Example of APA Style: Scientific (journal) article for publication

If you use a scientific article (journal) that has not yet been officially published, the way you cite it in your dissertation will depend on the article’s specific state of preparation. The APA Style has special rules on this issue.

Articles go through four stages of preparation on their way to publication:

  1. In preparation
  2. Submitted for publication
  3. In press
  4. Pre-published online

Pre-print and post-print articles

The American Psychological Association, which is the organization behind the APA Style, divides the above stages into pre-print and post-print. Articles in categories 1 and 2 are considered pre-print, while those in 3 and 4 are defined as post-print.

The biggest difference is that pre-print articles have not undergone peer review. Since post-print articles are closer to publication, it is also more likely that more detailed information will be available for them (such as the volume and issue in which the article will appear).

The page numbers and formatting will generally not be available until an article has passed through all four stages of preparation and the journal has actually been published.

The tables below provide examples of how to cite articles in each of these four stages. Pay particular attention to the specific wording that must be included in some cases and how other details change from stage to stage.

Article in preparation (pre-print)

At this stage, an article is in preparation and has not yet been accepted by a journal.

Note that the year reflects when the article was written.

 Article in preparation
APA formatAuthorLastName, FirstInitial. (Year). Title of article. Article/Manuscript in preparation.
In the reference listLinden, S.C., Jackson, M.C., Subramanian, L., Wolf, C. & Linden, D.E. (2008). Emotion- cognition interactions in schizophrenia: Implicit and explicit effects of facial expression. Article in preparation.
In the text
  • According to the article “Emotion-cognition interactions in schizophrenia: Implicit and explicit effects of facial expression,”… (Linden, Jackson, Subramanian, Wolf, & Linden, 2008).
  • Linden, Jackson, Subramanian, Wolf, and Linden (2008) suggested in the article “Emotion-cognition interactions in schizophrenia: Implicit and explicit effects of facial expression” that…

Article submitted for publication (pre-print)

An article at this stage is being reviewed by a journal – but it has not yet been accepted for publication.

Note that the year continues to indicate when the article was written and that a journal name is still not included, as it’s not known if or when the article will be published.

 Article submitted for publication
APA formatAuthorLastName, FirstInitial. (Year). Title of article. Article/Manuscript submitted for publication.
In the reference listLinden, S.C., Jackson, M.C., Subramanian, L., Wolf, C. & Linden, D.E. (2008). Emotion- cognition interactions in schizophrenia: Implicit and explicit effects of facial expression. Article submitted for publication.
In the text
  • According to the article “Emotion-cognition interactions in schizophrenia: Implicit and explicit effects of facial expression,” … (Linden, Jackson, Subramanian, Wolf, & Linden, 2008).
  • Linden, Jackson, Subramanian, Wolf, and Linden (2008) suggested in the article “Emotion-cognition interactions in schizophrenia: Implicit and explicit effects of facial expression” that…

Article in press (post-print)

At this stage, an article has been accepted by a journal and is in process of being published. In many cases, the article will be accessible only through the author’s personal website or the website of his/her institution.

Note that the year the article was written should now be replaced with “in press.” The journal’s name can also be included at this point.

 Article in press
APA formatAuthorLastName, FirstInitial. (in press). Title of article. Title of Journal.
In the reference listLinden, S.C., Jackson, M.C., Subramanian, L., Wolf, C. & Linden, D.E. (in press). Emotion-cognition interactions in schizophrenia: Implicit and explicit effects of facial expression. Neuropsychologia.
In de text
  • According to the article “Emotion-cognition interactions in schizophrenia: Implicit and explicit effects of facial expression,”… (Linden, Jackson, Subramanian, Wolf, & Linden, 2009).
  • Linden, Jackson, Subramanian, Wolf, and Linden (2008) suggested in the article “Emotion- cognition interactions in schizophrenia: Implicit and explicit effects of facial expression” that…

Article published online (post-print)

When an article is at an advanced level of preparation, some journals will make it available though online databases. At this stage, the publisher may have already issued a digital object identifier (DOI). If it has, include this information in your reference list entry.

Note that “in press” is now also replaced with the actual year of publication.

 Article published online
APA formatAuthorLastName, FirstInitial. (Year). Title of article. Title of Journal. Advance online publication. DOI/URL
In the reference listLinden, S.C., Jackson, M.C., Subramanian, L., Wolf, C. & Linden, D.E. (2009). Emotion-cognition interactions in schizophrenia: Implicit and explicit effects of facial expression. Neuropsychologia. doi:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2009.11.023
In the text
  • According to the article “Emotion-cognition interactions in schizophrenia: Implicit and explicit effects of facial expression,”… (Linden, Jackson, Subramanian, Wolf, & Linden, 2009).
  • Linden, Jackson, Subramanian, Wolf, and Linden (2009) suggested in the article “Emotion- cognition interactions in schizophrenia: Implicit and explicit effects of facial expression” that…
Check out all examples
Is this article helpful?
Koen Driessen

Koen has written multiple theses and founded, together with Bas and Richard, the thesis editing company Scribbr in 2012.

Want to be sure you are not committing plagiarism?

Have peace of mind and start our plagiarism check now.
Start the check Reliable & fast

No comments

Comment now