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APC uses an adapted version of the American Psychological Association (APA) style of referencing. The key difference, and the most important guideline to be aware of, is that APC uses footnotes to indicate the sources being referenced. We do not use in-text citation of author and date, e.g. (López, 2023).  

The format for the footnote is the same format used for a reference list in APA style, with a few minor modifications. However, since all the necessary information is provided in the footnotes, there is no need to compile and include a separate list of references/bibliography.

Below we provide some general guidelines as well as more specific indications, with examples, for the proper formatting of footnotes in accordance with the type of source being referenced. These guidelines must be followed when writing or editing/proofreading for APC.

 Some general guidelines

1. Please note that the superscript number used to indicate the placement of a footnote comes after any punctuation marks, including commas, full stops and quotation marks: 

  •  In 2019 the group launched a new website.3

  • “We have also launched a new website,”3 she added.

The only exception is when the punctuation mark is a dash:

  •  The new website3 – launched in 2014 – provides a wide range of resources.

2. When two or more sources/references are provided for a single statement, instead of inserting a series of multiple footnotes (e.g. Proper formatting of footnotes is important.4 5 6), which can prove problematic when it comes to the design and layout of a publication, please place all of the sources/references for that statement, separated by semi-colons, in a single footnote.

3. When an author’s name includes two or more initials, please leave a space between the initials, just as you would leave a space between names, e.g. López, M. L.

A special note on URLs

URLs (links) in footnotes should be hyperlinked. If a link is available with a secure connection (https), always use that as the target of the hyperlink (e.g. Please note that there is no need to indicate “Available at:” – if you provide a URL/link, it is obvious that whatever you are referencing can be found there. 

Guidelines and examples by reference type

Books and reports

Author, A. (year). Title of work. Publisher. URL (if the publication is available online)

Finlay, A. (2018). Action Steps: A decade of civil society advocacy in the information society – A baseline review of the Global Information Society Watch country reports (2007-2017). Association for Progressive Communications.  

Collins, P. H. (2000). Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment. Routledge.

More than one author

Smith, M., & Neupane, S. (2018). Artificial intelligence and human development: Toward a research agenda. International Development Research Centre. 

Chapter in a book

Author, A. (Year of publication). Title of chapter. In A. Editor (Ed.), Title of book. Publisher. URL

Diga, K., El Khoury, C., Jensen, M., Rey-Moreno, C., & Prado, D. (2022). Advocacy for community-led connectivity access in the global South. In A. Finlay (Ed.), Global Information Society Watch 2021-2022: Digital futures for a post-pandemic world. Association for Progressive Communications.

Journal article

Author, A. (Year). Title of article. Title of periodical, volume number(issue number), pages (if available). URL (if online)

Please note that there is no space between the volume number and the issue number in brackets.

Rao, N., & Lingam, L. (2021). Smartphones, youth and moral panics: Exploring print and online media narratives in India. Mobile Media & Communication, 9(1), 128-148.

Newspaper or online publication article

Please note that while APA style uses month date (e.g. May 21) when a full date needs to be provided, this has been modified to comply with general APC style (21 May).

Author, A. (Year, date month published). Article title. Newspaper/Publication Title. URL

Lapowsky, I. (2019, 17 March). How Cambridge Analytica Sparked the Great Privacy Awakening. Wired. 

If there is no individual writer specified

The Daily Star. (2018, 17 July). The situation of women workers in the RMG sector in Bangladesh. The Daily Star. 

Article on an organisation’s website without a specified author*

Name of organisation. (Year, date month published). Article title. URL

ARTICLE 19. (2021, 21 April). Kenya and Uganda: COVID-19 pandemic surveillance and threats to human rights. 

Blog post*

Author, A. (Year, date month published). Post title. URL

Moskovitz, D. (2019, 8 April). Publisher or postman?

Presentation, paper, etc.*

Author, A. (Year). Title of paper. Description. URL (if available)

Thinyane, H., & Bhat, K. (2019). Apprise: Supporting the Critical-Agency of Victims of Human Trafficking in Thailand. Paper presented at the ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Glasgow, Scotland, 4 May. 

Online video (YouTube, Vimeo, etc.)*

If the video is mentioned in the text, simply provide the URL.

Personal communication (interview, email, etc.)*

Brief description, Date.

Interview with APC Executive Director Chat Garcia Ramilo, 14 March 2021.

Official documents, instruments, etc. 

If you are citing a law, resolution, agreement, government policy, etc. that is referred to by name in the text (e.g. International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights), you can simply provide a URL (e.g.

Web page*

If you are citing information about an organisation, programme, campaign, etc. from a website, you can simply provide the URL (e.g. This also applies to short “articles” that you may find on an organisation’s website providing information about a particular subject (e.g. Unless it is an actual article with a date of publication (and perhaps an author), simply providing the URL is sufficient.

If the same reference is cited more than once…

If the reference is the same as the one cited immediately before it: Ibid.

If the reference is the same as one cited earlier: Author, A. (Year or Year, date month). Op. cit.

One last thing!

Since you also need to be familiar with and follow the APC house style guide when writing or editing for APC, you may have noticed that some of these examples do not comply with “APC style” – for example, they may use US spelling instead of UK spelling, there might be more upper case/capital letters than APC would use for certain types of title, etc. That is because we quote titles exactly as they are written in the original source. In other words, there is no need to “correct” newspaper headlines, journal article titles, etc. to comply with APC style.

*The formats for these reference types were developed by APC and are not based on APA style.