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Referencing Toolkit

APA : Secondary Sources

APA discourages the use of secondary sources unless the original work is unavailable. If you read an article or book which references some information that you also want to reference, always refer to the source where you found the information, not the original source. For example:

Sue reads an article by Alex Byrne in the Australian Library Journal in which he cites or refers to statements made by Tim O'Reilly on his website at Sue wants to refer to O'Reilly's statement in her assignment.

Sue would acknowledge O'Reilly in her text but her reference is to the source where she saw the information. Sue might write as her in-text reference:


(O'Reilly as cited in Byrne, 2008)
O'Reilly (as cited in Byrne, 2008) states ...


(O'Reilly as cited in Byrne, 2008)
O'Reilly (as cited in Bryne, 2008) states ...

In her reference list, Sue would write a reference for Byrne's article because that's where she sourced the information. The entry in her References would be:

Byrne, A. (2008). Web 2.0 strategies in libraries and information services. The Australian Library Journal, 57(4), 365-376.