Compact APA Style for Online Bibliographies

One of the marks of a professional is well managed, well written, and professionally presentable material. While not all of my content is professional, I have strived to make the appearance of my material lists (bibliographies) professional.

I spent a lot of time looking around at some friends sites that I knew had listings and could not really find anything consistent. At long last, I emailed an old online friend who also does a great deal of writing articles, books, and presentations. This little HOWTO is a translation of what he told is probably the easiest bibliography format for online lists.

Special thanks to Terry Sullivan for sending me all of this information.

Types of Material

In the online world, what to annotate and what not can be a bit confusing. As a policy, I simply do it with everything that falls into one of the following categories:

  • White Papers
  • Presentations
  • Articles
  • Books and parts of books

The above can be further compacted to:

  • Journals and Periodicals: White-papers and articles
  • Book: Books and book contributions.
  • Proceedings: Presentations etc.

This leaves us with three fairly simple methods for citations.

Different Types

Journals and Periodicals

The format for journals, periodicals, and for myself white-papers is as follows:

LastName, First Initial. [Middle Initial if author uses it].
(Publication Year). Article title, initial caps only.
Journal/Serial/Periodical Name, All Content Words Capitalized, Volume #, pages.

Journal titles are italicized or underlined, for example:

Fink, J. (2002). Tuning NetBSD systems. Sysadmin, Volume #10, 4.

For a more formal whitepaper I may have written, I simply adapt the style like so:

Fink, J. (2002). Compact APA Guide. (personal white-paper).


Books are a little odd. Following is the format:

LastName, First Initial. [Middle Initial if author uses it].
(Publication Year).
place of publication, company.

The title of the book is italicized and the leading letter capitalized. Following is an example:

Fink, J. (2002). Tuning systems. Sams Publishing.


I have yet to do a presentation outside of College. I doubt I ever will, however, for posterity, here is the basic layout:

Where (in italics)
Actual Location and Organization.

Here is a faked up example:

Fink, J., & Pal, L. (2001) Cross Building Systems using NetBSD. Proceedings of the 10th Annual NUUG Conference on UNIX Systems. (pp. 110-120). Newport News: NUUG.