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December 1, 2010

APA Citation Maker Updated to 6th Edition Guidelines
Last year APA updated its citation guidelines to the 6th edition of their Publication Manual. Since we were busy updating MLA Citation Maker last year, we started the APA updates this summer and are now done.   

 

What changed?
APA has a page outlining what changed when they updated to the 6th edition:  http://www.apastyle.org/manual/whats-new.aspx.  For the purposes of Citation Maker, the biggest changes relate to citing electronic sources.  As one example, if an online journal article has a DOI, or Digital Object Identifier, include it in the citation instead of the URL that leads to the article.  Also, we added several new templates, including ones for interviews, eBooks, online reports, blog postings, and podcasts.  Finally, we added extensive explanatory notes on the templates.  If you don't see the note "based on the 6th edition" at the top of an APA template, you might need to do a forced refresh.  (Windows: Ctrl + F5; Mac: Apple + R or Cmd + R)

Who Is "We?"
I would like to give a huge thank you to Marlene Hagen (librarian at Centennial High School in Gresham) and Deanna Draper (retired school librarian teaching at PSU).  As you know, there are tons of details to juggle when creating citations.  Marlene and Deanna gave up many hours this summer and fall offering suggestions for how the new templates should work and checking updated ones for accuracy.  The programming changes were done by Larry Pitcher, a consultant based in Washington, and were paid for with OSLIS grant money from LSTA.

Can You Trust Citation Maker?
As Marlene, Deanna, and I decided how to get Citation Maker to conform to the newest APA citation guidelines, we consulted many sources.  We found much variety in interpreting the updated guidelines.  To be honest, we believe some respected citation-generating sources produce APA citations in the wrong format.  For example, I got this citation in BibMe for To Kill a Mockingbird, a simple book citation:

Lee, H. (1960). To kill a mockingbird . Philadelphia: Lippincott.  

It has an extra space between the title and element-ending punctuation, and it does not include information about the state where it was published.  We saw mistakes by other citation experts, too.  Why do I mention this?  Only to emphasize that we went to great lengths to make sure CM works as it should.  When we thought something was unclear, we contacted the APA style experts and used their replies to format the template in question.  If you think there is a mistake in APA or MLA Citation Maker, please let us know and we'll fix it quickly.  We want to be your trusted citation generator.   

Will the Worksheets Be Updated?
Yes.  You can expect updated worksheets in a few months unless someone volunteers to do them sooner.

Our programmer went live with the APA changes this evening.  I think I see some display issues on the templates (not the produced citations).  If so, we'll fine-tune those in the next few days.

Thanks,
Jen 

Jennifer Maurer
School Library Consultant
Oregon State Library
250 Winter St NE
Salem, OR 97301
503.378.5011
jennifer.maurer@state.or.us