American Psychological Association (APA) has released the latest edition of the APA Referencing Style Guide 2010 in their Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. It was updated on 21st of December 2009. As we all know APA Referencing Style is the choice of many writers, editors, students and educators in the social and behavior al sciences. It offers guidance on choosing the headings, tables, figures and tone that will result in the simple yet strong and elegant scientific research papers or reports.
The sixth edition has been revised and updated to include the following
· New guidelines on topics such as authorship determination, duplicate publication, plagiarism and self-plagiarism, disguising participants, validity of instrumentation and making data available for verification by others.
· New journal article reporting standards to help readers report experiential research with clarity and precision.
· Simplified APA heading style to make it more conducive for electronic publication.
· It has updated the guidelines for the reduction of bias in language to reflect the current practices and preferences including a new section for presenting historical language that is inappropriate by present day standards.
· The electronic representation of data has been significantly expanded to help readers understand the purpose of each kind of display and choose the best match for communicating the results of investigation.
· Merging information with regard to reference citations in respect of electronic sources emphasizing the role of the digital object identifier (DOI)1 as a reliable way to locate information and
· Publication process has been discussed which included the functions and processes of peer review; a discussion of ethical, legal and policy requirements in publication and guidelines for working with the publisher while the article is in press.
Changes APA Format Sixth Edition
· The names of the authors should be in reverse (last name first) and the initials for all the authors of a particular work.
· If you have more than article by the same author, single-author references or multiple-author references with the exact same order are listed in order by the year of publication, starting with the earliest.
· When referring to any work that is not a journal, such as a book, article, or webpage, capitalize only the first letter of the first word of a title and subtitle, the first word after a colon or a dash in the title.
· Capitalize all major works in journal titles.
· Italicize titles of longer works such as books and journals.
· Do not italicize, underline, or put quotes around the titles of shorter works such as journal articles or essays in edited collections.
· While writing in APA style the first person view should not be used. Unless the author or writer is a senior scholar who has earned some credibility to speak as an expert in the field.
· Clarity and conciseness is must while writing. One has to be specific rather than vague in descriptions and explanations. Giving details accurately will help the readers follow the development of the study.
· Word choice is also of big importance while following APA style. Select your words carefully. Within the realm of social sciences commonly used words give different meanings and can have an impact on how the readers interpret your report. Using terms like “participants” instead of “subjects” can show how the participants were actually treated.
· Avoid poetic or creative language. As APA is for social sciences avoiding poetic language would be much better as using that language will definitely raise more doubts than clearing them.
1: Digital Object Identifier (DOI) is a way to uniquely identify and retrieve digital items such as articles, books, images, bibliographies, supporting data and other electronic files.
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