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Citing Business Sources in APA Style: References: Guidelines & Examples

Guidelines

How references are constructed:

While specific details of a citation vary based on type of work (e.g., report, article, book), an APA citation generally has four elements: Who (author, corporate author), When (date of publication), What (title of the work and type of work if applicable), and Where (where others can find it): 

Author. (Date of publication). Title of the work. Retrieved from [URL or database name]

Guidelines:

Whenever possible, cite the actual author of the report or dataset. For example, if an IBISWorld report is written by John Smith, list John Smith as the author, rather than IBISWorld. However, if there is no author (e.g., a Passport industry profile), then list the corporate author (Euromonitor International) instead. 

Citing a webpage with no author.

Include both year and date if possible, but if there is no date, then use (n.d.) for "no date". 

Italicize report titles, book titles, and journal titles. Don’t italicize article titles

Capitalize only the first letter of the first word, the first letter of the first word after a colon or a dash, and any proper nouns in the titles of books, articles, webpages, and reports. Capitalize all major words in journal titles. 

Define a special format in brackets, such as [Company profile], [Chart], or [Data file], after the title.

Generally, include a retrieval date if there is only year or no date (n.d.) after author/corporate author.

Citing secondary sources

While APA no longer requires including database name and instead favors using publisher URL in "Retrieved from...", it doesn't prohibit using database name, either, depending on what makes the most sense in a particular situation. Many automatic citation tools in databases also include the long proxied (and sometimes unstable) URL generated by the database. This guide opts to use database name in most cases for a few reasons:

  • It's easier for you (students) so you don't have to hunt down the publisher's URL. 
  • A database like Business Insights acts as an aggregator that collects info from multiple sources (hence, multiple publishers). It's odd to say "Retrieved from [publisher URL] when you didn't actually get it from the publisher directly, but rather, through the aggregator. 
  • People often just copy and paste the long URL in the address bar, which may not be stable and therefore useless for anyone that tries to access it again. 
  • It's easier for your teammates and professors to quickly identify which library databases you've used for your assignment/project. 

** Paige Jackson's response to a reader comment in the blog post What to Use - The Full Document URL or Home Page URL?

"What should guide your decision is what is most likely to lead the reader to the document in question. In your situation, database information clearly suits your purpose best. So, yes, it is permissible to use database information in your situation. And to respond more generally, the Publication Manual is intended to facilitate clear and effective communication and is certainly not intended to hamstring particular users into implementing a style rule that is counterproductive for their purposes. We understand that some universities adapt APA style for their needs and are supportive of institutions' making exceptions to APA style when that is most effective."

Disclaimer:

This guide is created to help students cite business resources in APA style. The examples in the guide are adaptations based on interpretation of APA rules (6th ed.), as APA doesn't provide specific instructions or examples for unique business resources like annual reports or company profiles. 

More detailed guidelines and examples are available from the Purdue OWL page

Examples

For guidelines and examples of citing traditional sources such as books, articles, and websites, check the Purdue OWL APA Guide. Examples below cover specialized/unique business sources. 

** Resource name is highlighted in yellow.

10-K or Annual Report:

From company website:

Apple, Inc. (2016, October 26). Form 10-K [Annual report]. Retrieved from http://investor.apple.com/sec.cfm

From SEC website:

Apple, Inc. (2016, October 26). Form 10-K [Annual report]. Retrieved from https://www.sec.gov/edgar

Bloomberg BNA Tax and Accounting Center:

** Usually tax research resources are cited in the “Bluebook” style (aka, legal citation).

Adapted APA citation:

Bureau of National Affairs. (n.d.). U.S. income portfolios income tax accounting: Portfolio 575-2nd: Accounting for long-term contracts. Retrieved October 23, 2017, from Bloomberg BNA Tax and Accounting Center.

Business Insights: Global:

Company profile:

Gale Cengage Learning. (2017). Caterpillar, Inc. [Company profile]. Retrieved October 24, 2017, from Business Insights database.

SWOT report:

GlobalData. (2017, March 1). Caterpillar, Inc. - Financial and strategic analysis review. Retrieved from Business Insights database.

Industry profile:

Gale Cengage Learning. (2018). Construction machinery manufacturing. Encyclopedia of American industries. Retrieved October 23, 2017, from Business Insights database.

Business Source Premier:

Article:

Wilson, M. (2017). Amazon blends offline and online. Chain Store Age, 93(5), 16-17.

Company (aka, MarketLine) profile:

MarketLine. (2017, July 21). Intel Corporation [Company profile]. Retrieved from Business Source Premier database.

SWOT Analysis (also by MarketLine):

MarketLine. (2017, June 7). Starbucks Corporation SWOT analysis. Retrieved from Business Source Premier database.

Industry profile:

MarketLine. (2017, December). Packaged water in the United States [Industry profile]. Retrieved from Business Source Premier database.

Country profile:

MarketLine. (2017, March). Argentina in-depth PESTEL insights. Retrieved from Business Source Premier database.

Census

U.S. Census Bureau. (2015). Age and sex, 2011-2015 American Community Survey 5-Year estimates [table]. Retrieved from http://factfinder.census.gov

EIU (Economist Intelligence Unit):

Economist Intelligence Unit. (2017). New Zealand [Country report]. Retrieved October 23, 2017, from EIU (Economist Intelligence Unit) database.

IBISWorld:

Petrillo, N. (2016, December). Bottled water production in the US. Retrieved from IBISWorld database.

Investext: (analyst report, some including SWOT analysis)

GlobalData. (2017, October 6). Microsoft Corporation - Financial and strategic analysis review. Retrieved from Investext Plus via ThomsonOne database.

LexisNexis Academic:

Hoover’s in-depth company report:

Hoover’s. (2017, October 18). Tesla, Inc. Hoover’s Company Records - In-depth Records. Retrieved from LexisNexis Academic database.

Earnings Call transcript:

FD (Fair Disclosure) Wire. (2017, July 27). Q3 2017 Starbucks Corp earnings call - Final [Transcript]. Retrieved from LexisNexis Academic database.

Mintel:

Macke, D. (2017, June). Marketing to millennials - US. Retrieved from Mintel database.

Mybestsegments.com:

Zip code look-up:

Claritas. (2017). The most common PRIZM Premier segments for zip code 97210 Portland, OR . Retrieved October 23, 2017 from http://www.mybestsegments.com

Segment details:

Claritas. (2017). Segment 31: Connected Bohemians. Retrieved October 23, 2017 from http://www.mybestsegments.com

Passport (by Euromonitor):

Industry/market report:

Euromonitor International. (2017, February). Sportswear in the US [Industry profile]. Retrieved from Passport database.

Company report:

Euromonitor International. (2017, July 18). Nike Inc. in apparel and footwear (world) [Company profile]. Retrieved from Passport database.

Statistics:

Euromonitor International. (2017). Sales of luxury goods in the US [Table]. Retrieved October 23, 2017, from Passport database.

Portland Business Journal:

Article:

Covington, O. (2017, October 19). HQ2 or not, Portland is primed for Amazon engineering growth. Portland Business Journal. Retrieved from https://www.bizjournals.com/portland/news/2017/10/19/hq2-or-not-portland-is-primed-for-amazon.html

Book of Lists:

Portland Business Journal. (2017). 2016-17 Book of Lists. Retrieved October 23, 2017, from http://www.bizjournals.com/

ReferenceUSA:

Company report:

ReferenceUSA. (2017). Arnold Creek Cat Retreat [Company record]. Retrieved October 23, 2017, from ReferenceUSA database.

List of companies generated from a search:

ReferenceUSA. (2017). Pet boarding sitting & kennels in Portland, OR [Data file]. Retrieved October 23, 2017, from ReferenceUSA database.

RIA Checkpoint:

** Usually tax research resources are cited in the “Bluebook” style (aka, legal citation).

Adapted APA citation:

RIA. (2017). 2017 RIA federal tax handbook: 2360 foreign tax credit. Retrieved October 26, 2017, from RIA Checkpoint database.

RMA eStatement Studies:

Risk Management Association. (2017). Financial ratio benchmark data for NAICS 236118 for the year 2017-2018 [Data file]. Retrieved October 23, 2017, from RMA eStatement Studies database.

Simmons OneView:

Simmons Research. (2015). Spring 2015 NHCS adult study 06-month [Data file]. Retrieved October 23, 2017, from Simmons OneView database.

SMA Sports Market Analytics:

Data:

National Sporting Goods Association. (n.d.). Backpacks: % of consumer unit purchases by brand [Data file]. Retrieved October 23, 2017, from Sports Market Analytics database.

Article:

SGB Media. (2017, August 28). Big city mountaineers receives $25,000 from REI Force Of Nature Fund. SGB Update. Retrieved from Sports Market Analytics database.

Statista:

Compass Intelligence. (2015). Consumer wearables revenues in the United States from 2014 to 2019 (in billion U.S. dollars) [Chart]. Retrieved October 23, 2017, from Statista database.

Tax Notes:

** Usually tax research resources are cited in the “Bluebook” style (aka, legal citation).

Adapted APA citation:

Richman, N. (2017, October 25). Call stakeholder liaison first after data breach, official says. Tax Notes Today. Retrieved from Tax Notes database.

Wall Street Journal:

Reardon, B. (2017, October 24). Family businesses deserve a tax break. Wall Street Journal (Eastern edition), p. A. 15.   

Wharton Research Data Services (WRDS):

** WRDS is the platform that hosts the databases (Compustat, CRSP, etc.).

Standard & Poor’s (2017). Apple Inc. complete financial statements 2010-2017 [Data file]. Retrieved October 23, 2017, from Compustat - Capital IQ database (via Wharton Research Data Services).