Wednesday, May 18, 2016


May 18, 2016

This is a rant against the use of APA Style sheets.
APA (American Psychological Society) style sheets for academic publications violate many rules that librarians use in the creation of cataloging and therefore makes finding cited materials difficult. Psychologists are not librarians and they don't understand how people do library research or how materials are cataloged and indexed.

Stuhlman’s Rule for citations – Citations must be reversible. That means the reader must be able to look up and with the correct library resources find the item cited. APA style violates this rule because full names are not used in citations.

I was reading a dissertation and an article that both used APA style sheets. The authors used in text citations according to APA. For example: “leadership and behavior (Pemnick, 2001)1 ” There is no page number. The rules for APA state that when using ideas, one does not include a page number. 2 WOW! That means I can’t check the citation either to learn more or to check the facts. The author can make a careless error or purposely mislead the reader. This is intellectual dishonesty. How does an editor let authors get away with this sloppy research style?

As librarians we should speak out against this kind of intellectual dishonestly. We should not accept citations that don’t allow verification.


1. I invented this quote just as an example. The reference is fabricated.
2. See: “In-Text Citations: The Basics” on Purdue’s OWL web site.

1 comment:

Michelle said...

I completely agree!!!