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Citing Business Sources Using APA

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Helpful Links to APA Style

APA Style Help Tutorials and FAQs from APA

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association Full text is only available in print at Falvey Library

APA Style Guide to Electronic References

Purdue OWL: APA Style

Citation Tools

Bibme-Watch those errors introduced!

Citation Machine-doesn't support many source types used in business.

Easybib-APA style behind pay wall:(

Noodletools Express-favorite free APA citation generator:)


The American Psychological Association style manual is frequently used in the social sciences including business.  However, the examples of how to cite sources in the APA Manual don't closely parallel common business sources.  This guide demonstrates how to create a reference list and cite sources in text using frequently used business sources. 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.  The APA Style Guide to Electronic References is not a complete guide to APA style but it does contain examples of many of the types of resource frequently used in practical business research.  THE SECOND LINE OF REFERENCES SHOULD BE INDENTED 5 SPACES, NOT SHOWN HERE DUE TO CONTENT MANAGEMENT LIMITATIONS.

Market Research Reports

Market research reports are sometimes authored by organizations, but sometimes they are authored by individuals.  If the individual author or authors are named, do not use the corporate author, use the named person.

Mintel -In Text

Women take the lions share of responsibility for doing the laundry across all family types (Brown, 2016, "Reponsibility for doing").


Brown (2016) notes that male involvement in doing the laundry is increasing ("Responsibility for doing").

Mintel- Reference List

Brown, S. (2016, August).  Home laundry Products: U.S. Retrieved from http://academic.mintel.com.ps2.villanova.edu/

Mintel-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 http://academic.mintel.com/

Sisel, E. (2015b, April). Dairy & non-dary milk: US. Retrieved from http://academic.mintel.com/

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

 MarketResearch.com-In Text

The five foodie segments identified are spicey/foreign, cook, restuarant, organic/natural and gourmet (Packaged Facts, 2009).

MarketResearch.com-Reference List

Packaged Facts. (2009). Foodies in the U.S.:  Foreign/spicey foodies. Retrieved from http://academic.marketresearch.com.ps2.villanova.edu/

Twitter & Facebook

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 (http://www.facebook.com/VillanovaSchoolofBusiness) and  Falvey Memorial Library's Twitter feed (http://twitter.com/#!/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 (http://twitter.com/#!/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 http://twitter.com/#!/FalveyLibrary

Falvey Memorial Library. (2011b, October 19). Graphic Novels in the Digital Age [Facebook Wall Photo]. Retrieved from http://www.facebook.com/FalveyLibrary?sk=wall

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 (www.google.com).

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 http://www.starbucks.com/sharedplanet/communityInvolvement.aspx

Company Reports

Hoovers-In Text

Starbucks operates coffee shops in 10 countries (Hoovers, 2010).

Hoovers-Reference List

Hoovers. (2010).  Starbucks corporation. (Hoover's Company Records, Iss. Sr-Sz  pg. 15745).  Retrieved from  http://proquest.umi.com.ps2.villanova.edu/

Datamonitor-In Text

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

Datamonitor-Reference List

Datamonitor. (2009). Starbucks corporation company profile. Retrieved from http://web.ebscohost.com.ps2.villanova.edu/

Data & Statisitcs

GMID-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).

GMID-Reference List

Euromonitor International. (2010) Historic/forecast U.S. mn value at current prices consumer expenditures on coffee, tea and cocoa. [data]. Retrieved from http://www.portal.euromonitor.com.ps2.villanova.edu/

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 http://factfinder.census.gov/

Market Share Reporter-In Text

In the U.K. Starbucks commands almost a quarter of the coffehouse market share (Leading Coffeehouses, 2010).

Market Share Reporter-Reference List

Leading coffeehouses in the U.K., 2007. (2010)  In Ed. Robert S. Lazich, Virgil L. Burton, III. Market Share Reporter. Retrieved from http://find.galegroup.com.ps2.villanova.edu

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 http://www.facebook.com/pacsun?sk=app_229931477058273

Reference List-Podcast

Euromonitor (Producer). (2011, September 12). The Global Jeans Market. [Audio podcast]. in Globalcast. Retrieved from http://blog.euromonitor.com/2011/09/the-global-jeans-market.html

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 http://www.bloombergmedia.com/magazine/businessweek/audience/



In Text

Customer equity (CE) differs from brand equity (BE) in that brand equity measures attutudes, 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  http://www.netlibrary.com.ps2.villanova.edu/Reader/

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 http://www.gsb.stanford.edu/news/StarbucksCaloriePostingStudy.pdf

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 http://www.thehistoryblog.com/archives/4405.

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 http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D9D2L3A80.htm

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

lhauck Linda Hauck
Business Librarian
Falvey Library, Villanova University
800 Lancaster Avenue
Villanova , PA , 19085
Falvey Library, Room 222

Tips & Notes

All reference list entries should should be presented with a hanging left indent.

APA recommends using the DOI (digital object identifier) for citing electronic sources because it is a persistent pointer to content.  However only a fraction of online sources use this system, therefore this guide has choosen to rely on URL (uniform resource locators) and database names. 

Retrieval dates should be included for sources likely to change such as Wikis.  Dispite the fact that content in databases is not static, in the interest of brievity prized by the business community it is recommended that retrieval dates not be included in citations to subscription databases.

You should credit the ideas of others (even when not directly quoted) as well as facts and figures used to support or document your work.

Phrases that replicate another authors words should appear in quotations. 

Brief quotations of fewer than 40 words may be incorporated in the sentence.  Blocks of text without quotations should be used for longer quotations.

Direct quotations should be noted by page number when available (such as in print or pdf electronic articles.)  

If an electronic source does not have page numbers or paragraphs and you are directly quoting a portion of it, you should use headings to guide the reader to the quoted content.

Don't hypenate URLs or add a period to them as this may hamper retrieval.


The reference list should be alphabetized by author's last name.  If there is no author or editor, alphebetize by the first significant word in the title. Several works by the same author should be presented in date order, with most recent publication appearing first.

Do NOT use URL shorteners!


Last Modified: 2017-07-27 13:58:26