Frequently asked questions

Missing information about publisher, publishing year or place. What do I do?

There are standard abbreviations to solve the problem of missing information:

Missing publisher: (n.p.)

Missing publishing date: (n.d.)

Missing publishing place: (n.p)

How do I use a direct quotation?

The quotation is placed in quotation marks followed by a parentheses or a footnote with the author, publication year and page.

Example (APA 6th):    

Students do not always see the importance of citing all sources in written work. "Serious academic literature authors use sources, and they cite the sources they use" (Spangen, 2007, p. 9). This is just as important when writing a semester assignment as when writing a scientific dissertation.

If the quotation comprises 40 or more words, display it in a freestanding block of text and omit the quotation marks, followed by a parentheses or a footnote with the author, publication year and page.

Example (APA 6th):

Among other things, it has been pointed out that political regulation does not always lead to increased welfare for the many:

Residence may be an example that confirms that the overall welfare of society is getting smaller. The desired results, which the municipality achieves with housing benefits, is generally very small. The purpose of residence is to get a better living environment, more inhabited houses with lights in the windows on dark winter evenings. Today's technique results in the most illuminated in the windows of those who default on the residence and who have a bad conscience because they do not live there (Aanesland & Holm, 2002, p. 84).

How are the arguments raised as ...


How do I use an indirect quotation?

Indirect quotations are not put in quotation marks, and the meaning of the quoted text is repeated in your own words. This way, you achieve better flow in your text. It is important that you choose your words so that you retain the original meaning. The APA 6th manual encourages you to provide a page number*.

Example (APA 6th):

Students do not always see the importance of citing all sources in written work. All of the sources you use in written work must be provided if you are to be perceived of as a serious academic author (Spangen, 2007, p. 9). This is just as important when writing a semester assignment as when writing a scientific dissertation.

* Be aware of your subjects traditions, talk to your teacher about this.



Résumé is a short summary from a source or a section which you write in your own words. This technique is used when it is appropriate to provide a more comprehensive reproduction of the content of a particular academic text, or when you are summarizing the content of a novel or film. You must evaluation what is relevant for your assignment, and select the parts of the source's content that you want to cite. The summary should only contain the main elements. It is important that you are aware of your choice of words, so that you are loyal to the source and are not in danger of distorting its meaning.

Example (APA 6th):

In her book, Spangen (2007) provides the necessary knowledge regarding the most central aspects of referencing and writing bibliographies. From first explaining the structure of a written assignment and what the various parts should contain, one becomes familiar with the citing and referencing techniques one needs to master in order to give the assignement the quality characteristic of an academic work. Especially thorough is the section on quoting original text, and the different issues that you encounter during the writing process. The author starts with the Harvard system in his explanation of the various ways one can refer to works of different character. Finally, Spangen examines the creation of literature lists, where she uses her own work as examples.

How do I cite more than one source at the same time?

You can cite several sources in the same parenthesis if they are divided by a semicolon.

Example (APA 6th):

(Repstad 2007; Riis 1996)

How do I cite new editions of classical works?

If you are using a new edition of an older book you can show this by stating both the year of the original publication and the new edition.

Example (APA 6th):

(James 1890/1982)

When are page references required?

When you are using direct quotations, page numbers should allways be stated. When paraphrasing The APA 6th manual encourages you to provide a page number*. If you are discussing a text more generally, page numbers may be omited. See question on direct and indirect quotations for more information.

* Be aware of your subjects traditions, talk to your teacher about this.

How do I cite secondary sources?

Use secondary sources sparingly, for instance, when the original work is out of print, unavailable through usual sources, or not available in English. Give the secondary source in the reference list; in the text name the original work and give a citation for the secondary source.

Example (APA 6th):

(Olsen, as quoted in Hansen 2010, p. 5)


How do I cite a figure retrieved from a book?

Copyright: Are you planning to reproduce a figure or a table from another source? Contact the publisher and ask whether you need permission from any of the copyright owners.

Example (APA 6th)

In your text:

Figure 2. Factors influencing the individual student's choices. Retrieved from The Nordic Education Model  (1. ed, p. 220), by Blossing, U., Imsen, G., & Moos, L. (Ed.), 2014, London, Springer. Copyright 2014. Used with permission.

In the bibliography:

You only need to write the reference underneath the figure in your text. If the figure is referred to in other parts of the text as well, there must also be a reference in the bibliography.

Blossing, U., Imsen, G., & Moos, L. (Ed.). (2014). The Nordic Education Model. London: Springer

What is a DOI-number?

DOI (digital object identifier) is a unique identifying code. All electronic articles are given one when published online. Unlike a webpage (URL), which can be edited or deleted, the DOI-number is permanent and can always be used to identify an article, no matter where the article it is published. The DOI-number can be found on the database landing page for an article or on the first page of the article.  

Example of a DOI-number: 10.1177/1090198109343895

To access an article by using the DOI-number, you have to type [ http://dx.doi.org/ ] in your web-browser followed by the DOI-number.

Example http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1090198109343895


How do I write in-text citations?

If you are discussing a text more generally and not referencing a particular page, you do not need to enter page numbers. If you have mentioned the authors name in the text, you can refer only to the year in brackets immediately after the authors name (see example 1). In the case of a direct quote, always refer to the page number from which the quote is taken(see example 2). If you refer to continuous text across multiple pages, always specify the first and last page (see example 3).

Example (APA 6th):

Ex. 1: Researchers such as Aanesland and Holm (2002) have demonstrated that the residence permit has no significant effect on the settlement in each municipality ...

Ex. 2: In recent years, housing has been widely discussed in the media, with particular focus on the attractive properties along the southern coast. "The average figures show that in municipalities with housing mortgages, the homes are as much inhabited during the year as in municipalities without residence" (Aanesland & Holm, 2002, p. 84).

Ex. 3: Among other things, it is argued that the unintended effects of residence are significant (Aanesland & Holm, 2002, pp. 83-85).

How are the arguments raised as ...

How do I cite if an author has more publications the same year?

In the APA 6th style, only the author's last name and year are entered in parentheses. If an author has more publications the same year, these are separated by a small a, b, etc.

Example (APA 6th):

(Repstad, 2007a, p. 43; Repstad, 2007b, p. 78)

The letter is also included in the reference list:

Repstad, P. (2007a) etc ..

Repstad, P. (2007b) etc ...

How do I cite several authors with the same surname?

If you are citing several authors with the same surname, you should use their initials to distinguish them.

In this way, we ensure that we do not create confusion about which author we are referring to. This applies even if the documents are published at different times.

Example (APA 6th) :

(H. Jacobsen, 2000, p. 12)

(C. M. Jacobsen, 2002, p. 15)

How do I cite when a book has multiple editions?

When you are citing a book that has multiple editions it should be included in the reference list. You should include information about the edition you have used as a source.

Example (APA 6th):

In the text:

(Repstad, 2014)

In reference list:

Repstad, P. (2014). Sociological perspectives for health and social workers (3rd ed.). Oslo: Universitetsforlaget.

How do I cite the Bible, Quran, Torah etc..?

When citing commonly known scripture, such as the Bible or the Quran, you indicate which book, chapter and verse the quote is derived from.

Example (APA 6th):

(1 Thessalonians 4:11)

It is not necessary to insert the entry in the reference list.

How do I quote from an e-book or sources without page numbers?

If there are no page numbers, you can include any of the following in the text to cite the quotation:

  • a paragraph number, if provided; alternatively, you can count paragraphs down from the beginning of the document; 
  • an overarching heading plus a paragraph number within that section; or 
  • an abbreviated heading (or the first few words of the heading) in quotation marks, in cases in which the heading is too unwieldy to cite in full.

(Lee, C. (2011). How Do You Cite an E-Book (e.g., Kindle Book)? Retrived from 7.5.2017 http://blog.apastyle.org/apastyle/2011/06/how-do-you-cite-an-e-book.html)

Sist oppdatert: 4/26/2013