APA Referencing - Education & CCSC students: Unpublished or informally published work
- Journal article
- Quotes & citations
- Reference lists
- Referencing questions
- Audiovisual works
- Brochure or pamphlet
- Conference paper
- Government publication
- Gray literature
- Group author
- Interviews/Research data
- Lecture notes/Tutorial material
- Personal communication
- Software app
- Figures & tables
Unpublished or informally published work
How to reference an unpublished or informally published work.
As with all referencing in academic writing, referencing is a matter of establishing the authority of the source or information you are relying upon as evidence to support the claims you make in your writing. This is the reason for peer review as it is a process that establishes the authority of a work through expert checking. Peer-reviewed published works are accepted as having greater authority than works that are not peer reviewed. Sometimes, however, the most useful research article might not be available as a peer-reviewed published article but it is available to us in an unpublished form. Use other peer-reviewed articles if possible but if there is a lack of published research reports and, for example, a pre-press version is available directly from the author, you may use it. Check whether the article has been published before submitting your final assignment or thesis and, if it has, reference the final version, taking into account any changes that the editors may have required in the peer-review process.
Unpublished and informally published works include:
- work in progress
- work submitted for publication
- work prepared for publication but not submitted
a university website
An electronic archive such as academia.edu or researchgate.
- the author's personal website
Author, A. A. (Year). Title of manuscript. Unpublished manuscript [or "manuscript submitted for publication," or "Manuscript in preparation"].
If the unpublished manuscript is from a university, give this information at the end.
If you locate the work on an electronic archive, give this information at the end.
If a URL is available, give it at the end.
If you use a pre-print version of an article that is later published, reference the published version.
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APA Referencing: Unpublished Works
- Act of Parliament
- Apparatus or equipment
- Chapters of Edited Books
- Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
- Code of ethics
- Computer software
- Conference presentations and posters
- Dictionary entry
- Encylopaedia entry
- Kindle books
- Journal articles
- Generative AI
- Magazine articles
- Newspaper Articles
- Personal Communications
- Pre-print or post-print
- Psychometric tests
- Videos (Online)
- Work of art
- How should I reference confidential material?
Unpublished piece of writing (book, article, etc.)
If you download an article from a web repository, such as a preprint, postprint or e-print, you should reference as an eprint. See page on referencing preprints/eprints. An article on the internet is considered to be informally published. An example of unpublished work might be a an article that you have written or been sent by the author which has not been published, or has been submitted for publication but with no decision yet.
Author(s) (Year). Title of manuscript . [Unpublished manuscript] or [Manuscript in preparation] or [Manuscript submitted for publication].
Doe, J. (2018). How to Take Over the World . [Unpublished manuscript].
The citation in your text will be:
or, if you have quoted directly,
(Doe, 2018, p. 16).
If you have used the author's name in your sentence then only the year of publication, with a page reference if necessary, is placed after it in brackets, eg
Doe (2018) suggests that ...
Doe (2018, p. 16) states that ...
Unpublished manuscript associated with university (example from the APA Manual)
Blackwell, E. & Concord, P. J. (2003). A Five-Dimensional Measure of Drinking Motives [Unpublished manuscript]. Department of Psychology, University of British Columbia.
Manuscript submitted to a journal for publication (example from the APA Manual)
Ting, J. Y., Florsheim, P. & Huang, W. (2008). Mental health help-seeking in ethnic minority populations: A theoretical perspective [Manuscript submitted for publication].
(Ting, Florsheim & Huang, 2008)
Informally published or work published by self on website, not dated
Informally-published work (e.g. on author’s website) is not unpublished, so this is not indicated in square brackets. Such work is often cited like a webpage.
Ajzen, I. (n.d.). Designing a TPB Intervention . http://people.umass.edu/aizen/tpb.html
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ACAP LEARNING RESOURCES
Reference in APA 7
- Printable Guides & Sample Papers
- Headings & Page Order
- ACAP Presentation Requirements This link opens in a new window
- APA Style Guidelines, Blog & Socials
- Time Stamps, Verbatim, Transcripts & Personal Comms
- Secondary Sources
- Tables & Figures
- Missing, Same, Repeated, Multiples, Parts & Abbreviations
- Reference List Elements
- Formatting the Reference List
- DOIs, URLs & Hyperlinks
- Missing Information
- Annotated Bibliographies
- Edited, Republished & Translated Books
- Reference Works
- Diagnostic Manuals (DSM & ICD)
- Religious & Ancient Works
- Newspaper Articles
- Conferences & Theses
- Reports, Policies & Grey Literature
- YouTube & Other Streaming
- Podcasts, TV & Radio
- Artwork & Images
- Social Media
- Standards & Patents
- Unpublished Works
- Statistics, Tests & Data Sets
- Generative Artificial Intelligence
Reference Elements: Unpublished & Informally Published Material
Author, a. a., & author, b. b. (year). title of work in italics [description of unpublished manuscript]. department name, university name. https://xxxxxx, author, a. a., & author, b. b. (year). title of work in italics (publication no. ###). name of database or archive. https://doi.org/xxxxxx.
Use specific manuscript descriptions, e.g. [Unpublished manuscript]. [Manuscript in preparation]. [Manuscript submitted for publication]. Always use a DOI if the resource has one. Include a URL if there isn't a DOI available and if it resolves without authentication.
- REFERENCE LIST EXAMPLES
- IN TEXT EXAMPLES
Leemans, S. J. J. & Artem, P. (2019). Proofs with stochastic-aware conformance checking: An entropy-based approach [Unpublished manuscript]. Faculty of Science and Technology, Queensland University of Technology. https://eprints.qut.edu.au/129860/
Winegard, B. M., Winegard, B. M., Geary, D. C., & Clark, C. J. (2018). The status competition model of cultural production . PsyArXiv. https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/apw5e/
See theorem one as follows "for any log L and model M (given as SDFAs), it holds that 0 ≤ recall(L, M) ≤ 1 and 0 ≤ precision(L, M) ≤ 1" (Leemans et al., 2019, p. 2).
In this example, the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright is used for its functional and aesthetic qualities (Winegard et al., 2018).
Leemans et al. (2019) proposes "for any log L and model M (given as SDFAs), it holds that 0 ≤ recall(L, M) ≤ 1 and 0 ≤ precision(L, M) ≤ 1" (p. 2).
Winegard et al. (2018) use the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright house as an example for its functional and aesthetic qualities.
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- Writing Tips
How to Cite an Unpublished Paper or Manuscript in APA Referencing
- 23rd June 2020
Did you know that you can cite unpublished works, such as in-progress research papers or manuscripts, in an essay? Well, you can! The key is citing them correctly. And in this post, we will look at how to cite an unpublished paper or manuscript in APA referencing .
How to Cite an Unpublished Paper in APA referencing
In APA referencing, you can cite an unpublished work in the same way as you would a published one. This means giving an author’s name and a date in brackets . The only difference is that you give a year of production (i.e., when the paper was written) rather than a year of publication:
Few fully understand the publication process (Clarke, 2020).
Like other sources, if you name the author in the text, you do not need to repeat it in the brackets. And if you quote an unpublished paper, you should give page numbers. For example:
According to Clarke (2020), publication “is a complex process” (p. 20).
When a paper has been accepted for publication but not yet published, however, you should use the term “in press” in place of a year in citations:
Few fully understand the publication process (Clarke, in press).
How to Reference an Unpublished Work in APA Referencing
When adding an unpublished paper to an APA reference list , the correct format will depend on where it is in the publication process. But let’s start with works that will not be published at all (e.g., a paper that the author never submitted or that the publisher rejected).
In this case, the correct format is:
Author Surname, Initial(s). (Year of Production). Title of manuscript [Unpublished manuscript]. Department, University Name.
So, in practice, we could cite an unpublished paper like this:
Clarke, J. (2020). The publication process explained [Unpublished manuscript]. School of Journalism, Media and Performance, University of Central Lancashire.
Referencing a Work Submitted for Publication
If a paper has been submitted for publication but not yet accepted, the reference should state “manuscript submitted for publication.” However, you should not include any other information about the submission, such as where it was submitted, as this information could go out of date quickly.
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The correct format in this case is therefore:
Author Surname, Initial(s). (Year of Production). Title of manuscript [Manuscript submitted for publication]. Department, University Name.
For example, we would list the paper above as follows:
Clarke, J. (2020). The publication process explained [Manuscript submitted for publication]. School of Journalism, Media and Performance, University of Central Lancashire.
Referencing a Paper in Press
If a paper has been accepted for publication, use the following format:
Author Surname, Initial(s). (in press). Title. Periodical or Journal Title .
As you can see, we now include both:
- The phrase “in press” to show that the paper has been accepted by the journal and is now awaiting publication.
- The title of the journal that accepted it (note, too, that we only use italics for the journal title here, not the title of the paper itself).
In practice, then, we would reference a paper awaiting publication like this:
Clarke, J. (in press). The publication process explained, Publishing Research Quarterly .
It is always worth checking the status of submitted papers before finalizing your reference list, too, as they can go from “submitted for publication” to “in press” quite suddenly, leaving your reference out of date.
Hopefully, you will now be able to cite an unpublished paper or manuscript correctly. But if you would like any further help with your writing, why not submit a document for proofreading ?
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- University Library
How do I reference an unpublished document in APA style?
For an unpublished manuscript use the following format:
Author, A. A. (Year, Month Day). Title of manuscript. Unpublished manuscript, Information of electronic archive (if available).
Blackwell, E., & Conrod, P. J. (2003). A five-dimensional measure of drinking motives. Unpublished manuscript, Department of Psychology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.
Some unpublished documents fall into the APA category of Archival Documents and Collections (Rule 7.10). Use the following format for these types of information:
Author, A. A. (Year, Month Day). Title of material. [Description of material]. Name of Collection (Call number, Box number, File name or number, etc.). Name of Repository, Location.
This format can be modified as needed. Include as much information as you can that will direct the reader to the information source.
Frank, L.K. (1935, February 4). [Letter to Robert M Ogden]. Rockefeller Archive Center (GEB series 1.3, Box 371, Folder 3877), Tarrytown, NY.
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Answered By: Ellen Quilty Last Updated: Nov 17, 2020 Views: 730
Links & files.
- APA Style & Grammar Guidelines : Archival Documents and Collections
- APA Style & Grammar Guidelines : Unpublished Dissertation or Thesis References
- APA 7th Referencing Guide : Other Sources - Grey Literature
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APA – Citing Sources
These types of publications are manuscripts that might be submitted for publication or works in progress. In this category, you might also find manuscripts that are not formally published but are retrievable online on personal or institutional websites. If no year can be identified, use "n.d." instead (= no date).
Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (year). Title of manuscript . [Unpublished manuscript or Manuscript submitted for publication or Manuscript in preparation]. https://xxxx
If a university or other organization can be identified:
Author, A. A., & Author, B.B. (year). Title of manuscript . [Unpublished manuscript or Manuscript submitted for publication or Manuscript in preparation], Department, University. https://xxxx
Blackwell, E., & Conrod, P. J. (2003). A five-dimensional measure of drinking motives . [Unpublished manuscript], Department of Psychology, University of British Colombia, Vancouver, Canada.
- According to a study (Blackwell & Conrod, 2003) there are . . .
- Blackwell and Conrod (2003) argue that . . .
When you cite something verbatim (word-for-word), you do this by putting these words within quotation marks ("), and you also have to state the page in the source wherein you found the quote.
(Blackwell & Conrod, 2003, p. 11)
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APA 7th Edition Citation Guide
- Formatting Your Paper
- In-Text Citations
- Books and eBooks
- Business Reports
- Conference Presentations and Publications
- Dissertations and Theses
- Government Documents, Statutes, and Court Cases
- Images and Advertisements
- Missing Information
- Multiple Authors
- Personal Communications (E-mails, Interviews, etc.)
- Previous Coursework
- Religious Works
- Secondary Source/Indirect Citation (as cited in)
- Social Media
- Video and Audio
- Avoiding Plagiarism
- Annotated Bibliographies
- Get Help Now
How to Cite Yourself
When citing a paper that you wrote for a previous class, consider yourself as the author and your previous course work as an unpublished paper. Include [Unpublished manuscript] in brackets after the title.
Reference Page Format:
Author, (year written). Title [Unpublished manuscript]. Institution.
Reference Page Example:
O’Toole, T. (2019). An analysis of pre-WWII leaders [Unpublished manuscript]. Concordia University, St. Paul.
In-text Citation Examples:
According to O’Toole (2019)... ...(O’Toole, 2019). ...(O’Toole, 2019, p. 4).
Blackboard Lectures and PowerPoints
Sources on Blackboard, such as recorded lectures and PowerPoints, are not available to people outside of your institution. If the audience of your paper is your professor and/or classmates who have access to the content, use the following examples.
If your audience is not enrolled in your course or part of your institution and therefore does not have access to the content, cite the content as a Personal Communication .
Author, A. A. (Year, Month Day). Title [Format]. Blackboard@CSP. https://csp.blackboard.com/
Neilson, J. (2022, September 1). What the library can do for you [PowerPoint Slides]. Blackboard@CSP. https://csp.blackboard.com/
According to Neilson (2022)... ...(Neilson, 2022).
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- RRU Writing Centre
Q. How do I cite an article that has not yet been published or an advanced version that was published online?
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APA Style (7th ed.)
When working with online resources, it’s best to work with the final, published work (American Psychological Association [APA], 2020, p. 258), but you may find yourself using an advance online version. Cite the version you used, so if that was the advance online version, cite that work. Similarly, if you worked with a pre-print, which is “the final peer-reviewed manuscript as accepted for publication [that] might be available from a variety of places, including a personal website, an employer’s server, an institutional repository, a reference manager, or an author social network” (APA, 2020, p. 258), cite that version.
Please see the information and specific examples provided in the APA Style manual for references to advance online and in press journal articles (p. 318), unpublished manuscripts and manuscripts submitted for publication (p. 336), informally published works (p. 337), and unpublished raw data (p. 338). For general examples, see below for references to manuscripts at different stages of the publication process:
Unpublished manuscript (see p. 336)
Author, A. (year). Title of manuscript [Unpublished manuscript]. University Department, University Name.
- "Include the department and institution where the work was produced, if possible” (APA, 2020, p. 336).
Manuscript submitted for publication (see pp. 336-337)
Author, A. (year). Title of manuscript [Manuscript submitted for publication]. University Department, University Name.
- “Do not list the name of the journal to which the work was submitted. Once the manuscript has been accepted for publication, cite it as an in-press article” (APA, 2020, p. 337).
- “A manuscript submitted for publication is not available to the public. If the manuscript is available online, treat it as informally published” (APA, 2020, p. 337).
- In-text citation: (Author, year, p. X)
Journal article, in press (see p. 318)
Author, A. (in press). Title of article. Title of Journal .
- In-text citation: (Author, in press, p. X)
Journal article, advance online publication (see p. 318)
Author, A., & Author, B. (year). Title of article. Title of Journal. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/xxx
- In-text citation: (Author & Author, year, p. X)
Informally published work from a preprint archive or institutional repository (see p. 337)
Author, A. (year). Title of article. Publisher. URL
Unpublished raw data (see p. 338)
Author, A. (year). [Unpublished raw data on description of data]. University Name.
Author, A. (year). Title of data set [Unpublished raw data].
American Psychological Association. (2020). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.). https://doi.org/10.1037/0000165-000
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Purdue Online Writing Lab Purdue OWL® College of Liberal Arts
General APA FAQs
Welcome to the Purdue OWL
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Copyright ©1995-2018 by The Writing Lab & The OWL at Purdue and Purdue University. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, reproduced, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our terms and conditions of fair use.
APA (American Psychological Association) style is most commonly used to cite sources within the social sciences. This resource, revised according to the 6 th edition, second printing of the APA manual, offers examples for the general format of APA research papers, in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the reference page. For more information, please consult the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association , (7 th ed.).
Note: This page reflects the latest version of the APA Publication Manual (i.e., APA 7), which released in October 2019. The equivalent resource for the older APA 6 style can be found here .
The following FAQs address issues in APA citation and/or formatting. The entries in this section are based on frequently asked questions received by our former OWL Mail Tutors. Further information on APA style and citation can be found via the Purdue OWL’s APA Style and Formatting resource.
Do I need to include a running head or not? How do I do this?
If you are writing a paper for publication in a journal, you should include a running head. The running head should be in the header of every page of the document, flush left, in all capital letters; no “running head” label is needed. The running head should be a 50 character or less abbreviated title that focuses on the main idea of the paper; it does not need to contain the same exact words in the same order as the full title.
If you are a student writing a paper for a class, you do not need a running head unless your instructor tells you to include one. If that’s the case, you should follow your instructor’s guidelines; if they have simply told you to include a running head, follow the advice above.
Using APA, how do I cite an author if their work is referenced more than once in a single paragraph?
Here’s what the 7 th edition of the APA manual says: "In general, include the author and date in every in-text citation... the year can be omitted from a citation only when multiple narrative citations to a work appear within a single paragraph" (pg. 265).
In other words, you should always give the year in a parenthetical citation, such as (Jones, 2020). If you are citing a work multiple times in the same paragraph in the narrative , you may omit the year. For instance:
Jones (2020) studied college students’ interest in various popular dog breeds. Jones brought puppies of six different breeds to a focus group and observed which breeds were most popular.
How do I cite a work that has no listed author in an APA-style paper?
According to the OWL’s resource on APA-style citations, “If the work does not have an author, cite the source by its title in the signal phrase or use the first word or two in the parentheses. Titles of books and reports are italicized; titles of articles, chapters, and web pages are in quotation marks.” For example, a parenthetical citation for an edition of a dictionary would be: ( Merriam-Webster’s 1993)." The bibliographical citation is as follows:
Merriam-Webster’s collegiate dictionary (10 th ed.). (1993). Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster.
What do I do if the source-type that I’m using doesn’t appear in any APA reference/style guides?
The APA manual models many specific templates for specific kinds of sources. If the source type you are using doesn’t appear in those templates, you should use the basic format for the category your source falls under:
- textual works , including journal articles, books, reports, dissertations, or entries in reference works;
- data sets, software and tests , including types like data sets, scales, inventories, apps, and equipment;
- audiovisual media , including types like television shows, films, and music;
- and online media , including social media posts, webpages, and websites.
Each of these reference groups includes several general templates for large categories such as books or websites. Pick the general template that is closest to what you are trying to cite and adapt the format using the elements in the template.
What do I do if a website is missing information required for an APA-style citation?
The APA Style website ’s table shows what to do when one or more pieces of information are missing. For example, if your website has no author, you can use the title in its place in the reference list and in-text. If the work has no date, you can use the abbreviation “n.d.” in its place in the reference list and in-text.
If I co-author a paper, how should the author’s names appear in an APA-style title page?
According to the 7 th edition of the APA manual, author names should be centered between the side margins. Names with suffixes like Jr. or III, use a space to separate the suffix rather than a comma. List the authors’ institutional affiliations on the next line, with different affiliations each having their own line.
Some examples include the following:
Two authors, one affiliation:
Jamie R. Clark and Owen B. Engel Jr. Harvard University
Three authors, one affiliation:
Andrea Ferris, Brian Atkinson, and Rebecca Schultz University of Michigan
Two authors, two affiliations:
Paul Jacobs 1 and Erin Gibson 2 1 Rhodes College 2 Vanderbilt University
Three authors, two affiliations:
Stacy Johnson 1 , Madeline Ramirez 1 , and Brandon James 2 1 Chicago Medical School 2 Columbia University
I’m including an image in my APA style PowerPoint presentation. How do I properly cite the image that I’m going to use?
The answer depends on how you are using the image and where the image comes from. In general, you can cite images using the template found on our resource here . Many images found online are specifically licensed for use by anyone, whether with restrictions (like a Creative Commons license) or without restrictions (public domain). Other images, however, are owned specifically by vendors who will sell you a license to use their property; you should not use these images unless you have purchased the license or they have a Creative Commons or public domain license. When you are giving a presentation in a class or using an image in academic, not for profit work, your use usually falls under fair use guidelines and you can cite it with a copyright attribution, as in this template from the APA 7 th edition manual, p. 390:
From Title of Webpage , by A.A. Author, year, Site Name (DOI or URL). Copyright [year] by Name, OR In the public domain., OR Creative Commons license such as CC BY-NC.
If your presentation will be published, you should obtain permission from the copyright holder as per the guidelines of the publishing organization you’re working with. You can learn more about copyright and use permission guidelines of the APA here .
How do I cite unpublished works in APA?
Here is the relevant format from the APA manual, 7 th edition, p. 336:
Unpublished or not-yet-published manuscript with a university cited:
Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (2020). Title of work [Manuscript submitted for publication]. Department, University . URL.
Blackwell, E., & Conrod, P.J. (2003). A five dimensional measure of drinking motives [Unpublished manuscript]. Department of Psychology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.
How do I cite pieces of software in APA?
You can find a template for citing software on our guide to citing electronic sources .
How do I cite my professor’s classroom PowerPoint presentations in APA? What about my lecture notes?
Your first choice is to follow the format for online slides on this page of the Purdue OWL , and to use the login page for the course management system where the slides are stored as the url. You would reference this source in-text as you normally would by the author’s last name and date. For lecture notes, you would write something like [Lecture notes on key Sophists] in place of the title.
Your second choice is to refer to the lecture as personal communication. For an example, please see this resource on the Purdue OWL .
Please note: personal communication is only cited in-text and not within your References list.
I created and administered my own survey for a project. How would I cite this survey in an APA-style paper?
Since a survey you conducted yourself is not published elsewhere by someone else, you do not cite it in the same way you cite other materials. Instead, in your paper you describe your survey and make it clear that the data you’re referring to is from the survey, usually by saying so in introductory sentences. In your paper, you should include a short overview of your survey method: whom the survey was administered to, how it was administered, how many responses you got, and what kind of questions you asked. You should include a copy of the survey instrument (the full set of questions asked) as an appendix to your paper. You do not need to include your survey in your reference list.
How do I cite state bills in APA?
APA follows the guidelines for legal citations in the United States as outlined in The Bluebook ® . You can access a version of The Bluebook by clicking here .
However, guidelines for references to legal materials can also be found on pages 355-368 in the 7 th edition of the Publication Manual of the APA .
The following template reference to a statute in a state code and its explanation can be found on page 361:
Name of Act, Title Source § Section Number (Year). URL
How do I cite artifacts in an APA-style paper?
You can use the citation that best matches the type of artifact; however, if the artifact is not accessible to readers, it may not need to be cited.
How do I cite a product's instructional guide (e.g., the Apple iPad user’s manual) in APA?
While the APA publication manual lists many different references, product instructions are not something that has a specific reference example. Since there is not a specific reference guideline for instructions, you could reasonably adapt the template for reports found on our "Other Print Sources" resource .
How do I cite genealogies in APA?
The APA does not seem to specifically address this issue. Here’s what we’ve been able to find from other sources:
Genealogy.com offers a method of citing birth/death certificates, which can be found by clicking here and scrolling down to the “Official Records” section of the page.
Archive.gov also offers suggestions on how to cite birth/death certificates, which can be accessed by clicking here .
Genealogy.com suggests some other considerations for genealogy-specific sources here .
Please note again that the APA has not explicitly endorsed these citation guidelines.