Psychology in the News

Basic guidelines for attribution

This site is an academic enterprise, and it should uphold the same standards of originality and attribution that apply to printed papers. That basically means:

  • You need to give credit for information that you gather from other sources, whether they are published in print or on the web.
  • You need to put words that are not your own in quotations, and give very explicit credit to the author.
  • Borrowing something that is quoted in another source is strongly discouraged.  For example, you may be tempted to use a quote from a scientist, that is reported in a news story.  But that would require citing both the original source (the scientist) and the secondary source (the author of the article).  It would be easier to just paraphrase (still citing the secondary source, of course).
  • You should err on the side of more credit to others, not less.
  • When in doubt, consult the VC guidelines for originality and attribution.
  • The basic style of attribution on this site is APA style, which is described in full in the APA Manual, and more briefly on Purdue’s excellent Online Writing Laboratory, and even more briefly in my own example paper of citations and references. These guides all describe the style for printed papers and manuscripts.

However, because this is a blog the style for giving credit is a little different than for an academic paper.

  • You should provide links to publicly available sources on the web, in the form of a web address enclosed in parentheses. for example (
  • You should provide APA style citations for sources which are not freely available on the web. For example, you would cite our textbook as follows (Meyers, 2007).
  • All sources, whether they are on the web or not, should get a reference at the end, as in the example below.


Meyers, D. G. (2007). Psychology (8th ed., in modules).  New York: Worth.

Purdue University Online Writing Lab (2002). Using American Psychological Association (APA) format (Updated to 5th Edition). Retrieved October 18, 2004, from


1 Comment »

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    Comment by Chelsey — September 17, 2014 @ 5:22 am

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