Methods to the Madness: Publication Date in a Reference Entry
Last updated 5/6/2020
Visual: Screen opens to a background image with a person typing on a laptop and a notebook and pencil, along with the Walden University Writing Center logo. The title Walden University Writing Center and tagline “Your writing, grammar, and APA experts” appears on the screen. The screen changes to show the series title “Methods to the APA Madness” and the video title “Publication Date in a Reference Entry.”
Audio: Guitar music
Visual: Slide changes to the following: Publication Year
Oyo, B. & Kalema, B.M. (2014). Massive open online courses for Africa by Africa. International Review of Research in Open & Distance Learning, 15(6), 1-13. https://doi.org/10.19173/irrodl.v15i6.1889
- Year only for most publications
- Periodicals include month (magazines) and day (newspapers)
- Webpages include most specific date available
- No year? Use “n.d” meaning “no date”
Audio: Let’s examine the publication date element in reference entries. This element is fairly straightforward. For most of the sources you’ll use in your academic writing, you’ll list the publication year within parentheses. A formatting note is that the date appears within parentheses and followed by that period, which can be easy to forget.
There are a few sources that may include more than the year. Periodicals like magazines and newspapers that are published on a frequent basis include the month and date in addition to the year.
Webpages are also an exception where you will include as specific a date as is provided; in webpages, we can only use publication or last updated dates, and if those dates provide the month and day, you’ll include those in addition to the year. If just the year is available, then just include the year for webpages.
Finally, if you have a source that doesn’t have a date, you’ll include the abbreviation “n period d period,” which stands for no date. This is an abbreviation that you may use for webpages, since webpages often don’t include any publication date. Like I previously mentioned for webpages, we can only use publication or last updated dates, so if the only date provided on a webpage is a copyright date, we instead just use “n.d.”
As you can tell, publication dates are usually straightforward for most academic sources, and where they often are tricky is in determining the date for webpages. If you use your resources, like the Writing Center and the APA Manual, however, you’ll be able to incorporate the publication date element easily.
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