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Bryan Library

APA Guide-Main Page: Citing a Government Document

General Rules

APA rules for citing government publications follow the same basic format as other forms of publication.  Provide all of the basic elements that are available within the source.  If a citation element is missing from your document, just move on to the next required element.

Basic format:

Author/Corporate author.  (date).  
   Title of work. Retrieved from 
   http.//www.webpage.gov 

The Corporate author is the government agency which wrote or sponsored the publication.  The corporate author / agency name needs to include the full hierarchy for the agency: start with the overseeing department name and then list the smaller "subdivision" agencies.  

Do not use acronyms or abbreviations, except for "U.S."

Example: 

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

Citing a Government Periodical

Most will have a corporate author rather than a personal author: 

 

Corporate author. (Year, Month/Date/Season). Title of article. Title of Journal, Volume(Issue), Page(s). Retrieved from http://www.departmentname.gov

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  (2010, April 2).  Interim results: state-specific influenza A (H1N1) 2009 monovalent vaccination coverage - United States, October 2009-January 2010. MMWR. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports.  Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/
preview/mmwrhtml/mm5912a2.htm

Citing a Government Data Set

A "data set" includes raw data (which might be imported into a spreadsheet for further manipulation) or interactive data displays.  (For complete details, see the APA Manual, 7.08.54.)  If there is no personal author, use the government agency as a corporate author. 

Author.  (Year).  Title of data set [Data file].  Retrieved from http://webaddress.gov

Centers for Disease Control, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.  (2008). SMART-BRFSS City and County Data (2008-Lincoln, NE Metropolitan Statistical Area) [Data file].  Retrieved from http://apps.nccd.cdc.gov/BRFSS-SMART/SelQuestion.asp?MMSA=48&yr2=2008&VarRepost=&cat

Citing a Government Report

"Government Reports" include technical and research reports, census statistics (in PDF format or in print), reports of task forces, etc.  Format these reports as you would a book.  If there is no personal author, consider using the government agency as a corporate author. 

Author, A. A. (date).  Title of work (Report No. xxx).  Retrieved from 
      
http://webaddress.gov

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.  (2003).  Managing asthma: A guide for schools (NIH Publication No. 02-2650).  Retrieved from http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/
prof/lung/asthma/asth_sch.pdf

Nebraska Health and Human Services System. (2004). Nebraska adolescents: The results of 2003 youth risk behavior survey of Nebraska public high school students (grades 9 - 12). Retrieved from http://www.nlc.state.ne.us/epubs/H8250/B006-2003.pdf