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APA Citation Style, 7th Edition: Government Websites & Publications, & Gray Literature

Government Websites, Government Publications, & Gray Literature

How to Create an APA 7th edition Reference for a Government report or Gray Literature
Author Date Title (SOURCE) Website Name (SOURCE) URL
Author, A. A. & Author, B. B.

(2020, August).
(2020, September 28).

Title of work. Site Name.

Retrieved December 22, 2020 from https://xxx.xxxx


Tips on citing APA 7th edition references for Government reports and Gray (or Grey) Literature (p. 329-331): 

  • Gray literature (or grey literature: either spelling is correct), is generally unpublished research that can include government reports, research reports, theses, dissertations, poster sessions, conference sessions or proceedings, etc... While gray literature is not considered scholarly (or technically peer-reviewed) it is still an important source of information because it is produced by researchers and practitioners in the field. It is often data, summaries, facts, statistics, or other information from current and ongoing research (Weintraub, 2000). (Paraphrased from Weintraub, I. (2000). The role of grey literature in the sciences
  • Government reports often contain a publication number or report number. Make sure to add this information after the title of the document in parenthesis.
  •  As in all other APA 7th edition citations, if the publisher is the same as the author (which can often be the case for government reports and gray literature), you do not include the publisher in the source area of the reference. 
  • If an agency or corporation is the author, the names can be abbreviated after the first in-text citation. For example, a first citation from the National Institute of Mental Health would be (National Institute of Mental Health, 2018), and all remaining citations would be (NIMH, 2018). 


Reference Example 1:

National Heart, Lung, & Blood Institute. (2016). The heart truth for African American women: Take action to protect your heart fact sheet (NIH Publication No. 16-5066). US Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health

In-text Citation (Paraphrase):

(National Heart, Lung, & Blood Institute [NHLBI], 2016) - first citation

(NHLBI, 2016) - all subsequent citations

In-text Citation (Direct Quote):

(National Heart, Lung, & Blood Institute [NHLBI], 2016, p.8) - first citation

(NHLBI, 2016, p. 8) - all subsequent citations


Reference Example 2:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2017, June 16). Clinical growth charts

In-text Citation (Paraphrase):

(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2017) - first citation

(CDC, 2017) - all subsequent citations

In-text Citation (Direct Quote):

(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2016, para.3) - first citation

(CDC, 2016, para.3) - all subsequent citations

Carrie Forbes, MLS

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Carrie Forbes
Laupus Library
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Subjects: Nursing

Page References

Citation information has been adapted from the APA Manual (7th Edition). Please refer to Chapter 10: Reference Examples, pp. 329-331 for more information. 

Helpful Tips

If you are citing a report, issue brief, or any other type of document issued with a number, include the type of document and number of publication in parenthesis directly after the title.

Example from page 329 of APA Manual:

National Cancer Institute. (2018). Facing forward: Life after cancer treatment [NIH Publication No. 18-2424]. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health.


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