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APA Style Guide: 7th Edition

Creating References for Secondary Sources

Research articles often contain references to other resources. The following excerpt is from a journal article titled "Food, aid, and education in East Africa: repackaging the conversation" written in 2016 by Amy Stambach. In the highlighted content below, Stambach is referring to a document published in 1972 by Mary Douglas. This is an example of a secondary source.  

According to APA guidelines, citing a secondary source is only recommended when all efforts for finding the original work have been exhausted; however, if you can't find an original copy of the resource, you are permitted to include an in-text citation referring to the original and secondary sources.

Select a tab above for examples of formatting an in-text citation and reference for this highlighted example.

Remember: only create a reference list entry for the source you consulted in your research.

In this example, the source we are referencing is a Journal Article from Website or Library Database with DOI. Click on the referencing tabs to the left to find the appropriate format for other item types.

 

In-text citations must name the original source and the secondary source.

In-text Citation Guidelines

Example

Include the author of the quoted source in the body of the text. Include the author and date of the source on hand in brackets, preceded by 'as cited in'.

According to Mary Douglas (1972; as cited in Stambach, 2016), the food people eat can tell us a lot about social relations, including different degrees of hierarchy and boundaries.                        

In brackets at the end of the sentence, include the author of the quoted source and the author and date of the source on hand, preceded by 'as cited in'.  The food people eat can tell us a lot about social relations, including different degrees of hierarchy and boundaries (Douglas,1972, as cited in Stambach, 2016)
If there is no known date, exclude it from the citation in-text. According to Mary Douglas (as cited in Stambach, 2016), the food people eat can tell us a lot about social relations, including different degrees of hierarchy and boundaries.

Remember, in-text citation formatting changes depending on a number of factors.

See Number of Authors, Publication Date, and Page/Paragraph Number or Heading for more information.  

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