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APA Style and Writing in Anthropology: Home

Core APA Citation Principles

Four core elements of an APA citation

The four core elements of an APA citation are: the author, the date, the title, and the source

Kirk, S. (2019). Excavation attempts for 1990s South Jersey time capsules placed by adolescents with poor judgment [Map]. Burlington County Historical Society.

Sometimes, elements of a citation are missing. What to do in these circumstances is described in detail in the 7th edition of the APA Style guide, section 9.4, pg. 283-284. Examples of various circumstances are below.

 

Missing  Example
No author

In many cases, an organizational or corporate author can be identified and used in place of individual authors. Use "Anonymous" as an author only when the author has been explicitly defined as Anonymous. In all other cases, use the below example for a template.

 

Excavation attempts for 1990s South Jersey time capsules placed by adolescents with poor judgment [Map]. (2019). Burlington County Historical Society.

No date Kirk, S. (n.d.). Excavation attempts for 1990s South Jersey time capsules placed by adolescents with poor judgment [Map]. Burlington County Historical Society.
No title Kirk, S. (2019). [Map showing the probable location of a time capsule in South Jersey]. Burlington County Historical Society.
No author or date Excavation attempts for 1990s South Jersey time capsules placed by adolescents with poor judgment [Map]. (n.d.). Burlington County Historical Society.
No author or title [Map showing the probable location of a time capsule in South Jersey]. (2019). Burlington County Historical Society.
No date or title Kirk, S. (n.d.). [Map showing the probable location of a time capsule in South Jersey]. Burlington County Historical Society.
No author, date, or title                                                          [Map showing the probable location of a time capsule in South Jersey]. (n.d.). Burlington County Historical Society.

 

What to do if there is no source

A source depicts where the citation can be retrieved. One circumstance in which there may be no retrievable source would be a personal communication: an interview with a subject not recorded for public use. In APA style, personal communications do not appear in the reference list, but they do appear in in-text citations.

(S. Kirk, personal communication, November 1, 2019)

Examples in Anthropology

The APA Style Manual was developed by the American Psychological Association. APA style recommendations often leave out common citations in anthropology, including artifacts, museum installations, and wall text. Such content is often covered in more detail in other citation styles, like the Chicago Manual of Style. Strangely, the 6th edition of the APA Style Manual includes suggestions on documenting archival works (section 7.10), but the 7th edition is less detailed on this subject.

However, APA is flexible enough that you can build a "frankenreference": a reference to a citation not explicitly spelled out in the style manual. The examples below are some suggested frankenreferences for anthropologists using APA style.

 

Exhibition catalogs

Rose, C. B. & Darbyshire, G. (2016). The golden age of King Midas exhibition catalogue. University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.

 

Hickman, J. (2016). Gold the first day. In C. B. Rose & G. Darbyshire (Eds.), The golden age of King Midas exhibition catalogue (pp. 60-63). University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.

 

Objects

Many museums will have their own guidance on how to cite their objects. Consult their websites first to see if they recommend certain features of their records be included in your citation, and then use APA's general principles to order the items in your citation. See examples on citation guidelines from the British Library, the Penn Museum, and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Bogner, S., Schmitt, P., & Voigt, J. (2016). Raising robotic natives [Installation]. Designs for Different Futures, October 22, 2019 - March 8, 2020. Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA, United States.

 

[Human effigy vessel]. (1200-1500). Moundbuilders: Ancient Architects of North America, June 24, 2017 - April 26, 2020 (Object 11586). Penn Museum, Philadelphia, PA, United States. https://www.penn.museum/collections/object/29104

 

[Anasazi jar lid]. (n.d.). Penn Museum collections storage (Object 23019). Penn Museum, Philadelphia, PA, United States. https://www.penn.museum/collections/object/318098

 

Registrar object catalog cards

For information retrieved from a catalog card in the Museum Registrar's Office, rather than from the online collections database:

[Catalog card for Anasazi jar lid]. (n.d.). Penn Museum Registrar's Office (Object 23019). Penn Museum, Philadelphia, PA, United States.

 

Object/Artifact labels

[Object label for Highway 557 Through the Plaza, 2013, by Jenny Ellerbe]. (2017). Moundbuilders: Ancient Architects of North America, June 24, 2017 - April 26, 2020. Penn Museum, Philadelphia, PA, United States.

 

Wall text

[Wall text for bone decorative items]. (2017). Moundbuilders: Ancient Architects of North America, June 24, 2017 - April 26, 2020 (Objects SAM-2016-2-4.1, SAM-2016-2-7.3). Penn Museum, Philadelphia, PA, United States.

 

[Wall text for Mississippian ceramics]. (2017). Moundbuilders: Ancient Architects of North America, June 24, 2017 - April 26, 2020. Penn Museum, Philadelphia, PA, United States.

 

Examples of common reference types

A much more extensive list of examples can be found in the 7th edition of the APA Style Manual, chp. 10.

 

Journal article

Runnels, C. N. (1982). Flaked-stone artifacts in Greece during the historical period. Journal of Field Archaeology, 9(3), 363-373. https://doi.org/10.2307/529670 

 

Magazine article

Gorelick, L., & Gwinnett, A. J. (1981). The origin and development of the ancient near eastern cylinder seal: A hypothetical reconstruction. Expedition23(4), 17-30. https://www.penn.museum/sites/expedition/the-origin-and-development-of-the-ancient-near-eastern-cylinder-seal/

 

Newspaper article

Wilford, J. N. (2002, January 8). Seeking Polynesia's beginnings in an archipelago of shards. The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2002/01/08/science/seeking-polynesia-s-beginnings-in-an-archipelago-of-shards.html

 

Book

Renfrew, C., & Bahn, P. (2012). Archaeology: Theories, methods, and practice (6th ed.). Thames & Hudson.

 

Edited book

Inhorn, M. C., & Wentzell, E. A. (Eds.). (2012). Medical anthropology at the intersections: Histories, activisms, and futures. Duke University Press.

 

Chapter in an edited book

Rapp, R., & Ginsburg, F. (2012). Anthropology and the study of disability worlds. In M. C. Inhorn & E. A. Wentzell (Eds.), Medical anthropology at the intersections: Histories, activisms, and futures (pp. 163-182). Duke University Press. https://doi.org/10.1215/9780822395478-011

 

eBook

Foxhall, L. (2007). Olive cultivation in ancient Greece: Seeking the ancient economy. Oxford University Press. https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/upenn-ebooks/detail.action?docID=415603 

 

Dissertation or thesis from a database

Schweitzer, T. (2010). Philadelphia foodways ca. 1750-1850: An historical archaeology of cuisine (Publication No. 3431172) [Doctoral dissertation, University of Pennsylvania]. ProQuest Dissertations and Theses. 

 

Report by a government agency or other organization

American Anthropological Association. (2015). Familiar/strange: 2015 annual report. https://s3.amazonaws.com/rdcms-aaa/files/production/public/FileDownloads/pdfs/about/Annual_Reports/upload/2015AAA_AnnualReport.pdf

 

Unpublished manuscript

Fuertes, E. A. (1872-1873). Mexican Indian languages: vocabularies of the Zapoteco from Suchitan, Zoque from Chimalapa and Mixe from Guichicori  [Unpublished manuscript]. Berendt-Brinton Linguistic Collection (UPenn Ms. Coll. 700, Item 107.). Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts, University of Pennsylvania. http://hdl.library.upenn.edu/1017/d/medren/9940733833503681

 

Personal communications

A source depicts where the citation can be retrieved. One circumstance in which there may be no retrievable source would be a personal communication: an interview with a subject not recorded for public use. In APA style, personal communications do not appear in the reference list, but they do appear in in-text citations.

(S. Kirk, personal communication, November 1, 2019)

 

Map

Domínguez, H. P., & Reguera, P. H. (1972). Palma del Río [Map]. MAGNA 50: Mapa geológico de España a escala 1:50.000 (2nd series, sheet 942). Instituto Geológico y Minero de España. http://info.igme.es/cartografiadigital/datos/magna50/pdfs/d9_G50/Magna50_942.pdf

 

Photograph

Lessing, E. (n.d.). Family returning from fieldwork along the banks of the Nile [Photograph]. Erich Lessing Culture and Fine Arts Archives, ARTSTOR (SSID 18145600). https://library.artstor.org/#/asset/LESSING_ART_10313455305 

 

Film or video

Harris, H., & Bridenbach, G. (Directors). (2004). The Nuer [Film]. Documentary Educational Resources. (Original work published 1970)

 

YouTube or other streaming video

IT University of Copenhagen. (2018, February 26). Sarah Pink: Digital ethnography [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ugtGbkVRFM

 

 

Webpage

Bostrom, P. A. (2014, February 28). Axes & celts style variation worldwide. Lithic Casting Lab. http://lithiccastinglab.com/gallery-pages/2014marchaxestylespage1.htm

 

Penn Museum. (2019, November 1). Early Copan acropolis program. https://www.penn.museum/research/project.php?pid=7

 

Digital Egypt for Universities. (2002). Basketry. https://www.ucl.ac.uk/museums-static/digitalegypt/Welcome.html

 

 

Citation Mangement Tools

Recommended Web Resources

Librarian

Deb Stewart's picture
Deb Stewart
Contact:
Deb Brown Stewart
Head, Museum Library
University of Pennsylvania Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology
3260 South Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
215 898-4021

Librarian

Deb Stewart's picture
Deb Stewart
Contact:
Deb Brown Stewart
Head, Museum Library
University of Pennsylvania Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology
3260 South Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
215 898-4021