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How to Cite the Physicians' Desk Reference in APA Format


The Physicians' Desk Reference provides information about drugs approved by the Federal Drug Administration, including dosage, clinical trials and side effects. In American Psychological Association format, it is cited like a book without an author.

Text Citation

Within a scholarly paper, information from the PDR is cited inside parentheses. The title is italicized and followed by a comma and the publication year, such as: (Physicians' Desk Reference, 2013). If the information concerns a specific drug, its name inside quotation marks is used instead of the title.

Reference Citation

An APA style paper has a "References" page listing sources of in-text citations. The title, in sentence case, is in italics, followed by a period. Inside parentheses is the edition number, with "edition" abbreviated "ed." Then there's a period. The publication year is in parentheses. After another period, comes the publication location, a colon, the publisher and a period. For example: Physicians' desk reference. (67th ed.). (2013). Montvale, NJ: PDR Network.

Specific Drug Reference

A reference to a drug has its capitalized name followed by a period. The year of publication is within parentheses. There's another period, then "In" is followed by the italicized PDR title in sentence case. Within parentheses is the edition number. There's a comma, and "p." for "page" or "pp." for "pages" is followed by the page number or numbers separated with a hyphen; then there's a period. The publishing information is the same as for a book reference. For example: Xanax. (2013). In Physicians' desk reference (67th ed., pp. 1987-1990). Montvale, NJ: PDR Network.

Electronic Citation

A reference for the PDR electronic version has the capitalized name of the drug and then a period. Next comes the website publication date in parentheses and another period. Finally, "Retrieved from" is followed by the URL.

About the Author

Living in upstate New York, Susan Sherwood is a researcher who has been writing within educational settings for more than 10 years. She has co-authored papers for Horizons Research, Inc. and the Capital Region Science Education Partnership. Sherwood has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction from the University at Albany.

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