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American Psychological Association, publication guidelines, style, writing



  1. Russell, Cynthia L.
  2. Aud, Myra A.


Background: The purpose of this article is to highlight the substantive changes and enhancements between the 4th edition and new 5th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association so that modifications and enhancements are more easily incorporated into the reader's writing and editing practice.


Approach: The 4th and new 5th editions of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association were compared and substantive changes are presented.


Results: The following text style requirements are addressed: (a) use of parentheses to enclose statistical values, (b) use of italics, and (c) presentation of statistical data. Reference citation style changes include: (a) use of italics instead of underlining, (b) use of et al., and (c) use of the hanging indent. With the explosion of electronic media use, guidelines for documenting these sources are reviewed. Appropriate use of adverbs and research subject descriptors, submission of manuscripts on disks or files, responsibilities of corresponding authors, and converting the dissertation into a journal article are addressed.


Discussion: This information should assist the reader to quickly and accurately focus upon the enhancements and changes in the recently released APA 5th edition. Hopefully these changes will easily be incorporated into the readers' editing responsibilities, manuscripts, and subsequent publications.