APA PDF Citation

Among the favorite sources of information nowadays is the internet. You can find here diverse web resources and even electronic version of print publications such as books, journals, and other documents in Portable Document Format (PDF) that are highly accessible and convenient to use. It is especially useful when doing research and academic papers.

Citing PDF files is the same as how you cite a print publication, but with the inclusion of the URL or DOI. You will see what I mean when we discuss the APA PDF citation format in detail, but for now, here is a guide in listing the authors.

Citing the Author

One Author

In-text citation

Reference list
Last nameMeder*Write only the last name for all in-text citations.Last name, A. A.Meder, C. J.*Reverse the name of the author, and write only the last name and initials separated by a comma.


Multiple Authors

Note: In listing the authors, follow the same order as it is written in the source.


Two to Seven Authors
In-text citationReference list
Last Name A & Last name BCarlson & Lee*Use ampersand (&) instead of “and.”

Up to five names can be included, but in the subsequent in-text citation for works with more than two authors, write only the last name of the first author followed by et al.

Last name, A. A., & Last name, B. BCarlson, R. G., & Lee, M. R.*Use ampersand (&) instead of “and.”


More than Seven Authors
In-text citationReference list
Last name A et al.Davis et al.*Include only the first author’s last name followed by et al.Last name, A. A., Last name, B. B., Last name, C. C., Last name, D. D., Last name, E. E., Last name, F. F.,… Last name, G. G.Davis, L. D., Smith, J., Anderson, H. M., Lewis, A. J., Wright, K., Adams, C. N.,… Rogers, M.*Only seven authors can be included in the reference list. After the name of the sixth author, write three ellipsis points followed by the last author’s name.


Corporate Author
In-text citationReference list
Name of the organization or groupAmerican Psychological Association(same as in-text)


No Author
In-text citationReference list
Title of the article or work“Lifestyle Disease and Mortality”*For works with short titles, write the full title in the in-text citation, whereas for long titles, include only the first few words enclosed in double quotation marks.Title of the article or workLifestyle Disease and Mortality


This part will show you the guidelines, elements and examples for both in-text citation and reference list. For the reference list, not all the elements listed may be present in a specific reference. You only need to include the available information from the source.


In-Text Citation


  • In-text citation is usually written in a parenthesis with the last name of the author and year separated by a comma.

(Kelly, 2009)


  • If the last name of the author is included in the text, write only the year inside the parenthesis.

Kelly (2009)


  • Include the name of the author, year, and page number if a part of a work is directly quoted.

(Hill & Scott, 2003, p. 24)

According to Hill & Scott (2003, p. 24)


  • For works with no date, use n.d.

(Mitchell, n.d.)

Mitchelle (n.d.)


Citation by PDF Source


  • Italicize the title of books, newspapers, magazines and journals.


  • The date is written in this order: year, month day.


  • Include the URL or DOI. Digital Object Identifier (DOI) is a unique alphanumeric string used by scholarly publishers to provide persistent link to content in the internet.




Element Location
AuthorTitle page
Year of PublicationTitle page or the next page
Title of the bookTitle page
Place of publicationTitle page or the next page
PublisherTitle page or the next page
URLAddress bar of the browser
DOIFirst page of the electronic resource near the copyright or at the database landing page


Basic Format

Author. (Year). Title of Book (edition if not first) [PDF file]. Place of Publication: Publisher. Retrieved from http://www.someaddress.com/full/url/ or doi:0000000/000000000000 or http://dx.doi.org/10.0000/0000



American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.) [PDF file]. Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved from https://is.muni.cz/el/1423/jaro2013/ZUR537/um/APA.pdf