Many of you will have noticed the recent publication of the 7th edition of the American Psychological Association Publication Manual (American Psychological Association, 2019).
Some of the changes should be welcomed.
For example, in referencing:
The publisher location is no longer included in the list of reference.
Where the 6th edition (American Psychological Association, 2010), required this:
Gillett, A. J., Hammond, A. C. & Martala, M. (2009). Successful academic writing. Harlow: Longman.
the 7th edition requires:
Gillett, A. J., Hammond, A. C. & Martala, M. (2009). Successful academic writing. Longman.
I think that is good. Although, there was probably a time when a book published in, for example, New York was different from the same book published in London, this has not been the case for many years. I wonder when other versions of the Harvard system will catch up.
Another welcome change is the standardisation of the URL or doi references. URLs are now embedded directly in the reference, without being preceded by “Retrieved from,” unless a retrieval date is needed.
For example previously, a blog entry would have been included in the references list as
Gillett, A. J. (2017, February 23). EAP and student motivation [Blog post]. Retrieved October, 14, 2019, from http://www.uefap.net/blog/?p=176
Whereas, unless the site is likely to change, the following should – I think – be used now:
Gillett, A. J. (2017, February 23). EAP and student motivation. UEfAP. http://www.uefap.net/blog/?p=176
DOIs are now formatted as urls (https://doi.org/xxx). The label “DOI:” is no longer necessary.
Gillett, A. J. & Hammond, A. C. (2009). Mapping the maze of assessment: An investigation into practice. Active Learning in Higher Education, 10, 120-137. DOI: 10.1177/1469787409104786
Gillett, A. J. & Hammond, A. C. (2009). Mapping the maze of assessment: An investigation into practice. Active Learning in Higher Education, 10(2), 120-137 https://doi.org/10.1177/1469787409104786
(Note that the issue number is now always given.)
Another possibly useful change concerns the citation of multi-author works.
Previously, when a work had three, four, or five authors, all the authors were cited the first time the citation occurred; in subsequent citations, only the surname of the first author, followed by ‘et al.’ (not italicised, and with a full stop after ‘al’), was included.
Whereas now, when a work has three or more authors, the name of only the first author followed by ‘et al.’ (not italicised, and with a full stop after ‘al’), is cited always.
Another change I like is the explicit instruction not to provide database or other online archive information is a reference, unless absolutely necessary. The reference should provide enough information for a reader to find the work, possibly by a different method. In addition, such URLs will normally require a login and will therefor not be accessible to most readers.
For example, the following is not acceptable:
From a stylistic point of view, the singular “they” or “their” is now accepted as a gender-neutral pronoun.
American Psychological Association (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). American Psychological Association.
American Psychological Association (2019). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.). American Psychological Association.