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APA Citation Style, 7th Edition: Datasets, Software, & Tests

Citing Datasets, Software, & Tests

How to Create an APA 7th edition Reference for Datasets, Software, and Tests
Author Date Title (SOURCE) Publisher Name (SOURCE) URL
Author, A. A. & Author, B. B.


Title of dataset (Version 1.5) [Data set, or Computer software].

Publisher Name or Source of Data. 

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

The main concept that sets data sets apart from other types of APA citations is sharing the (version) of the dataset, test, or software after the title (in parenthesis), then following that, [Data set], [Test], or [Software] is placed in square brackets, followed by a period. The source information is very similar to other types of APA references, sharing the publisher of the data set, test, or software (followed by a period), and then lastly the live URL. 

Data Set


Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program. (2020). Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL): Recent trends in SEER age-adjusted incidence rates, 2000-2017 (SEER*Explorer) [Data set]. National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health. 

In-Text Citation (Paraphrase): 

(Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program, 2020). 

Note: In this example, there is not a person listed as the author. Instead, we listed the overall program that is providing the data set. In the source information the government department responsible for the program is shared as the publisher. 




Gosling, S. D., Rentfrow, P. J., & Swann, W. B. (2003). Ten item personality measure (TIPI). Department of Psychology, University of Texas.

In-Text Citation (Paraphrase): 

(Gosling, et al., 2003). 

Note: This is the only example that does not need an explanation of the the type of media it is listed in square brackets. However, you do need to share the version in parenthesis if there are multiple versions available. 




Borenstein, M., Hedges, L., Higgins, J., & Rothstein, H. (2014). Comprehensive meta-analysis (Version 3.3.070) [Computer software]. Biostat.

In-Text Citation (Paraphrase):

(Borenstein, et al., 2014).

Note: It's important to understand that common software and mobile apps that are are used to create a paper (like Microsoft Word, etc..) or mentioned in the document do not need to be citations. However, if you have paraphrased or quoted information directly FROM a software program, that's when you need to add a citation & reference. 


Carrie Forbes, MLS

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Carrie Forbes
Laupus Library
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East Carolina University
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Subjects: Nursing

Page References

Citation information has been adapted from the APA Manual (7th Edition). Please refer to page 337-340 of the APA Manual (7th Edition) for more information.

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