APA Style (7th ed)

The next edition of the APA Style Publication Manual is due to be released soon (early October). Many of the details are currently unavailable, apart from what has been summarized in the introductory chapter, which is available for download. Is anyone developing a CSL for this once it is released? Some of the changes seem too cumbersome to implement by hand (e.g. up to 20 authors are listed in the reference list for publications with that many authors), which is why automating the whole process is especially beneficial for styles such as this.
  • I will be taking care of it. The changes look like they will be pretty minimal, so I expect to have it done within a few weeks of the new manual being published.
  • That's great! Thank-you!
  • Any update as to when this will be done? I'm still only getting 6th edition as an APA option.
  • See above -- the expectations is a few weeks after publication; the 7th edition came out 5 days ago.
  • I've been going through the Publication Manual and I was wondering how Zotero will handle the rule regarding article numbers (pp. 295, 318)? Whereas in the sixth edition article numbers seem to have been treated the same as page numbers (e.g., PLOS ONE, 10(10), e0141186), in the seventh edition the rule is that articles with article numbers should include the word "Article" (capitalised) followed by the article number (e.g., PLOS ONE, 10(10), Article e0141186.) This seems like a bit of a nuisance to me and I don't really see the rationale behind it. Will Zotero have a way of handling this rule?
  • We could do this in theory by adding a number field for articles and then testing for the presence of page, and if absent, print number with "Article" as a prefix, but I'm not a fan...
  • That sounds good, Adam, but I wonder how it would work in practice (an article number field isn't standard, so maybe there would be issues with importing entries from elsewhere?) And it would presumably mean that users would have to edit entries in their library that currently have an article number in the page number field? I'm not sure why the Publication Manual has opted for this as a rule—it seems to increase workload but with no appreciable benefit.
  • yes, exactly. This is messy, would also require us to update other styles, etc. I don't really see an alternative though.

    As for why APA did that... I'm sure they'll come up with some rationale, but my view is that many parts of the citation style aren't super well thought out and now that they've gotten rid of one stupid rule (issue numbers) they probably felt like they had to add another one for good measure...
  • edited October 9, 2019
    This has implications for import translators. Especially now that Elsevier journals now publish articles with article numbers instead of page ranges; this is another group of journals (BMC, Futures, MDPI, etc) where I must distinguish between single-page articles/editorials and longer items and manually add an "e" prefix to the numeric string.

    Will there be some attempt to automatically add the "e" upon import?
  • Wow, that is a dumb rule. Seriously, how can they still not be talking to anyone who works with bibliographic databases about these things?

    A reasonable rule of thumb could be to treat page values that have only one value (not a range) as an article number. This would be a false positive for very short articles (e.g., in Science or Nature), but would generally be correct? This would require the ability to test for page ranges versus singletons.

    Alternatively, perhaps this is something that would better be embedded in the citation processor logic—CSL page renders page or article-number if no page is supplied?

    Or, perhaps, like issue number before it, we just ignore the really stupid rule.
  • @bwiernik "This would require the ability to test for page ranges versus singletons."

    Alas, it is a bit more complicated than that. Several publishers that I deal with follow the law and engineering conventions and only provide metadata listing the first page number of a page range.
  • edited October 9, 2019
    I guess that one solution to this would be to convince publishers to preface their article numbers with an "e". I think that I have almost convinced A&I folks at Holtzbrinck Springer Nature Publishing Group journals [edit BioMed Central, in particular] of the value of this idea. Now, with APA's new style policies this may be the impetus to get that implemented.
  • "I guess that one solution to this would be to convince publishers to preface their article numbers with an 'e'."

    Wiley already does this, but I'm not sure how widely it's been adopted: https://authorservices.wiley.com/asset/photos/eLocators_text_for_author_site.pdf
  • I said above: ...several publishers...

    For example:


  • edited October 16, 2019
    I have maintained an online APA guide for our library for over 20 years, have taught APA for nearly 40 years, and have taught Zotero to my students for many years.

    Regarding the document/article number, it is placed in the page number position. APA is not saying all must begin with "e". Instead, that is one example they placed in the Manual. When I downloaded the Manual example from PLoS ONE into Zotero, the metadata put e0209899 in the Pages field. For BMC articles (and others) would download that document/article number metadata & place it in the page number position too, but it is up to the journal how that article number is formatted. The new APA rule is now permitting what Zotero has done for years.

    I agree we are seeing more publisher web sites & full-text databases which only provide the first page of an article.

    However I agree with all of you that requiring the prefix of Article is just insane for research managers like Zotero.

    Is there metadata code which identifies document/article number instead of page number? If so, couldn't we build in an IF statement that when it sees document/article number, for APA style it Then prefixes in the reference generator the word Article?

    There is an ACRL (librarians) webinar scheduled for next week to discuss these changes. I am hoping one of us will raise this issue, along with a few others (like dates of retrieval).
  • Update: A lot of the manual's "simplifications" are, in fact, really quite fiddly for items like datasets and computer software. Taking some thinking to handle these.
  • @mstrahan There is a `number` CSL field that could be used for this purpose. The problem though is that basically no databases provide this sort of number separately from the page numbers
  • Update: The new edition is in many ways more complex than the previous edition. My estimate of a few weeks was over-optimistic.
  • @bwiernik I agree the new edition changes are very complex, and will take more than a few weeks. Some are easy, like changing the # of authors rule for applying et al., but others such as the Article number (previous posts), are more difficult below the surface. Last Thursday I participated in a webinar led by three APA style developers. I also e-mailed one of them privately asking whether they considered how changes would affect research managers such as Zotero. It crossed their minds, but the emphasis was on making it both easier & clearer for researchers in general.
  • @DWL-SDCA Unfortunately, it looks like some journals preface some of their page numbers with "E" (https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/da.20432), so I don't think there is likely to be any reasonable way to separate "number" versus "page" when both are stored in the "page" field.
  • Honestly, as I mentioned earlier, I don't really think we need to worry about (for the most part) the page number. In my experience, Zotero will get it right. In @bwiernik example, Zotero correctly downloaded the correct page range & put it in the Pages field. This is the same situation for supplements or special issues, where each page number begins with "S".

    If a publisher does not provide that metadata at all, or incorrectly provides it, the researcher still has the responsibility to make sure the downloaded metadata appears correctly in the entry.
  • @bwiernik I wasn't thinking that Zotero would be able to automate this. My hope is that others will follow my recommendation and write to publishers to preface their article number with an "e" or some other character. I've written to the editors of several Elsevier journals and to the indexing and abstracting manager for BioMed Central.
  • My point though is that if that were the character, at least Wiley sometimes prefaces page numbers with “e”, so it wouldn’t be a great differentiator.
  • Yes Now I see what you mean.
  • A draft of APA 7 is available from https://raw.githubusercontent.com/bwiernik/styles/apa-7/apa.csl

    It still needs testing. Please let me know if you run into any issues or bugs.
  • Merci ! En installant le style j'ai constaté que la date de mise à jour n'avait pas (encore) été modifiée "2016-09-28T13:09:49+00:00"
  • The modified dates update automatically when the style is accepted to the CSL/Zotero repository.
  • edited November 24, 2019
    Fantastic work, thanks! One quick question; how do the APA 7th style guidelines require the usage of "et al." ? I have noticed in some references with multiple authors that et al. gets automatically applied for the citation, and in other cases it does not get applied. Review of https://github.com/citation-style-language/styles/blob/bd3a5f6e28c8eb6a63f06da64e42df486318f1d2/apa.csl#L37 shows that for English locale there might exist anomalous behavior?

    What are the specifications in the APA style manual for handling of exceptions with respect to citations pointing to publications from multiple authors?

    And how does this (apa.csl) implementation specify handling cases with respect to citations pointing to publications from multiple authors?
  • (The locale info you’re point to isn’t relevant. Those are just changing the translation of “et al” for different languages.)

    APA 7 says to use “et al” in text in all cases when there are 3 or more authors. The only exception is when more authors are needed to disambiguate two references that would otherwise be the same:
    (Smith, Wilson, et al., 2010)
    (Smith, Jones, et al., 2010)

    The style implements these rules correctly.
  • @bwiernik I know you have been working pretty much non-stop on APA 7. Any updates on when I will see it in my app? I'm working on my dissertation proposal now.
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