RefWorks begins implementing APA 6th edition

The American Psychological Association (APA) has just published a new edition of their popular style manual. RefWorks has already rolled out an initial release of an output style incorporating the new rules. One change is that it no longer adds database names (with the exception of ERIC) to the end of a reference.

However, they decided to release it before their software is capable of automating all the new rules. They’re working on making necessary programming changes to fully automate the new style, but wanted to release this early version so that users can review the style and send any concerns/suggestions before the next academic term begins.

Until then RefWorks has provided instructions for manual adjustments writers will need to make:

The new edition of APA has changed the manner in which authors are to be listed in the text and in the reference list. The new reference list guidelines state that when there are seven or more authors there should only be seven authors presented. When there are more than seven authors the first six are to be listed, ellipses added after the sixth, and the last author added at the end.  In order for RefWorks to adhere to these changes, we will need to make modifications to our current Output Style Editor which will require program development.  In the short-term, our new APA style will list all authors and will require the user to manually remove the extra authors and add the ellipses.

The new guidelines allow for the inclusion of up to five authors in the first instance of an in-text citation and the use of the first author with ‘et al.’ in all subsequent citations of the same reference. This too, will require APA specific development in RefWorks.

To start using the APA 6th edition output style log into your RefWorks account, go to Tools > Output Style Manager and add it to “your favorites”.

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