Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association / Edition 6

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The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association is the style manual of choice for writers, editors, students, and educators in the social and behavioral sciences. It provides invaluable guidance on all aspects of the writing process, from the ethics of authorship to the word choice that best reduces bias in language. Well-known for its authoritative and easy-to-use reference and citation system, the Publication Manual also offers guidance on choosing the headings, tables, figures, and tone that will result in strong, simple, and elegant scientific communication. The sixth edition offers new and expanded instruction on publication ethics, statistics, journal article reporting standards, electronic reference formats, and the construction of tables and figures. The sixth edition has been revised and updated to include new ethics guidance on such topics as determining authorship and terms of collaboration, duplicate publication, plagiarism and self-plagiarism, disguising of participants, validity of instrumentation, and making data available to others for verification; new journal article reporting standards to help readers report empirical research with clarity and precision; simplified APA heading style to make it more conducive to electronic publication; updated guidelines for reducing bias in language to reflect current practices and preferences, including a new section on presenting historical language that is inappropriate by present standards; new guidelines for reporting inferential statistics and a significantly revised table of statistical abbreviations new instruction on using supplemental files containing lengthy data sets and other media; significantly expanded content on the electronic presentation of data to help readers understand the purpose of each kind of display and choose the best match for communicating the results of the investigation, with new examples for a variety of data displays, includi

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Nicholas Greco IV, MS, BCETS, CATSM (Columbia College of Missouri)
Description: This is a needed update of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, which was last published in 2001.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide the latest standards in publishing and new practices in information dissemination. Mainly, this latest edition has evolved with the technological landscape and placed the continuously evolving material on the web. There is new and expanded coverage of ethical issues, manuscript parts, statistics, electronic material, and the publication process.
Audience: This is the only style manual for writers, editors, students, and educators in the behavioral and social sciences field.
Features: While this edition expands on ethical and legal standards in the field, it also provides guidance on protecting one's intellectual property rights. How to write and prepare a manuscript, organize your work, reduce various biases, ensure standard grammar, display results, and credit sources are discussed in detail. Professors will appreciate the chapter on reference examples as this is an area in which students often need direction.
Assessment: As the definitive source of APA style, this is a must have for everyone in the social and behavioral sciences field.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781433805592
  • Publisher: American Psychological Association
  • Publication date: 7/20/2009
  • Edition description: Sixth Edition
  • Edition number: 6
  • Pages: 300
  • Sales rank: 34,501
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Read an Excerpt


In 1928 editors and business managers of anthropological and psychological journals met to discuss the form of journal manuscripts and to write instructions for their preparation. The report of this meeting, which was chaired by Madison Bentley and sponsored by the National Research Council, is the forerunner of this book. The report was published as a ven-page article in the February 1929 issue of the Psychological Bulletin, ournal of the American Psychological Association (APA). The group agreed that it would not dictate to authors; instead, it recommended a andard of procedures, to which exceptions would doubtless be necary, but to which reference might be made in cases of doubt" ("Inuctions," 1929, p. 57; see section 9.01 for references to the predecessors this edition of the Publication Manual).

In the 70 years that followed, those "Instructions" were revised and anded a number of times. The first edition of the instructions under title of Publication Manual was actually a 60-page supplement to the Psychological Bulletin published in 1952.

It was another 22 years before a new edition was published in 1974 with 136 pages. Publication of the 208-page third edition occurred in 1983, and the fourth edition of 368 pages rolled off the presses in 1994.

Seven years have elapsed since the last edition, during which time great changes have occurred in the publishing world and in the technology b I authors, editors, and publishers. The fourth edition stood the of time well, but eventually there were more matters to be dealt with than could be easily accommodated on the APA Web site for updates. In 1999 the APA Publications and Communications Board authorized work to begin on this fifth edition of the Publication Manual.

Leslie Dodson ably served as the project leader for the revision, and many APA members and staff contributed their time, energy, and expertise to the preparation and editing of this volume, Nlark Appelbaum and his colleagues on the Statistics Task Force (Leona S. Aiken, Joel R. Levin, Robert S. Rosen, and Howard Wainer) had a particularly difficult assignment. Although not always in agreement on the specifics, the task force did agree on the need to provide some additional assistance to authors in dealing with statistical representations in manuscripts. Lenore W. Harmon, the APA Chief Editorial Advisor, drew on her experience to work on the ethics and authorship sections and to chair the Task Force on the Publication of Case Material (with Janice Birk, Clara Hill, Ross Parke, and NVilliam Stiles). Kathleen Sheedy took aim at the moving target of electronic referencing and manuscript preparation. She will continue working with the APA Internet Services staff to keep the new APA Style NVeb site up to date with changes in this area as they occur, Susan Knapp and Demarie Jackson provided examples, text, and guidance along the way.

There is a section in the foreword to the fourth edition that aptly characterizes the Publication Manual.

The Publicationn Manual presents explicit style requirements but acknowledges that alternatives are sometimes necessary; authors should balance the rules of the Publication Manual with good judgment. Because the written language of psychology changes more slowly than psychology itself, the Publication Manual does not offer solutions for all stylistic problems. In that sense, it is a transitional document: Its style requirements are based on the existing scientific literature rather than imposed on the literature.

Every edition of the Publication Manual has been intended to aid authors in the preparation of manuscripts. The 1929 guide could gently advise authors on style, because there were then only about 200 authors who published in the 4 existing APA Journals. Today, the editors of APA's 24 primary journals consider close to 6,000 manuscript submissions per year (of which approximately 1,400 reach print). Without APA style conventions, the time and effort required to review and edit manuscripts would prohibit timely and cost-effectivc publication and would make clear communication harder to achieve.

The numbers are higher today, of course. There are now 27 APA primary journals. And at least a thousand other journals in psychology, the behavioral sciences, nursing, and personnel administration use the Publication Manual as their style guide. This standardization has greatly facilitated the communication of new ideas and research and simplified the tasks of publishers, editors, authors, and readers as well as enabled linkages of electronic files across articles and across publishers.

As noted in the foreword to the fourth edition, however, this "standard" is not static. Our APA Web site devoted to the Publication Manual will provide updates and the latest information on changes in APA style and in APA policies and procedures that will affect authors as they preparc flicir manuscripts.

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Table of Contents

List of Tables, Table Examples, Figures, and Figure Examples
1 Content and Organization of a Manuscript 3
Quality of Content 4
Characteristics of Articles 6
Parts of a Manuscript 10
Quality of Presentation 29
2 Expressing Ideas and Reducing Bias in Language 31
Writing Style 31
Grammar 40
Guidelines to Reduce Bias in Language 61
3 APA Editorial Style 77
Punctuation 78
Spelling 89
Capitalization 94
Italics 100
Abbreviations 103
Headings and Series 111
Quotations 117
Numbers 122
Metrication 130
Statistical and Mathematical Copy 136
Tables 147
Figures 176
Footnotes and Notes 202
Appendixes 205
Reference Citations in Text 207
4 Reference List 215
5 Manuscript Preparation and Sample Papers to be Submitted for Publication 283
The Author's Responsibilities 284
General Instructions for Preparing the Paper Manuscript 284
Instructions for Typing the Parts of a Manuscript 296
Sample Paper and Outlines 305
6 Material Other Than Journal Articles 321
Theses, Dissertations, and Student Papers 321
Converting the Dissertation Into a Journal Article 326
Material for Oral Presentation 329
Material Published in Abbreviated Form 330
7 Manuscript Acceptance and Production 331
Transmitting the Accepted Manuscript for Production 332
Reviewing the Copyedited Manuscript 335
Proofreading 336
After the Article is Published 342
8 Journals Program of the American Psychological Association 345
Policies Governing the Journals 345
Editorial Management of Manuscripts 357
9 Bibliography 363
App. A Checklist for Manuscript Submission 379
App. B Checklist for Transmitting Accepted Manuscripts for Electronic Production 385
App. C Ethical Standards for the Reporting and Publishing of Scientific Information 387
App. D References to Legal Materials 397
App. E: Sample Cover Letter 411
Index 413
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Customer Reviews

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 66 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2009

    First Printing of 6th ed. has Mistakes

    The "first printing" of the APA Publication manual has mistakes. If you purchased a first printing of the 6th ed. APA manual, the APA said it will replace them free of charge up until Dec. 15th, 2009. Afterwards, you are out of luck. Call the APA at (800) 374-2721 or (202) 336-5500 and choose prompt #4. After you answer a few questions, you will be sent an e-mail with a free return shipping label and a form to be included with your return.

    11 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 7, 2009

    Be warned--many errors in first printing!

    I just received my copy. As a psychology professor, this text is required for my bookshelf--the same is true for students in this field. However, I was upset to learn that APA has already issued 7 typewritten pages of corrections to this manual, and they will not exchange the first printing for a newer print. This is a resource that you will use for years! Wait to purchase until the kinks have been ironed out and they are on a second or third printing of the manual!

    I am also disappointed that they do not clearly delineate the changes from the 5th edition. It looks to me that there are few important changes (2 spaces between sentences, etc.). Save your money for at least a few more months!

    9 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2009

    Failure of proper editing and lack of refund or credit for replacement

    The first printing contains numerous errors throughout the book. The editor releasing this first printing should have been fired, and if not already, the firing is appropriate. Likewise, there is no credit or refund for its replacement resulting from the dumb and unprofessional mistakes found in the book. B&N should remove this first printing from it shelves and inventory all together--it did no justice to its credibility.

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 22, 2009


    The sixth version of the Publiation Manual of the American Psychologial Asociation is a fraud. It is designed, by its own Introduction wordking, for those who consume content, not for writers or readers.

    The trucated work is not helpful, major changes are not flagged. People are referred to a dysfunctional Web site with significant uncontrollable and annoying audio monologues. The Web site does not even have a search mechanism. As the assumption is that users are not skilled and/or interested in reading, I guess it makes sense.

    Disciplines previously using APA should switch to AMA or Chicago. Those style guides are worthwhile.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 14, 2009

    don't buy 1st edition!

    Instructors have warned us of many errors in printing of first edition! This is a must have book for apa style papers and now I have to go print pages of corrections from their website!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 12, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Publications Manual Of the American Psychological Association, Sixth Edition does the job, but does not develop a compelling, innovative clarity.

    The latest edition of the American Psychological Association Publication Manual continues the more of the same style and format from previous editions. Maybe not designed to be a compelling read or even a read at all, the manual does its usual credible job of providing the necessities for the serious researcher. Unfortunately, the format is not conducive to the not-so-serious researcher who is forced to wade through to find simple explanations for the citing process. Indeed, the manual should include a simplified chart system to aid in the occasional usage of the manual.
    The manual should use some highlighting system to show the changes that were not included or are changes from last edition. Not-so-serious researches are not always aware of the changes without a nudge. Because the not-so-serious researcher is the one often most in need of the manual, changes and updates clearly highlighted and even explained bring a sense of usability to a process that can be daunting when not practiced often enough to develop confidence.
    The serious researcher has the complete system at one's fingertips if familiarity with the process and the manual have been established. The manual ensures that the serious researcher does not have to worry about the process details while trying to publish. Since publishing is so important to the serious researcher, this new compendium brings the research to the specifications necessary for all publications that serve the academic or research community.
    Not perfect, but necessary, the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Sixth Edition meets the needs even when it does not satisfy!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 28, 2009

    APA Publication Manual

    Excellent resource for writers of theses and dissertations, and journal articles. A must have for students and professionals interested in preparing any scholarly paper.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 7, 2010

    APA Errors

    I bought the first printing and was dismayed that it contained so many errors. After looking at the multiple pages of corrections, I decided to contact APA to inquire about a return. They were most helpful and sent me a return voucher and shipping label for me to send the book back at their expense. I was only out the $1.18 for the padded envelope. I sent the book back on Dec 18 and had my new copy on Dec 28. The 1st printing of the book deserves 1 star, but at least the company made good on their product. I caution those needing this manual: Make sure you are not getting the error-filled 1st printing.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 13, 2009

    Difficult but a must!!

    This book is useful for writing APA papers since it is the manual but at times its like reading stereo instructions. It takes a bit of getting used to and you are going to highlight and flag the daylights out of the silly thing. Somethings here and there do go against itself but once you get the hang of it, it can become a writer's best friend.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 12, 2009

    APA Guide

    Great for research

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 11, 2009

    So many errors, cannot use as reference

    The 6th Edition of the APA manual is filled with mistakes. So many, in fact, that the APA web site lists several pages of them. In addition, the sample research papers cited in the manual are replete with errors. The APA web site lists pages of corrected research papers as well.

    Here is the kicker: to get a revised manual, one must pay for it. They made the mistakes that rendered the 6th Edition practically unusable but will not replace it for free. What a gig!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 3, 2013

    Highly Recommended- it is a very helpful resource!

    I am currently a doctoral student and this book has been extremely helpful with citing sources, etc.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 17, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Fairly Useful

    Although you can pretty much find all this information in various places on the internet for free, it's really convenient to have it all in one place on your desk when writing a paper. It's a little hard to figure out exactly where everything you need might be the first couple times looking it up, but otherwise it's pretty easy to understand. All my professors recommended this edition, too, so when I am following it at least I know I won't be points marked off for that part. Probably.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2012

    one month later and still waiting

    Ordered a book a month ago from this company and still have not received it. I will not be ordering again from here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 8, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Manual complete but a bit too much for students of any age.

    The company is right. This is great if your going to professionally publish an article. It does have a lot of extras that could be useful if your doing a paper for school. I recommend getting the student pocket guide specially if your looking for something that just covers the basics and nothing more. The student manual seems to show certain things, like italicization clearly in examples. Not a bad buy but not what I expected.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 11, 2009

    Wait for 2nd printing

    This is an indispensable resource for anyone doing graduate work that requires APA style. HOWEVER, with their first printing, they have SEVEN pages of errata that are mostly in examples. I've heard that they've fixed them for the second printing, but I haven't see that yet. Just look at everything critically! It's kind of ironic that a major style manual produces a book that's so poorly proofread. I'd get raked over the coals for producing a paper with that many errors in it. LOL

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 4, 2014

    This is a prescribed text for one of my courses. The irony is th

    This is a prescribed text for one of my courses. The irony is that the course is titled Education Technology for Administrators, but we were asked to buy a text book. This should have been available on line especially since it is a collection of frameworks for writing a paper for the most part. APA ought to make these papers available on line. Just another money making racket!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2013

    A student's "must-have".

    A student's "must-have".

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 22, 2013

    An Indispensable Resource

    If you're involved in research, this is the book for you. Information is presented clearly and organized in a user-friendly manner. You don't have to spend hours trying to find how to cite a scholarly journal, an Internet source, or a book chapter. They're right there for you. Just check out the table of contents or the inside cover!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2011

    This book is very useful not only to those who are planning or going to have their manuscript publish, but also those who are submitting term papers at school (from post-secondary level).

    The Barnes and Nobles prize for this book is higher than Amazon.
    The new ones in Amazon is just $21.34, and the used is just $16.00.
    Search around online first on prizes before you buy.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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