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.

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 name, initials (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 Berleur, J., Hercheui, M. D., & Hilty, L. M. (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, M. et al., 2010)

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Frequently asked questions about APA Style citations

How do I format a DOI in APA Style?

In your reference list entry for a journal article or other online source, APA currently recommends writing the full DOI address that gives access to the article. For example:

https://doi.org/10.1037/rev0000126

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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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.

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