APA 7th Edition: What’s New? | achs.edu

Feb 14, 2020 10:30:00 AM | APA APA 7th Edition: What’s New? | achs.edu

APA manual 7th Edition changes explained by ACHS Librarian Ashley Ehmig.


Introducing the APA 7th Edition

You may have heard that the American Psychological Association (APA) published the 7th edition of its manual in October 2019. Yes, you heard me correctly; new guidelines are published. Here is a quick look at the history of APA as well as some of these critical updates.

The History of APA…If You Don’t Already Know

Originated in 1929 by a group of anthropologists, psychologists, and business managers, APA is a citation style that consists of rules and guidelines to ensure a clear and consistent presentation of written material. APA style was established to provide ease of reading scientific writing.[1]

Citation styles that you might already be familiar with include MLA, AMA, Chicago, and Turabian.[2] However, if you are in the social science discipline (Psychology, Sociology, Nursing, etc.), it is likely you will be writing in APA style and should become familiar with the general formatting requirements and styling basics. Some APA styling basics include, but are not limited to:

  • Citations and Reference List
  • Page layout
  • Language


Although published in October 2019, some colleges and universities are slowly rolling out the implementation of the 7th edition. Please check with your institution if you are unsure when the APA 7th edition rules will be adopted. Here are some of the more notable updates you will see to the rules. 


  • 6th Edition: Publisher’s location is included within the reference.
  • 7th Edition: Publisher’s location is no longer contained within the reference.
  • Example: Alters, A. (2013). Essential Concepts for health living (6th). Jones & Bartlett.


  • 6th Edition: The label “DOI” is included within the reference
  • 7th Edition: The label “DOI” is no longer contained within the reference. It is formatted the same as URLs.
  • Example: J. Reis, D., & Jones, T. (2017). Aromatherapy: using essential oils as a supportive therapy. Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing, 21(1), https://16-19. 10.1188/17.CJON.16-19


  • 6th Edition: URLs are preceded by “Retrieved from”. The website name is not included.
  • 7th Edition: URLs are not preceded by “Retrieved from” unless a retrieval date is needed. The website name is included (unless it is the same as the author), and the web page titles are italicized.
  • Example: Paiz, J. M., Anglie, E., Wagner, J., Lawrick, E., Moore, K., Anderson, M., & Russel, K. (2013, March 1). Reference list: basic rules. Purdue Online Writing Lab. https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/05/


  • 6th Edition: For eBooks, the format, platform, or device (e.g., Kindle) is included within the reference.
  • 7th Edition: For eBooks, the format, platform, or device (e.g., Kindle) is no longer contained within the reference, and the publisher is included.
  • Example: Trochim, W., Donnelly, J., & Arora, K. (2016). Research methods: The essential knowledge base (2nd ed.). Cengage Learning. https://www.amazon.com/Research-Methods-Essential-Knowledge-Base- ebook/dp/B00MEPA3CY/ref=mt_kindle?_encoding=UTF8



  • 6th Edition: Surnames and initials up to 7 authors should be provided within the reference list.
  • 7th Edition: Surnames and initials up to 20 should be provided within the reference list.
  • Example: Author, A. A., Author, B. B., Author, C. C., Author, D. D., Author, E. E., Author, F. F., Author, G. G., Author, H. H., Author, I. I., Author, J. J., Author, K. K., Author, L. L., Author, M. M., Author, N. N., Author, O. O., Author, P. P., Author, Q. Q., Author R. R., Author, S. S., Author, T. T.,…Author, Z. Z.


  • 6th Edition: The in-text citation for works of six or more authors is shortened to the first author’s name followed by “et al.”.
  • 7th Edition: The in-text citation for works with three or more authors is now shortened right from the first citation. You only include the first author’s name and “et al.”
  • Example: (Smith et al., 2011)

Stylistics and Paper Format.

  • 6th Edition: Times New Roman, 12 pt. font is the strict font style for APA papers
  • 7th Edition: Increased flexibility in font styles are introduced (i.e., Calibri 11pt., Georgia 11 pt., Arial 11pt., and Lucida Sans Unicode 10 pt.). 
  • 6th Edition: The words “Running head” are included in the title page header.
  • 7th Edition: The words “Running head” are now excluded on the title page header. The title page should only contain a shortened paper title and the page number.[3]


If you have any questions about this blog post, leave a comment, or contact the ACHS librarian at librarian@achs.edu.


[1] APA Style. (n.d.). What is APA style? Retrieved from http://www.apastyle.org/learn/faqs/what-is-apa-style.aspx?_ga=1.177734629.1346789209.1486504092 

[2] Associates Degree Online. (n.d.) What is APA format? Retrieved from http://www.associatedegreeonline.com/2011/09/what-is-apa-format/

[3] Streefkerk, R. (2020, January 27). APA manual 7th edition: The most notable changes. Retrieved from https://www.scribbr.com/apa-style/apa-seventh-edition-changes/ 

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Ashley Ehmig

Written By: Ashley Ehmig

Ashley received her Master of Library Science from Emporia State University, and her bachelors in general science from the University of Oregon. She has worked in libraries for seven years, including positions in academic libraries, continuing medical education, and medical archives. Ashley is passionate about providing information literacy through different technology platforms, and has an interest in instructional design and distance education. She loves working as a librarian and sharing her knowledge with others. In her free time, Ashley enjoys thrift shopping, reading in coffee shops, traveling, exploring new river spots (when it is warm), and hanging out with friends.