How to cite a survey in APA Style

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

When referring to the content of a survey you conducted yourself in APA Style, you don’t need a formal citation or reference entry. When citing someone else’s survey data, follow the format of the source type it appears in.

Referring to your own survey or questionnaire

When your research involved conducting a survey and you want to quote from it (either the answers or the prompts/questions) in your paper, you don’t need to cite it. The survey is part of your research and not a previously published source.

Typically, you will include survey results in an appendix to your paper. If that’s the case, you can refer to the appendix the first time you quote from it in the main text.

Referring to an appendix
One participant stated that they found the intervention “unobtrusive” (see Appendix A for full survey responses).

If your survey is not included in an appendix, don’t include any kind of citation.

Citing data from a published survey

If it’s not your own survey you’re referring to but a previously published one, you should provide a citation. Survey data may be published in a journal article or book, in which case you should use the relevant format.

Survey data accessible in a database is cited in the following format.

Format Author last name, Initials. (Year). Survey title [Data set]. Publisher. URL or DOI
Reference entry United States Census Bureau. (2009). American housing survey 2007: Metropolitan survey (ICPSR 24501) [Data set]. United States Department of Commerce. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR24501.v1
In-text citation (United States Census Bureau, 2009)

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Citing unpublished raw data

If the survey data you want to cite hasn’t been published in any form (i.e., you acquired it directly from another researcher or organization), the format is slightly different.

Raw data might be untitled, in which case you should supply a description in square brackets. If it is titled, still include the description “Unpublished raw data” in square brackets after the title. If the data comes from a particular institution, include this at the end.

Format Author last name, Initials. (Year). [Unpublished raw data on Topic]. or Title [Unpublished raw data]. University/Organization Name.
Reference entry Dewey, F. (2020). [Unpublished raw data on remote work’s effects on employees’ self-reported well-being]. University College London.
In-text citation (Dewey, 2020)

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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.

1 comment

Jack Caulfield
Jack Caulfield (Scribbr Team)
December 17, 2020 at 12:12 PM

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