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Lemieux Library
Lemieux Library

Citing Your Sources Guide

Basic Template

Reports, Press Releases, Issue Briefs. Policy Briefs, etc.

  1. Author or Name of Group (If the group name has many layers, use the most specific agency as the author). The parent agencies will be listed as the publisher.
    Note: You can abbreviate agency names in-text, but do not abbreviate agency names in the list of references.
  2. Date
  3. Title of Report or Title of Report (Report No. __)
  4. If it's not a report, but something fuzzier, like a press release, policy brief, etc. (so-called "gray literature), include a description in brackets. e.g., [Press Release] following the title.
  5. Publisher name (unless the publisher IS the group author)
  6. DOI or URL

Tip: It is often easier to identify the relevant elements of the citation by consulting a catalog entry (worldcat or the library's catalog) or by downloading the full report as a pdf and checking the cover pages.

Reports by Agency (no individual authors identified)

1st Example: Multi-layered agency

Sample report: Evaluation of Impacts to Underground Sources of Drinking Water by Hydraulic Fracturing of Coalbed Methane Reservoirs.

In text:

  • (Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water, 2004)
  • Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water (2004)

Reference List:

Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water. (2004, June). Evaluation of Impacts to Underground Sources of Drinking Water by Hydraulic Fracturing of Coalbed Methane Reservoirs. (EPA 816-R-04-003). Environmental Protection Agency. Office of Water. https://permanent.fdlp.gov/websites/epagov/www.epa.gov/safewater/uic/cbmstudy/docs.html

Explanation: When there are multiple layers in the agency name, use the most specific layer. The governing agenc(ies) will be in the publisher element. When a report number is listed, include this in parentheses following the title. In this case, a published month was also identified, so it was included, according the template on p.329 of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (2020).

2nd Example: No report number.

Acidity in Lakes and Streams

In text

  • (EPA, Report on the Environment, 2018)

Explanation. It is permissible to use abbreviations for well-known government agencies to shorten the parenthetical citation.

Reference List

  • Environmental Protection Agency. Report on the Environment. (2018, August). Acidity in Lakes and Streams. https://cfpub.epa.gov/roe/indicator.cfm?i=12

Explanation:

  • Do not abbreviate agency names in the Reference List.
  • You may have to search to find a date. In this case, there is a section on documentation that lists the "last date updated." It is entered according to the template on page 329 of the Publication Manual (2020) e.g., (2020, May 2)
  • Since the author is also the publisher, it is not repeated after the title.
  • Determining the type of document is not always straightforward. The important principle, always, is to include the information in a manner that will allow your reader to easily locate the document and understand where it fits in the hierarchy of agency publications.

Report with Specific author(s), published jointly by two agencies

Sample report: A Reconciliation between the Consumer Price Index and the Personal Consumption Expenditures Price Index

In text

  • (McCully et al., 2007)

Note: For in-text citations with 2 others, include both surnames, joined by an ampersand (&). With 3 or more, use the first surname, followed by et al..

Reference List

  • McCully, C.P., Moyer, B.C., & Stewart, K.J. (2007, September). A Reconciliation between the Consumer Price Index and the Personal Consumption Expenditures Price Index. Bureau of Economic Analysis & Bureau of Labor Statistics. https://apps.bea.gov/papers/pdf/cpi_pce.pdf

Note: When jointly published by two agencies, connect with amerpsand (&). When jointly published by three or more, connect with commas.

Issue Brief, Policy Brief, and Miscellaneous

Document identified as an Issue Brief (no issue number)

Improving Health Care For Adults With Disabilities: An Overview Of Federal Data Sources

In text

  • (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, 2020)
  • Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (2020)
  • (CMS, 2020)

*Note: For well-known agency abbreviations (EPA, NIH) you can use the agency abbreviation in your in-text citation. The important principle is that your in-text reference should point seamlessly to your Reference List entry. When in doubt, spell it out.

Reference List

  • Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. (December, 2020). Improving Health Care For Adults With Disabilities: An Overview Of Federal Data Sources [Issue Brief]. https://www.cms.gov/files/document/federaldatadisability508.pdf

Explanation: If an issue brief is not numbered, indicate [Issue Brief] in square brackets. (Publication Manual of the APA, 2020, p. 331)

Issue Brief, Numbered

Example: Social Security reform: the Nature of the Problem

In Text

  • (U.S. Dept. of Treasury, 2007)

Reference List

  • United States. Department of the Treasury. (2007). Social Security Reform: The Nature of the Problem (Issue Brief no. 1). https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/economic-policy/ss-medicare/Documents/post.pdf

Explanation: Include numbered issue briefs in parentheses (rather than square brackets) (Publication Manual of the APA, 2020, p. 331)

Example: Document type not explicitly identified*

Acidity in Lakes and Streams

In text

  • (EPA, Report on the Environment, 2018)

Explanation. It is permissible to use abbreviations for well-known government agencies to shorten the parenthetical citation.

Reference List

  • Environmental Protection Agency. Report on the Environment. (August, 2018). Acidity in Lakes and Streams. https://cfpub.epa.gov/roe/indicator.cfm?i=12

Explanation:

  • Do not abbreviate agency names in the Reference List.
  • You may have to search to find a date. In this case, there is a section on documentation that lists the "last date updated."
  • Since the author is also the publisher, it is not repeated after the title.
  • * Determining the type of document is not always straightforward. Use your best judgement. I decided that this could follow the template for an unnumbered report (above) or an issue brief, even though this was not explicitly stated on the website, because the content is regularly updated around a specific issue.

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