Answered By: Gabe Gossett Last Updated: Jan 14, 2016 Views: 53729
Note: The general guidelines outlined here can be used for older DSM editions as well, including the DSM-IV-TR
You should cite the DSM as a reference book, as directed on pages 204-205 of the APA Manual. If you are using the online version of the DSM then you would want to follow the guidelines on p. 205, example 29, of the manual.
For a reference work you will also want to cite the editor(s). With the DSM that is a little odd since they lump the editors in with the task force members that helped write the book and there is a good case for citing the work as having a corporate author: the American Psychiatric Association.
American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.
American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Retrieved from http://dsm.psychiatryonline.org/book.aspx?bookid=556
At the time this post was last updated the online version of the DSM did not offer a DOI for the entire book, but did for individual sections, which is why the "Retrieved from" URL is used instead.
If you are citing a specific entry you will need details on that entry as well. There are two ways you might possibly reference an individual entry:
Lead with entry title
Avoidant personality disorder. (2013). In Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). doi:10.1176/appi.books.9780890425596.295735
Lead with APA as author
American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Avoidant personality disorder. In Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). doi:10.1176/appi.books.9780890425596.295735
Format your in text citation as follows: (American Psychiatric Association, 2013) or ("Avoidant personality disorder," 2013). If quoting, be sure to include the page number(s) for your quote. If you will be citing the APA multiple times in-text, and are using an author lead in your reference list, you should list the first citation as (American Psychiatric Association [APA], 2013) and all subsequent entries as (APA, 2013).