Citing a source within a source (secondary sources)
For sources that you have not actually seen (the primary source) but that are referred to in another work (the secondary source):
- In the reference list, provide an entry for the secondary source that you have read
- In the text, identify the original work and write “as cited in” the secondary source that you have read.
For example, if Bennett’s work is cited in a book by Stone (2013) and you didn’t read Bennett’s original work, list the source you did read (in this case Stone) in the reference list.
Stone, R. J. (2013). Managing human resources (4th ed.). Wiley.
Bennett (2001, as cited in Stone, 2013, p. 176) defined ... OR
Research indicates ... (Bennett, 2001, as cited in Stone, 2013, p. 176)
If the year of the primary source is unknown, omit it from the in-text citation, for example
Bennett (as cited in Stone, 2013, p. 176) defined ... OR
Research indicates ... (Bennett, as cited in Stone, 2013, p. 176).
Cite secondary sources sparingly – for instance, when the original work is out of print, unavailable or only available in a language you don’t understand.
- See Secondary Sources in the APA style website for more information.
- In a long or complex work (a book for example), you may help a reader locate the section you used by citing the part of the work in the in-text citation (e.g., “p. 176” in the examples above).