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How should I reference a conference paper or poster in APA Style?

Last Updated: Apr 18, 2016  |  2489 Views

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Please refer to pages 206-207 in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (2010) for information and examples. If the paper or poster has been formally published, use the formatting for the resource type (e.g., a chapter in a book or periodical article) to reference the resource. If the resource hasn't been formally published, see below.

On page 207, you'll see the following example for a reference to a conference paper abstract retrieved online:

Liu, S. (2005, May). Defending against business crises with the help of intelligent agent based early warning solutions. Paper presented at the Seventh International Conference on Enterprise Information Systems, Miami, FL. Abstract retrieved from

In-text citation: (Liu, 2005, para. X)


If you retrieved a conference paper online (versus an abstract, as shown above), and the paper wasn't published as part of a larger conference proceedings document (such as in a periodical or a book), you can use the same formatting, but replace "Abstract" with "Paper":

Lastname, A. A. (Year, Month). Title of paper. Paper presented at Conference Name, Location. Paper retrieved from URL

In-text citation: (Lastname, year, p. X)


Lastname, A. A. (Year, Month). Title of poster. Poster session presented at the meeting of Organization Name, Location. Poster retrieved from URL

In-text citation: (Lastname, year, para. X)

Date in reference

Regarding the date of publication, "for symposium contributions and paper or poster presentations that have not been formally published, give the month and year of the symposium or meeting in the reference" (American Psychological Association, 2010, p. 206).


American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: Author. 

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