How to cite a conference paper in APA Style

This article reflects the APA 7th edition guidelines. Click here for APA 6th edition guidelines.

The format for citing conference papers in APA Style depends on whether the paper has been published, and if so, in what format. Note that a separate format exists for citing dissertations.

To cite a paper that has been presented at a conference but not published, include the author’s name, the date of the conference, the title of the paper (italicized), “Paper presentation” in square brackets, the name and location of the conference, and a URL or DOI if available.

Format Author name, Initials. (Year, Month DayDay). Paper title [Paper presentation]. Conference Name, City, State, Country. URL
Reference list Jang, S. (2019, August 8–11). Deconstructing the opposition of natural/arbitrary in Coleridge’s theory of language [Paper presentation]. NASSR 2019: Romantic Elements, Chicago, IL, United States.
In-text citation (Jang, 2019)


Citing a conference paper published in a journal

Conference papers are sometimes published in journals. To cite one of these, use the same format as you would for any journal article.

Format Author name, Initials. (Year). Paper title. Journal Name, Volume(Issue), page range. DOI or URL
Reference list Elgafy, A., & Lafdi, K. (2010). Nanoparticles and fiber walls interactions during nanocomposites fabrication. Journal of Scientific Conference Proceedings, 2(1), 15–23. https://doi.org/10.1166/jcp.2010.1003
In-text citation (Elgafy & Lafdi, 2010)

Citing a conference paper published in a book

Conference papers may also be collected in book form. In this case, you can cite one in the same way as you would cite a chapter from a book.

Format Author name, initials. (Year). Paper title. In Editor initials. Last name (Ed.), Book title (pp. Page range). Publisher. DOI or URL
Reference list Shareef, M., Ojo, A., & Janowski, T. (2010). Exploring digital divide in the Maldives. In J. Berleur, M. D. Hercheui, & L. M. Hilty (Eds.), What kind of information society? Governance, virtuality, surveillance, sustainability, resilience (pp. 51–63). Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-15479-9_5
In-text citation (Shareef et al., 2010)

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Frequently asked questions about APA Style citations

How do I format a DOI in APA Style?

Include the DOI at the very end of the APA reference entry. If you’re using the 6th edition APA guidelines, the DOI is preceded by the label “doi:”. In the 7th edition, the DOI is preceded by ‘https://doi.org/’.

  • 6th edition: doi:10.1177/0894439316660340
  • 7th edition: https://doi.org/10.1177/0894439316660340

APA citation example (7th edition)

Hawi, N. S., & Samaha, M. (2016). The relations among social media addiction, self-esteem, and life satisfaction in university students. Social Science Computer Review, 35(5), 576–586. https://doi.org/10.1177/0894439316660340

When should I include a DOI or URL in an APA journal citation?

In an APA journal citation, if a DOI (digital object identifier) is available for an article, always include it.

If an article has no DOI, and you accessed it through a database or in print, just omit the DOI.

If an article has no DOI, and you accessed it through a website other than a database (for example, the journal’s own website), include a URL linking to the article.

When should I use “et al.” in APA in-text citations?

The abbreviation “et al.” (meaning “and others”) is used to shorten in-text citations with three or more authors. Here’s how it works:

Only include the first author’s last name, followed by “et al.”, a comma and the year of publication, for example (Taylor et al., 2018).

How many authors do I include in an APA reference list entry?

You may include up to 20 authors in a reference list entry.

When an article has more than 20 authors, replace the names prior to the final listed author with an ellipsis, but do not omit the final author:

Davis, Y., Smith, J., Caulfield, F., Pullman, H., Carlisle, J., Donahue, S. D., James, F., O’Donnell, K., Singh, J., Johnson, L., Streefkerk, R., McCombes, S., Corrieri, L., Valck, X., Baldwin, F. M., Lorde, J., Wardell, K., Lao, W., Yang, P., . . . O’Brien, T. (2012).

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Is this article helpful?
Jack Caulfield

Jack is a Brit based in Amsterdam, with an MA in comparative literature. He writes and edits for Scribbr, and reads a lot of books in his spare time.

2 comments

Laura
February 16, 2021 at 5:01 PM

What should I do when I cannot find a volume and/or issue number?

Reply

Jack Caulfield
Jack Caulfield (Scribbr Team)
February 17, 2021 at 3:19 PM

Hi Laura,

Most journal articles do have volume and issue numbers, so do look carefully in the article and the publication or site where you found it to try to locate them.

However, if they're not listed anywhere, you can just omit either or both numbers. If you can only find an issue number but no volume number, it should still be listed in parentheses to identify it as an issue number, e.g. Journal Name, (4), …

Reply

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