Briefing or working paper [from Electronic source using APA 6th ed.]


If documents found on the internet are clearly facsimiles of books in print format they should be referenced as e-books. Useful clues to look for are ISBNs or a PDF format with clear publication details and original covers. 

Many electronic sources do not provide page numbers. If paragraph numbers are visible, use them in place of page numbers (using the abbreviation para.), e.g. para. 582. Alternatively, cite the chapter or section, followed by the paragraph number (if appropriate) e.g. (Chapter 4, para. 3). 

Provide a description of the form inside brackets when it would assist the reader in identifying less typical types of sources (e.g. brochures, press releases, fact sheets etc.). Otherwise omit this.

Webpages can be volatile and subject to unannounced change. Therefore, it is important include the web address (or URL) for the webpage you accessed, as it may not be at that location when your work is assessed. A URL (Uniform Resource Locator) is the technical term for a webpage address. URLs can change, for example if the material you are viewing is generated 'on-the-fly' using content management software. URLs from these sites may be only viewable at the time of retrieval.

Whenever possible the URL you give should be a stable URL and link directly to the webpage itself. A stable URL, also known as a 'Permalink' will not be generated 'on-the-fly' and is more likely to remain accessible. To check if a link to a URL is stable, paste the link into the address bar of an Internet browser to make sure that it works. If there is no stable URL for the item, give the homepage of the website e.g. for reports from the Passport database.

Although you must give the full web address (or URL) in your reference list, you do not show this in the body of your essay. Your in-text reference must match the start of the reference as it appears in your reference list. Use the author if your reference has one; otherwise use the first few words of the title.

Standard Form

Author, Initials. (year). Title of working paper. (Series Title and number - if there is one). Retrieved from web address



Allen, G., & Dempsey, N. (2016). Prison population statistics (Briefing Paper Number SN/SG/04334).  Retrieved from

Diaz-Serrano, L., & Rodriguez-Pose, A. (2013). Decentralization and the welfare state: What do citizens perceive? (Document de treball n.32-2013). Retrieved from

Citation in Text

... rates of self harming in prisons rose by 62% since 2005 (Allen & Dempsey, 2016, p. 10).

 Diaz-Serrano and Rodriguez-Pose (2013, p.2) show that ...