Intranet sources according to the APA Style

The APA Style shows exactly how you should record a source in the reference list.

But what do you do with a source that you obtained from the intranet and that is accessible only for the company where you are an intern?

Short answer

We recommend that you treat an intranet source in your dissertation as you would a normal internet source. So, place a short reference in the text and a complete record in your reference list. In addition, mention in a footnote that the source is not publicly accessible. You can use the Scribbr APA Generator for this purpose.

Example – Intranet source and APA

You use a directive that is on the intranet of the company Apple.

Short citation in the text

From the directive (Apple, 2014)1 it appears that the fixed working hours of 9:00 to 18:00 are…

Complete reference in the reference list

Apple. (2014, September 18). Employees directive [Directive]. Accessed on intranet.apple.com/newsupdate/directive.pdf

Example – Footnote with an intranet source

Intranet source APA footnote

The complete, more nuanced answer can be found below.

A source from the intranet

Sources from the intranet, such as a figure or table about the sales figures or an internal work rule, for example, are not accessible to the public.

When you use a source that is not publicly available, mention the source briefly in the text but not in the reference list. We then call the source ‘personal communication’. This means that you should consider a source from the intranet as a ‘personal communication’.

In the official guidelines of APA Style, there is nothing about using a source from the intranet. But on the APA’s blog there is an answer to a question about using intranet sources. It appears from the answer that there are two options.

Option 1 – Source is not available to the readers of your dissertation

When you, as the writer, know that the readers of your dissertation have no access to the source, then you treat the intranet source as ‘personal communication’. Thus, you don’t record the source in the reference list.

Example – Option 1

A table that you have found on the intranet.

Short reference in the text

From the numbers in the table (Apple, personal communication, September 18, 2014), it appears that the company sold fewer articles of clothing in the past year than in the prior year.

Option 2 – Source is available to the readers of your dissertation

If you know that readers also have access to the intranet, then treat the source as a normal internet source. This means that you refer to the source in the text in the normal manner and that you also record the source in the reference list. With the Scribbr APA Generator, you can easily generate the source.

Example – Option 2

An illustration that you have found on the intranet.

Short reference in the text

Listed in the illustration (Apple, 2014) are the following competitors…

Complete reference in the reference list

Apple. (2014, September 18). American competitors [Illustration]. Accessed on intranet.apple.com/newsupdate/competitors1.jpg

The solution

These days, it happens very often that some readers of your dissertation will have access to the source and others will not. For example, if you are doing an internship with a company, then your boss will have access to the source on the intranet but your dissertation supervisor will naturally not. Deciding between Option 1 and Option 2 is difficult here. We recommend the following solution to you.

When using a source from the intranet, always choose Option 2. You treat the source as a normal internet source and record the source briefly in the text and completely in the reference list. In addition, you use a footnote to indicate that the source originates on the intranet and may be inaccessible to the reader.

Example – Intranet source and APA

You use a directive that is on the intranet of the company Apple.

Short citation in the text

From the directive (Apple, 2014)1 it appears that the fixed working hours of 9:00 to 18:00 are…

Complete reference in the reference list

Apple. (2014, September 18). Employees directive [Directive]. Accessed on intranet.apple.com/newsupdate/directive.pdf

Example – Footnote with an intranet source

Intranet source APA footnote

Is this article helpful?
Bas Swaen

Bas is co-founder of Scribbr. Bas loves to teach and is an experienced thesis writer. He tries to help students with writing clear and easy to comprehend articles about difficult topics.

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