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Reference in APA 7

This guide provides formatting and presentation standards in APA 7 for ACAP students.

Secondary Sources

(Primary Author/s, Original publication date, as cited in Secondary Author/s, Publication date of current source)

Primary Author/s (Original publication date, as cited in Secondary Author/s, Publication date of current source)

Use secondary sources when citing a quotation (or an idea of a specific theorist/author) that has been found in another source.

Try to only cite secondary sources when absolutely necessary. For example, if the original work is out of print or not readily available. 

The primary source is the original source of the idea, theory or concept.

The secondary source refers to a a quote or citation from an author who has appeared in another author’s work.

You must acknowledge both groups of authors in-text. However, in the reference list you will only include the details of the source you have in front of you (the secondary source). 

Place the author/s of the primary source first, and the original publication date if known, followed by the phrase "as cited in". Then include the author/s of the secondary source followed by the publication date. Include page number/s if quoting. 


In the example below, we've read an article by by Dingle et al. (2008) in which Marsh and Dale (2006) was cited, and the Marsh and Dale text is out of print and unable to be borrowed or downloaded from the library. 

In this case, cite Marsh and Dale as the original source, followed by Dingle et al.’s work as the secondary source. Only Dingle et al.’s work appears in the reference list.


Developing therapeutic rapport with adolescents and young adults can be a long process (Marsh & Dale, 2006, as cited in Dingle et al., 2008). 

Quotation (a primary source as quoted in the secondary source)

Marsh and Dale (2006, as cited in Dingle et al., 2008) stated "it may take a long time to establish trust and rapport when working with young people" (p. 196).