How to Cite the DSM-5 in APA Format

The fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, abbreviated DSM-5, is the ultimate resource for mental health professionals. Published by the American Psychiatric Association, the DSM-5 provides diagnostic criteria for all psychiatric disorders, which makes it an authoritative reference for research papers. Citations for the DSM-5 follow American Psychological Association, or APA, format.

Step 1

Familiarize yourself with the format for citing books in APA style. The APA citation for books follows the format:
Author. (Year of Publication). Title of work (italicized). Location: Publisher.

Step 2

Plug the information for the DSM-5 in the APA citation format. The American Psychiatric Association serves as the author of the DSM-5. It is the fifth edition, which was published in 2013 in Arlington, Virginia by American Psychiatric Publishing. The reference list entry would be written as: American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing. The book title will be italicized in your reference list. Note that only the first letter of the first word in the title is capitalized. “5th edition” is placed in parentheses after the title to indicate you referenced the DSM-5. Also remember that this entry in your reference list should use a hanging indent for proper formatting.

Step 3

Use the digital object identifier, or DOI, in place of the publisher when referencing the online edition of the DSM-5. Each chapter of the online DSM-5 has its own DOI, so the reference will indicate the chapter of the book as well as the DOI, as follows: American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Depressive disorders. In Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). doi:10.1176/appi.books.9780890425596.807874 In this citation, the chapter title “Depressive disorders” would not be italicized, but the book title should be in italics. Note the absence of a period at the end of the DOI.

Step 4

Use in-text citations that refer to sources in your reference list. On the first use of the DSM-5 in your text, you must write out the full name of the book and the full name of the American Psychiatric Association. For example, you would write, “The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th edition; American Psychiatric Association, 2013) separates depressive disorders from bipolar and related disorders.” The book title would be italicized in your text, and the remainder of the in-text citation is placed inside parentheses. Note the colon after “5th edition” and the comma between the author and year.

Step 5

Use abbreviations after your first in-text citation. You may use the abbreviation “DSM-5” in the text after you used the full title. This acronym should be italicized, as it refers to the title of a book. You may also choose to abbreviate the American Psychiatric Association to “APA,” but your first citation must include the full name followed by “APA,” written in brackets.

For example, if you write “(5th edition; American Psychiatric Association [APA], 2013)” as your first in-text citation, subsequent citations can be written as “(APA, 2013)”.

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