How to cite a report in APA

APA report citation

Research and technical reports are often referred to as grey literature: material that is created by governments, academics or companies, but not by commercial or academic publishers. Even though reports may or may not be peer reviewed, it is legit to cite them in your work.

If the report can be found online take a look at our APA online report guide.

To cite a report in a reference entry in APA style 6th edition include the following elements:

  1. Author(s) of the report: Give the last name and initials (e. g. Watson, J. D.) of up to seven authors with the last name preceded by an ampersand (&). For eight or more authors include the first six names followed by an ellipsis (…) and add the last author's name.
  2. Year of publication: Give the year in brackets followed by a full stop.
  3. Title of the report: Only the first letter of the first word and proper nouns are capitalized.
  4. Report number: Give the number of the report preceded by 'Report No.'
  5. Place of publication: List the city and the US state using the two-letter abbreviation. Spell out country names if outside of the UK or the USA.
  6. Publisher: When the publisher is the same as the author it can be substituted by the word 'Author'.

Here is the basic format for a reference list entry of a report in APA style 6th edition:

Author(s) of the report. (Year of publication). Title of the report (Report No. Report number). Place of publication: Publisher.

Take a look at our reference list examples that demonstrate the APA style guidelines in action:


The print version of a report by one author

Loban, W. (1976). Language Development: Kindergarten through Grade Twelve (NCTE Committee on Research Report No. 18). Washington, DC: Office of Education.

The print version of a report by one author

Langer, J. A. (1987). How Writing Shapes Thinking: A Study of Teaching and Learning (NCTE Research Report No. 22). Washington, DC: National Inst. of Education.

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This citation style guide is based on the official Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th edition).

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