APA Referencing – How to Cite a Conference Paper
  • 2-minute read
  • 8th June 2016

APA Referencing – How to Cite a Conference Paper

So you’ve been to an academic conference and you want to cite a presentation you’ve seen. Or maybe you’ve just read the conference proceedings and want to cite them.

Either way, APA referencing has specific rules for citing a conference paper, so make sure you know how it’s supposed to be done!

In-Text Citations

In-text citations for a conference paper use the standard APA referencing style of giving the author’s name, year of publication and relevant page numbers in parentheses:

Many academic conferences are “oversubscribed” (Chatterton, 2002, p. 16).

If the author is named in the text, simply give the year of publication afterwards, followed by page numbers after the quoted text:

According to Chatterton (2002), many academic conferences are “oversubscribed” (p. 16).

If you’re citing the entire proceedings of a conference, give the editor’s name in place of an author.

Reference List: Conference Proceedings

The papers presented at a conference are often published as “conference proceedings.” If you’ve cited the proceedings of a conference as a whole, the information you’ll need to provide in the reference list includes:

Editor Name, Initial. (ed.) (Year). Title of conference: Subtitle, Location, Date. Publisher.

For instance, the proceedings from a (fictional) conference about academic conferences would appear in an APA reference list as:

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Ditor, E. (ed.) (2002). Getting together: The academic benefits, Atlanta, June 2002. PME Publications.

Reference List: Published Conference Papers

Rather than citing the entire proceedings, you’ll often want to cite a single presentation you’ve seen or read. For a published paper, the reference list entry should include:

Author Name, Initial. (Year). Paper title. In: Editor Name (ed.). Title of Conference, Location, Date (page range). Publisher.

So a paper from our fictional meta-conference would appear in the reference list as:

Chatterton, T. (2002). Anachronisms and conferences. In: Ed Ditor (ed.). Getting together: The academic benefits, Atlanta, June 2002 (pp. 15-23). PME Publications.

Reference List: Unpublished Conference Papers

You can also cite a conference paper that hasn’t been published, but the format here is a little different:

Author Name, Initial. (Year, Month). Paper title. Paper presented at Conference Title, Location of Conference.

An unpublished version of the Chatterton paper used in the example above would therefore appear in an APA reference list as:

Chatterton, T. (2002, June). Anachronisms and conferences. Paper presented at Getting Together: The Academic Benefits, Atlanta, Atlanta Metropolitan State College.

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