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APA 7th Edition Referencing Guide1

A Wintec Library guide to referencing in APA 7th edition style

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Guidelines for the assessment of APA referencing

1) Across all Wintec programmes, no more than 5% of the overall marks for each assessment should be allocated solely to the formatting of APA referencing. However, marks may be allocated for showing an understanding and effective use of a range of quality resources (effective from Semester 2, 2018).

2) All staff will follow the Wintec Library APA guide when marking, and promote its usage to learners. It is the staff member's responsibility to check recent improvements to the guide on the guide's main page.

3) The teaching and learning of APA referencing, and any corresponding grade expectations are scaffolded by level. A suggested guideline follows:

Levels 0–3:

  • Provide a table with basic details regarding where information has come from (author, date, title, source). The table should be headed References as would a full APA reference list. In-text citations should include the author’s surname, date, and relevant page numbers, as per full APA style referencing. 
Author’s Name Date of publication Title of work Either the format of the resource (book, website etc.) or, ideally, the publishing information/URL.

Levels 4–5:

  • Referencing to follow APA style, but with emphasis on ensuring the works are cited with the correct information, rather than on 'perfect' formatting. 

Levels 6–7:

  •  Referencing should be of a high standard according to APA style and with largely accurate formatting, as appropriate for undergraduate assessment.

Level 8+:

  • It is expected that a Masters level student will not submit work before ensuring their referencing is at publication standard.

4) Academic staff will ensure that they lead by example by following copyright policy and by using correct referencing on their Moodle pages, course readings, handouts, and presentations.

Further recommendations:

1) Programmes should consider requiring students to complete the Library’s online academic integrity module soon after the commencement of classes and before submitting any major written assignments. The module focuses on the importance of referencing and how to reference common resources correctly, as well as other principles of academic integrity, and programmes should consider offering course credit to encourage students to complete the module and learn the information therein. Liaison Librarian staff can assist with facilitating the module. 

2) Liaison Librarian staff should be invited into classes to teach APA referencing, and the support services of the Library, Manaaki Pūkenga and Te Kete Manaaki should be recommended to students.

3) Turnitin to be used whenever appropriate. Students given the opportunity to submit assignments through Turnitin before final submission, to allow them to amend / add references where necessary (with training to be provided to staff and students on how to read Turnitin similarity reports).

4) Reference management tools such as EndNote/Zotero/Mendeley to be promoted (particularly to postgraduate students), with training and IT support provided.

5) If there is evidence that a student has plagiarised, follow the procedures outlined in section AR:7.3a, Academic and Student Misconduct, in the Academic Regulations.

6) Demonstration of academic integrity to be included as a learning outcome of all courses.

7) Academic staff will undergo Library-led APA referencing training to ensure their marking of APA is accurate and consistent.

8) Postgraduate students will be encouraged to work with Library staff on advanced referencing skills, to ensure their referencing is on par with the Publication Manual.

How the Library will support staff:

1) The Library will continue to maintain and provide access to referencing guides based on the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.), with occasional deviations from the Manual where appropriate for ease of use.

2) The Library will commit to assessing the Institute’s online resources and APA guides to ensure the content is relevant, engaging and easy to use.

3) As above, Library staff can provide staff training on APA referencing and offer advice to ensure accurate marking of referencing. 

Page numbers for paraphrased material
Including page numbers in in-text citations following paraphrased material is strongly encouraged, especially "when it would help interested readers locate the relevant passage within a long or complex work (e.g., a book)", but it is not mandatory (American Psychological Association, 2020, p. 269). It is up to academic staff to communicate their preferences to students, but marks should not be lost for non-inclusion of page numbers of paraphrases.

Using images sourced from the Internet

Wintec ākonga and staff must only source online images from certain repositories due to issues surrounding copyright.

In theory, undergraduate ākonga that aren't intending on publishing their mahi are covered by the educational copyright license that all institutions have and which means they can use items from the internet as long as they use proper academic integrity and reference it the way the institution requires.

However, this only works if the ākonga knows who holds the copyright, and as the American Psychological Association (APA, 2020) states, "Copyright ownership and permission status can be particularly difficult to establish for images downloaded from the internet" (p. 138).

Why is copyright hard to establish for images downloaded from the internet?

An image on the Ministry of Health website, for example, doesn’t actually belong to the Ministry of Health. It has either been bought by them, or commissioned by them, or sourced from a royalty free service, which means the copyright is held by the photographer, or the artist, not the Ministry of Health.

As such, ākonga won’t know where the original image came from and who the copyright belongs to, unless they invest time in finding out. Copyright (and therefore the reference), cannot be attributed to the website the student found the image on, as it is not the original source (and copyright holder) of the image.

Giving ākonga the freedom to source images from any website is not good academic integrity.

Where can ākonga source images from?

Ākonga (and kaiako) have several options for sourcing images that will not breach copyright:

  • They may provide photographs, diagrams, drawings etc that they have created themselves.
  • They may use the stock images provided by the software they are using (PowerPoint, for example).
  • They can use images from royalty free websites.
  • They can use images that are available through a creative commons licence.
  • They can use images provided by Wintec databases.

Why "retrieved on" is no longer needed in under-graduate mahi?

While Wintec adheres to the APA Style of referencing, as published in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA guidebook), the library has provision to alter referencing rules to suit the academic level of our ākonga. As such, while the APA guidebook says to “provide a retrieval date in the source element when citing an unarchived (ie. not stable) work that is likely or meant to change…For works that may change but have archived versions, a retrieval date is not needed…because it can be retrieved” (p. 290), it was decided after the release of the 7th edition of the guidebook, to remove the requirement for unpublished mahi (undergraduate assignments) due to the difficulty it posed to ākonga in determining what was and what wasn't likely to change.

In the larger context of Wintec's educational aspirations for our ākonga, it is not important for them to invest time seeing if a webpage has been archived or not, which renders a retrieval date unnecessary in the reference list.

Postgraduate ākonga whose work has the potential to be made publicly available must, however, provide a retrieval date for non-archived web pages that are "likely or meant to change" (APA, 2020, p. 290).


American Psychological Association. (2020). Publication Manual of the American Pyschological Association (7th ed.).

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