Answered By: Gabe [Research & Writing Studio]
Last Updated: Dec 18, 2019     Views: 88245

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 page 324 of the APA Manual (7th edition).

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: American Psychiatric Association.

Reference list

Print version

American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: Author.

Online version

American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.books.9780890425596

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.). https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.books.9780890425596

Lead with APA as author

American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Avoidant personality disorder. In Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.books.9780890425596

In text

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).

Comments (4)

  1. The correct APA citation is not Washington, DC.

    American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: Author.
    by Randye on Jan 10, 2019.
  2. Randye, thanks for catching the location error.
    by Gabe [Research & Writing Studio] on Jan 28, 2019.
  3. Why does the publisher section end with "Author"?
    by Stephen on Jul 28, 2019.
  4. @ Stephen: That's a good question. It's because whenever the author is also the publisher APA style says to use the word author in the place of the publisher name to indicate that they are the same. You see this most often when organizations are the authors of reports and publishers too.
    by Gabe [Research & Writing Studio] on Jul 31, 2019.

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