Answered By: Kate Plyley
Last Updated: Apr 10, 2019     Views: 6

The sixth edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (2010) describes multiple categories of “unpublished work” on pages 211-212, which are listed below along with examples.

The following instructions apply to unpublished and informally published works:

(1) provide the retrieval information or DOI at the end of the work, if available (p. 211);
(2) continue checking your references to see if they have changed status (e.g. progressed from “in progress” to “submitted for publication”) (p. 211);
(3) “for unpublished or informally published works, give the year the work was produced” (p. 185); and
(4) “write in press in parentheses for articles that have been accepted for publication but that have not yet been published” (p. 185).

Please see the following examples for various references to manuscripts at different stages of the publication process:

Unpublished manuscript with a university cited (p. 211)

Holmes, S., & Watson, J.H. (2016). The merits of working collaboratively and employing mixed methods to solve crime. Unpublished manuscript, Department of Criminology, Baker University, London, United Kingdom.

Manuscript in progress (pp. 211-212)

Holmes, S. (2015). The art of deductive reasoning and its application to crime solving. Manuscript in preparation.

Manuscript submitted for publication (pp. 211-212)

Note: Do not include the name of the journal to which the manuscript has been submitted (p. 212).

Watson, J.H. (2016). Medical approaches to assisting with mysteries and investigations. Manuscript submitted for publication.

Manuscript accepted for publication but not yet published (p. 212) (example on p. 200)

Watson, J.H. (in press). Medical approaches to assisting with mysteries and investigations. London Journal of Medicine, Forensics, and Criminology. Retrieved from

Unpublished raw data from study, untitled work (p. 212)

Holmes, S., & Watson, J.H. (2017). [Case statistics tracking percentage of cases accepted, time spent per case, and overall success rates]. Unpublished raw data.

Informally published or self-archived work (p. 212)

Moriarty, J. (2019). A battle of wits: Strategies for outsmarting your opponents and evading capture. Retrieved from http://heroes-and-nemeses/archive/221B/

Additional Resources

For more information about citing/referencing unpublished works, please visit the APA Style Blog entry entitled “Almost Published.” For more general information about citing academic journal articles, please see the WriteAnswers entries: “How do I reference a journal article that has a DOI in APA Style?” and “How do I reference a journal article in APA Style (no DOI)?.”


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