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Referencing: Personal Communications (Interviews, Emails etc.)

Guide to APA 6th referencing style used at ECU

Personal Communications: General Reference Format

Personal Communications may include:

  • emails
  • private letters
  • classroom lectures
  • personal interviews
  • online chats
  • text messages, and
  • telephone conversations

Because personal communications cannot be retrieved by a reader, they are referenced in-text only. There is no entry in your reference list. 

In-text citation:
A. S. Parkinson (personal communication, May 15, 2004) notes that . . .

In-text citation:
This is a commonly used technique within the therapeutic setting (T. W. Willis, personal communication, August 10, 2002).

Personal Communications: Sample References

Source                                     In-text References End-text References
(reference lists require hanging indent)
Personal Communication
M. B. Haviland and T. Wong (personal communication, April 27, 2013)
 
(M.b. Haviland & T. Wong, personal communication, April 27, 2013)
Note: As these are not available to the reader, they are not included in the reference list.
 
Note: some types of interviews are not considered personal communications. When an interview can be retrieved (either as audio, video, or transcript), cite it in the appropriate format and include both in-text and end text references.
 
Note: Where a lecture is not housed on Blackboard and is publicly available include a reference list entry. See Lecture (PPT slides)

Personal Communications: Things to Remember

Note: some types of interviews are not considered personal communications. When an interview can be retrieved (either as audio, video, or transcript), cite it in the appropriate format and include both in-text and end text references.

Note: Where a lecture is not housed on Blackboard and is publicly available include a reference list entry. See Lecture (PPT slides)

End-text references:

  • Personal communications are not included in the end-text references.

In-text references:

  • A remark quoted from a formal or informal conversation is acknowledged by an explanatory note following the quotation.‚Äč
    • In-text citation:
      • (K. A. W. Crook, personal communication, April 18, 1971).
  • The same referencing style would apply when acknowledging a tape, a personal letter, or a transcript of a speech or dialogue.
    • These references are not included in the reference list.
  • In transcribing conversation or dialogue it is customary to mark the beginning of each speaker’s contribution by starting it on a new line.
    • Most publishers set conversation in single quotation marks, indented.
    • Scripts, however, do not use quotation marks for speech.
    • When a speech that is quoted extends over more than one paragraph, the quotation marks are repeated at the beginning of each paragraph, but the final quotation marks appear only at the end of the whole quotation – each individual paragraph is left open to indicate the continuity of the quotation.
    • Where one speaker quotes another, then the double and single quotation marks are alternated.
    • Example:
      • “What did Sue tell John?”
      • “She said, ‘Get lost’.”
      • Note: If any part contains matter not quoted, the final period comes outside the quotation marks.
    • Example:
      • He replied, “She said, ‘Get lost’”. 
      • Note: In general, periods are not duplicated, except where they are differently distinguished.
    • Example:
      • Did he hear the Speaker call, “Order!”?
      • He said, “Do you think I am mad?”.

Blackboard (lectures, etc.)

Source In-text References   End-text References
(reference lists require hanging indent)
Blackboard

(T. W. Willis, personal communication, August 10, 2012).

Note: Treat material from Blackboard as personal communication.

Note: As personal communications these are not available to the reader, they are not included in the reference list.

Organisation's Intranet

Sources on an organisation's intranet, may also be referred to as a personal communication, if they cannot be retrieved. See APA Style blog.

Examples from the blog:

Some readers have asked about how to format the citations for an intranet resource.

1. If your audience can retrieve the intranet resource, the citation follows the format of the document type. For example, if it is a report by a company on a company intranet (let's call the company "XYZ Company"), the reference follows the corporate author report format:

XYZ Company. (2014). Title of the report (Report No. 12345). Retrieved from http://intranetURLhere

In text: (XYZ Company, 2014).

2. If the audience of your paper cannot retrieve the document from the company's intranet (such as if you are writing for professional publication), then cite the intranet document as a personal communication. This format requires you to include the author of the report (here that's the company name), the words "personal communication," and the date you retrieved the document. You may wish to provide additional information about the report in your text, depending on what information is relevant. Here's an example:

Annual revenues for 2014 were disclosed in a report posted on the company intranet of XYZ Company (personal communication, December 21, 2015).

For a personal communication citation, there is no reference list entry because the document cannot be retrieved.

 

Personal Communications

 

 

 

 

Personal Communications

Learn how to cite personal communications, including emails, classroom lectures, personal interviews, text messages, letters, and telephone conversations, as well as how to cite or discuss other types of interviews, such as recoverable interviews or research participant interviews that serve as a data source for your study.