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APA Citation Style (7th Edition)

Citing Online Business Articles

When you cite an article from an electronic source, APA prefers the DOI (if available). If there is no DOI, the second choice is a website URL

Reminder: You can list the database instead of a URL or DOI, if the cited information is not available on a public webpage, but was found in a library database.


Business Information

Please note: While the APA manual provides many examples of how to cite common types of sources, it does not provide rules on how to cite all types of sources. Therefore, if you have a source that APA does not include, APA suggests that you find the example that is most similar to your source and use that format. 

Source: Reference List: Basic Rules (Purdue OWL)

Citing Business Databases

Citing Business Databases Guide

(Please note the Business Librarians have adapted APA style for use by Business students, particularly when citing databases names in the retrieval information. This guide is for use at the UofA only, and may not be accepted by publications or other institutions.)

Personal Communications

APA states "Because readers cannot retrieve the information in personal communications, personal communications are not included in the reference list; they are cited in the text only. Give the initial(s) and surname of the communicator, and provide as exact a date as possible." (APA, 2020, p. 260)

An interview or a telephone conversation:

  • An interview or phone conversation do not provide recoverable data, and are NOT included in the reference list. You would only include them in the text of your report. Include communicator initials and surname as well as the date.

Email Communications

  • E-mail communications from individuals should be cited as personal communications. Give the initials as well as the surname of the communicator, and provide as exact a date as possible.


First citation in text: J.T. Smith (personal communication, April 24, 2019) stated that headwinds continue to affect growth in the Alberta energy sector in 2019.

First citation in parenthetical format:  Headwinds continue to affect the Alberta energy sector in 2019 (J.T. Smith, personal communication, April 24, 2019).

BUS 201:
Site Visit at Costco (personal communication,  Apr. 12, 2019)


Since a survey you conducted yourself is not published elsewhere by someone else, you do not cite it in the same way you cite other materials. Instead, in your paper you describe your survey and make it clear that the data you’re referring to is from the survey, usually by saying so in introductory sentences. In your paper, you should include a short overview of your survey method: whom the survey was administered to, how it was administered, how many responses you got, and what kind of questions you asked. You should include a copy of the survey instrument (the full set of questions asked) as an appendix to your paper. You do not need to include your survey in your works cited list.

Source: Purdue OWL: General APA FAQs 

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