following the Occupy Wall Street tweets are essential (!/OccupyWall).

In Text (particular posts or assets)

Falvey Memorial Library does much to cultivate scholarly discussions (FalveyLibrary, 2011a) and popular culture (Falvey Memorial Library, 2011b) at Villanova University.

Reference List (particular posts or assets)

FalveyLibrary. (2011a, October 18). Tomorrow at 12:30 in the 1st floor lounge: Dr. Jones speaks on American society. Is it falling apart? He doesn't think so! [Twitter post]. Retrieved from!/FalveyLibrary

Falvey Memorial Library. (2011b, October 19). Graphic Novels in the Digital Age [Facebook Wall Photo]. Retrieved from

Note that the Tweet in its entirety is included in the Reference List citation and the corporate name as written is used rather then the correct name, Falvey Memorial Library.  This was done to facilitate retrieval and identification for a resource that may not be archieved.

Corporate or Organization Web Site

To cite a web site in its entirety, but not a particular page or asset on the web site, simply include the link to the site in text within parenthesis.  For example...

The Google search engine page is delightfully simple and clean (

In Text Document on Corporate Web Site

Starbucks encourges employees, called partners, to volunteer for community service projects.  In 2008 Starbucks partners spend 246,000 hours in community service (Community involvement, 2009)

Reference List-Document on Corporate Web Site

Community involvement at Starbucks. (2009). Retrieved from


Company Reports

Morningstar-In Text

Red Hat provides services for enterprises running LINUS, the open source operating system. (Morningstar, 2018)

Morningstar-Reference List

Note this content changes over time so it is necessary to include the retrieval date.

Morningstar (2018). Red Hat [Company profile]. Retrieved August 1, 2018 from

MarketLine-In Text

One of the external threats faced by Starbucks is "increasing health consciousness among American consumers" (Datamonitor, 2009, p. 17).

MarketLine-Reference List

Note that name of database is included in retrieval statement because it is not clear from the URL.

Marketline. (2017). Comcast corporation: Company profile. Retrieved from MarketLine database

Data & Statisitcs

Euromonitor(Passport)-In Text

Estimated consumer expenditures in the US on coffee was $103,478,000 in 2008 and is expected to be $110,122,000 by 2012 (Euromonitor International, 2010, Consumer expenditure on coffee, tea and cocoa).

Euromonitor(Passport)-Reference List

Euromonitor International. (2010) Historic/forecast U.S. mn value at current prices consumer expenditures on coffee, tea and cocoa. [data]. Retrieved from

Census-In Text

To put Starbucks operations in perspective, in the United States there are 141,113 establishments that "serve non-alcoholic beverages and snacks for consumption without table service.("2007 Economic Census: Sector 72:ECO077213", 2009)  "

Census-Reference List

U.S. Census Bureau. (2009, September 29). 2007 Economic Census: Sector 72: EC0772I3: Accommodation and Food Services: Industry Series: Preliminary Product Lines Statistics by Kind of Business for the United States: 2007. Retrieved from


Informal Surveys & Interviews


Finding out what other people think, be they consumers, or business owners or experts is a big part of business research.  Informal unpublished surveys conducted in person or online and face to face interviews or telephone interviews may provide valuable insight worth including in a business plan or report.  Be sure to secure permission to use responses from the interviewees and survey participants.

In Text Personal Interview or Telephone Conversation

Young people in the Philadelphia area tend to shop the mall in groups. (A.S.Manager, personal communiation, October 30, 2010)


A.S. Manger reported that in the King of Prussia Mall teenagers tend to shop in groups. (personal communication, October 2010).

Reference List-Personal Interview or Telephone Conversation

Personal interviews and telephone converstations that are unpublished and not recoverable (from email or web site or some other vehicle) should not be included in the reference list.


Music, videos, maps, movies and podcasts play an increasingly important role in business and scholarly communication.  Adapt these general guidelines to the object you need to cite.

Artist, Producer or Writer. (date created). Title or episode. In CD or Series. [Medium]. Retrieved from URL.

Reference List-Streaming Audio

Surfer Blood. (n.d.) Miranda. [Streaming audio]. Retrieved from

Reference List-Podcast

Euromonitor (Producer). (2011, September 12). The Global Jeans Market. [Audio podcast]. in Globalcast. Retrieved from

Media Kits

Media kits are typically brief reports containing informaton about advertising rates, audience characteristics, technical specifications and contact information made available to potential advertisers by media producers.  The APA Manual does not provide advice on how to cite them. 

In Text

Sixty five percent of the readership of Bloomberg Businessweek is male. (Bloomberg, L.P. 2011)

Reference List

Bloomberg, L.P (2011) Bloomberg Businessweek [Media Kit] Retrieved from



In Text

Customer equity (CE) differs from brand equity (BE) in that brand equity measures attitudes, whereas customer equity measures behaviors. (Villanueva, 2007).


According to Villanueva (2007) brand equity measures attitudes whereas customer equity measures behaviors (Villanueva, 2007).

Reference List

Electronic Version

Villanueva, J. (2007). Customer equity:  Measurement managment and research opportunities.   Retrieved from

Print Version

Villanueva, J. (2007). Customer equity: Measurement, managment and research opportunities. Boston: Now Publishers.


In Text-Parenthetical from Journal Article via subscription database

One of the problems faced by Starbucks in Asia is that most people grow up drinking tea, not coffee.  Rather then try to directly appeal to potential customers about coffee culture, Starbucks approached the problem through employee training (Fowler, 2004).

Reference List from Journal Article via subscription database

Fowler, G. (2004). Storm in a coffee cup. Far Eastern Economic Review, 167(16), 58. Retrieved from Business Source Premier database.

In Text Parenthetical Informally Published Article on Web

Starbucks cooperated with a study of how posting calorie counts in restaurants influences consumer behavior.  The reseachers learned that 6% fewer calories were consumed and the decline in calories consumed persisted over a 10 month period (Bollinger & Leslie, 2010, p. 2). 

Reference List Informally Published Article on Web

Bollinger, B., & Leslie, P. (2010). Calorie posting in chain restaurants. Retrieved from

In Text Parenthetical Blog

Amature historians are debating whether or not Starbucks should be held responsible for making payment to Mexico for using Aztec images on coffee mugs (Livius, 2010).

Reference List Blog

Livius. (2010, January 10).  Mexico 1, Starbucks 0. [Web log post]. Retrieved from

In Text Parenthetical Online Magazine

Starbucks may have run afoul of intellectual property rights held by Mexico by including images of an Aztec calendar stone on coffee mugs (Associated Press, 2010, January 6) .

Reference List Online Magazine

Associated Press. (2010, January 6) Mexico:  Starbucks owes for pre-Hispanic images. Business Week. Retrieved from

Displaying Tables & Figures

Tables are data displayed in columns and rows.  APA style recognizes graphs, charts, maps and drawings and images or illustrations as figures.  In the text of your report,  tables and figures should be numbered consecutively with Arabic numerals.  The caption of figures should describe or explain the graph or illustration.  The notes to tables should describe or explain the table body. 

Sources for tables and figures should be credited in the notes and captions.  APA style focuses on presenting original data and figures for publication. The style guide is largely silent on reprinting tables and figures published or available electronically elsewhere.  The examples provided below were created keeping the spirit of the APA style in mind.

The APA style for presenting tables recommends limiting the use of rules or lines.  Column heads should be precise,but not wordy. Grid lines should not be visable.


Table 1.



Note. Starbucks Corp: Company finanicals, ratios (2010)  Mergent Online.


Figure 1. Number of new chocolates marketed in Argentina by flavors. From Mintel GNPD database

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