Skip to Main Content

Willis N. Hackney Library

FYS 102: Bulldog Skills Online Workshop: APA-Style Citations, 7th Edition

E-Book Citation in APA Style (7th ed.): A Closer Look

We've already seen what an APA citation looks like for a print book in previous steps.  In the 7th edition of APA style, a citation for an electronic book that does not contain a DOI number looks exactly the same as the citation for the print version of that book, as in the first example below.  However, an ebook with a DOI number is treated a little differently.  See the second example below for a citation to an ebook with a DOI number:

Example 1: Ebook WITHOUT a DOI Number (Same as for print book):

Following is a citation to an electronic book (ebook) from a typical ebook database that does not have a DOI number (remember that this citation looks exactly the same as it would for a print version of the book); 

Bristol, D. W. J. (2009). Knights of the razor: Black barbers in slavery and freedomJohns Hopkins University Press.

  • Notice that in the example above, the author has three initials (!)--include them all if they're given, abbreviated, of course.  
  • The publication date (of the print version of this e-book) is included, as well as the title, using sentence capitalization, just like we saw with the print book.  (Note that after the colon, the sub-title's first word (Black) is capitalized, but all subsequent words are not--just like in the title).
  • Just like for the print version of a book, an ebook  cited in APA style, you do not have to cite the place of publication, only the publisher.
  • You do not include a URL.

Example 2:  Ebook WITH a DOI Number:

Brown, L. S. (2018). Feminist theory (2nd ed.). American Psychological Association.

Scroll down to the next sections to discuss the formatting of each individual element of the Reference citation for an ebook with a DOI number, using Example 2 (remember that much of the citation will look the same as for an ebook, but with an added step).


Formatting the Author Element for an E-book with DOI

Brown, L. S.

  • Note first that with each author's name (whether you have one or multiple authors), you invert the order, and put the last name first, followed by a comma, then followed by THE INITIALS ONLY of the first and middle names. (Unlike some other styles, APA Style does NOT include the full first and middle names, instead only the first initials of each.)
  • Each first and middle initial is followed by a period.
  • This is the end of the author section of the citation.

Now move on to the next section to look at how to format the date of publication.

Formatting the Date of Publication Element for an E-book with DOI

Let's look now at the publication date, and how that is handled in the APA citation:

Brown, L. S. (2018).  

  • Note the year of publication, 2018, is enclosed in parentheses, and is followed by a period. (In fact, every separate element in APA citations is followed by a period).
  • This is the end of the publication date section.

Now go to the next section to see how the title of the e-book is formatted in APA style.

Formatting the Title Element for an E-book with DOI

Now let's look at the book title:

Brown, L. S. (2018). Feminist therapy  

  • Notice two things about the title of this book: 
    • First, the only word capitalized in the book title is the first word  (Feminist ); the other word is lower case. This is called "sentence capitalization," that is, like you would capitalize a regular sentence.  (An exception to this rule would be that you would also capitalize a word that is not the first in the title or subtitle, if it were a proper noun, such as "American.")
    • Second, the title is in italics.  Normally, the title is followed by a period, but in this case, we also have to include an edition.  Scroll down to see how that is handled next.

Now scroll down to the next section to see how the edition is formatted.


Formatting the Edition of an E-Book with DOI

Let's look now at how to format the edition (other than the first) of an ebook:

Brown, L. S. (2018). Feminist therapy (2nd ed.).

  • Notice several things about the edition information in red:
    • Unlike the title it follows, the edition information (an ordinal number enclosed in parentheses, with "edition" abbreviated to "ed.") is NOT in italicized print.
    • There also is no comma or period between the "therapy" portion of the title and the edition information; this is because the edition is considered a part of the title element of the citation.
    • A period follows the edition information and closes the title/edition element of the citation.

Now scroll down to the next section to see how the place of publication is formatted.

Formatting the Publisher Element for an E-book with DOI

As with a print book, you must include the publisher information:

Brown, L. S. (2018). Feminist theory (2nd ed.). American Psychological Association.

  • The publisher section of the citation ends with a period. 
  • Note that the publisher's name is spelled out. 

Scroll down to learn more about including the DOI number in the citation for an ebook (this next part is the citation element that differentiates a citation for an ebook missing a DOI from an ebook WITH a DOI).

Formatting the DOI Number for an E-book with DOI

Brown, L. S. (2018). Feminist therapy (2nd ed.). American Psychological Association.

  • For an ebook that has a DOI number, it forms the last element of the citation (seen in red here).  Notice that in the 7th edition of APA style, the DOI number is in URL (link) format.  If the ebook is older, it may show the DOI number like this: doi:10.1037/0000092-000.  
    • If so, convert the non-link DOI number into a link by dropping the "doi:" and adding the following in front of the actual DOI number:

And now you are finished with the e-book citation in APA format!  Now take a look at Step 6B (below right or in the left sidebar) to learn how to cite a journal article, which includes different information that must be cited.