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Human Development & Leadership

Business Sources

Census Data

Find the permalink to cite the Census table directly whenever possible, rather than the various visualization tools such as Census Business Builder which do not usually have permalinks.

U.S. Census Bureau. (2017). Construction: Summary statistics for the US, states, and selected geographies (Table EC1723BASIC) [Data set]. U.S. Department of Commerce.

U.S. Census Bureau. (n.d.). QuickFacts: Madison city, Wisconsin. U.S. Department of Commerce. Retrieved June 18, 2020, from

U.S. Census Bureau. (n.d.). Census business builder: Small business edition - 3.0.1 [Map showing restaurants in the Dane County, WI area and surrounding counties].  U.S. Department of Commerce. Retrieved June 18, 2020, from

Global Edge

Michigan State University. (n.d.). Afghanistan: Introduction. GlobalEdge. Retrieved June 2, 2020, from

Michigan State University (n.d.) Country comparator. GlobalEdge.


If the report has a unique identifier number, use it in parentheses after the title. In this case, include a more specific description in the brackets than just [Industry report] as is often used elsewhere, because IBIS has risk and other reports as well as global, state, and other levels of industry reports, and sometimes the titles and numbers are the same. 

Diment, D. (2019, December). Corporate wellness services (OD4621) [U.S. specialized industry report] . IBISWorld.

MarketLine via Business Source Complete

MarketLine. (2020). Air freight in Australia [Industry profile]. Business Source Complete.

Mergent Online

Mergent. (n.d.). Hain Celestial Group [Company profile]. Retrieved June 3, 2020, from 

Mergent. (n.d.). Hain Celestial Group: R. Dean Hollis [Executive bio]. Retrieved June 3, 2020, from 

Value Line

Look at the bottom of the company’s stock page for the dates of the PDF reports -- usually approximately quarterly. Those are the archived reports and should be the preferred date.

Value Line. (2020, May 22). Delta Air Lines. Value Line Investment Survey.

Web-based data sets (WHO, IMF, trade data, the Federal Reserve, etc.)

Use a direct/permalink URL whenever available.  

International Financial Statistics. (2020). Government finance: Japan 2013-2020 [Data set]. International Monetary Fund. 

World Health Organization. (2020, June 2). Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Situation report - 134.

Bureau of Economic Analysis. (2020, May 28). Price indexes for personal consumption expenditures by major type of product and by major function. (Table 2.3.4U) [Data set]. United States Department of Commerce. 

Eurostat. (2020). Area under organic farming [Data set].

General Principles for DOIs

DOIs, if available, should always be used instead of the URL (whether you read the print or the online version of a work)

  • But if there’s no DOI and it’s widely available from a number of academic research databases, then use no URL or database information at all -- thus, many periodical articles without DOIs will look like a print article citation

  • DOIs should be formatted only like this: 

  • If no DOI but it does have a URL that will resolve for readers (i.e., not behind a paywall), then include that URL

  • Format any DOIs or URLs as a live link if the doc is to be published online

  • DOIs or URLs in a printed list can be blue-font/underlined or normal/not-underlined


  • No database info needed if it’s something widely available from multiple sources (e.g., most periodical articles, press releases, stock info)

  • If it is NOT widely available from multiple sources (i.e. it’s proprietary), then list the database information:

    • Read the full page on database information in references for more detail. According to Timothy McAdoo from APA, we are treating most business databases as “Works of Limited Circulation” on that page: 

    • “The name of the database or archive is provided in the source element (in title case without italics), the same as a publisher name, and followed by a period.”

    • “If the URL requires a login or is session-specific (meaning it will not resolve for readers), provide the URL of the database or archive home page or login page instead of the URL for the work.” 

    • Some individual schools may wish to include the proxied-login link if that is what their professors prefer; if the work is being shared only with other people who are part of the campus community who would also have access to the content behind the login, one could make the argument that the URL would resolve for that audience. But for the examples in this document, the homepage URL has been used.


  • Follow the general APA rules for the author names, including corporate or governmental authors. 

  • Do not include anything like Inc., LLC, etc. in the author name, even if it’s a corporate author. See p. 296 in the Manual.

  • United States and United Kingdom may be spelled out or abbreviated; if the acronym is used as an adjective, use U.S. or U.K., but no periods if it is used as a noun. See section 6.2 in the Manual.

  • In many cases, the business database name is different from the company name. If so, use the company name as Author if it’s clearly visible from the content page you are looking at, and the database name as the Source.

  • If the Author and Source/Publisher are the same, no need to repeat it in the Source. See p. 296 in the Manual.

  • If the company name is not evident unless you do a separate Google search, then you can use the database name as the Author (per Timothy McAdoo).

No “Retrieved from” text before the DOI or URL, unless you also need to include the retrieval date. 

You can include both a parenthetical part of the title (like a report number) and a [Description in square brackets] in one citation, as in this example, or two sets of square brackets if absolutely needed. Non-italics for both parts and use a period only after the final square bracket.