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Reference guide for APA 7th edition

Reference guide for APA 7th edition intended for students at the department of Biology and CEC, Lund University. NB! If you access the guide using a smartphone, the text will open below the menu.

Software and apps

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The instructions on this page concern references to software and apps.

Common computer software, mobile apps and programming language mentioned in the text, do normally not need citations. If the program/app is relevant to mention, simply give the proper name of the software or app together with the version number in the text. What counts as common depends on the intended reader of the text and whether or not they can be expected to know about the software/app. Software or apps that do not need citations include for example Microsoft Office (e.g. Word, Excel, PowerPoint), social media apps (e.g. Facebook, Instagram, Facebook), survey software (e.g. Qualtrics, Survey Monkey), Adobe products (e.g. Adobe reader, Photoshop, Adobe Acrobat), Java, and statistical programs (e.g. R, SPSS, SAS).

However, if you paraphrase or quote a computer software or mobile app, or if you suspect that your readers might be unfamiliar with the software/app you are using, you need to provide a reference according to the instructions below. Some software/apps will have a group creator, e.g. a company, instead of a personal creator. If the creator is the same as the publisher, omit the publisher from the reference. 

Do not forget to consult the general instructions on how to write references according to APA (7th edition), including 

Template for how to format references to software and apps in the reference list

Creator, A. A., Creator, B. B., & Creator, C. C. (YYYY). Title of work (Version #) [Computer software]. Publisher. URL

Creator, A. A., Creator, B. B., & Creator, C. C. (YYYY). Title of work (Version #) [Mobile app]. Publisher. URL

Examples of in-text references to software and apps

Linear mixed effects models were constructed using the lme4 package (Version 1.1-23) for R (Bates et al., 2014)...

CANOCO 5.1 software (Braak & Smilauer, 2020) was used for...

...using ChemSearch (Version 2.3.0) (Thermo Fisher Scientific, 2020).

Examples of references to software and apps in the reference list

Bates, D., Maechler, M., Bolker, B., & Walker, S. (2014). lme4: Linear mixed-effects models using Eigen and S4 (Version 1.1-23) [Computer software]. The Comprehensive R Archive Network.

Braak, C. J. F., & Smilauer, P. (2020). CANOCO (Version 5.1) [Computer software]. Microcomputer Power.

Thermo Fisher Scientific. (2020). ChemSearch (Version 2.3.0) [Mobile app]. App store.