Exporting or suppressing “Retrieved DATE” for select item types to comply with APA7
BLUF. To export “Retrieved DATE,” leave the date field blank. To suppress exporting of “Retrieved DATE,” enter “n.d.” without quotation marks in the item’s date field. This solution works for at least Dictionary Entry, Encyclopedia Article, or Web Page item types. Please post any success, failure, or recommendations for improving this solution. See below for additional details.
Issue. How to force Zotero (6.0.8) to export or not export “Retrieved DATE” in <Create Bibliography from Item…Output Mode: Bibliography> and the <Add/Edit Bibliography> function in the word processor plugin for <Item Type:> Dictionary Entry, Encyclopedia Article, or Web Page when the item does not have a date of publication?
Discussion. Section 9.16 of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, or the Concise Guide to APA Style, 7th Editions (APA7) requires a “Retrieved DATE” for some web pages and reference entries that do not have a date of publication but not for others. APA7 (2020) instructs, “Provide a retrieval date in the source element when citing an unarchived (i.e., not stable) work that is likely or meant to change” (p. 290). APA provides some examples in Chapter 10 (33, 47,104, & 106). See Reference Examples on apastyle.apa.org for additional examples.
Unless there is a Citation Style Language (CSL) specification I am not aware of and with which all websites complied, there does not seem to be an automatic process for Zotero to decide when to include “Retrieved DATE.” So, Zotero users will have to apply their best judgment and manual data editing to force compliance with APA7. Luckily, there is an easy method to do that.
Solution. For items without a publication date that require a “Retrieved DATE,” leave the <Date> field in the Zotero item blank. Leaving the date field blank will force Zotero to include the retrieval date in bibliographic output while still including “n.d.” in the date element, as shown in Example 1.
Example 1. <Date> = blank
National Initiative for Cybersecurity Careers and Studies [NICCS]. (n.d.). Home page [Government - Cybersecurity]. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. Retrieved May 20, 2022, from https://niccs.cisa.gov/
For items without a date of publication that do not require a “Retrieved DATE,” enter “n.d.” without quotation marks in the <Date> field of the Zotero item. Entering “n.d.” in the <Date> field will cause Zotero not to output a “Retrieved DATE,” as shown in Example 2.
Example 2. <Date> = n.d.
National Initiative for Cybersecurity Careers and Studies [NICCS]. (n.d.). Home page [Government - Cybersecurity]. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. https://niccs.cisa.gov/
I have tested the above solutions for <Create Bibliography from Item… > in Zotero 6.0.8 on Windows 11 and the <Add/Edit Bibliography> function in the Word 365 plugin for <Item Type:> Dictionary Entry, Encyclopedia Article, and Web Page. Please post any successes or failures you had for other configurations, item types, or citation styles. Also, please share any comments or recommendations for a more efficient solution to this issue.
You can alway delete the access date from your data to omit
Just as background for other readers, APA also says to include the retrieval date for data sets if that data set is designed to change over time (e.g., if data are still undergoing collection)" (APA PM § 10.9 - Data Sets).
Below are some other examples on when a retrieval date is needed from Chapter 10 of the APA Publication Manual.
Example 14 - [Journal] Article from the UpToDate database
Example 33 - Dictionary, thesaurus, or encyclopedia
Example 47 - Entry in a dictionary, thesaurus, or encyclopedia, with group author
Example 48 - Entry in a dictionary, thesaurus, or encyclopedia, with individual author
Example 49 - Wikipedia entry (if no permanent link)
Example 75 - Data set
Example 76 - Unpublished raw data
Example 100 - Map
Example 104 - Twitter profile
Example 106 - Facebook page
Example 114 - Webpage on a website with a retrieval date