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Citing Technical and Research Reports in APA


As you research for your APA 6 style school paper, you’ll likely come across sources in the form of technical and research reports. These types of reports are useful as secondary sources. They can help you find primary sources, but you shouldn’t rely on them as the basis of your thesis. However, original qualitative and quantitative research papers are considered primary sources.

Citation generator

Basic APA Citation Format

It’s simple to create your reference list entries for technical and research reports. Simply follow the basic book citation format for APA 6 style:

Author, A. A. (1998). Title of work (Report No. xxx). Location: Publisher.

As you can see, there is a place after the title to enter a report number. Enclose the report number in parentheses. There will not necessarily be a number, so don’t worry if you can’t find it. That number may also be called:

  • Contract number
  • Monograph number
Note: Reports published by the U.S. Government Printing Office will use Washington, DC: Government Printing Office for the publisher name and location.


Online Reports

For technical reports that you access online, you may need to append additional information at the end of your citation. If the publisher is also the author, place the name of the agency as the author. If not, then add this notation to the end of your citation:

Retrieved from Name of Agency website, https://www.xxxxxx

Examples of Technical Report Citations

A student Citing Technical and Research Reports in APA

Review the following examples of citations for technical, research and government reports.

Example of Corporate Author, Government Report

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. (2006). Understanding drug use: A guide for schools (NIH Publication No. 02-2301). Retrieved from https://www.xxxxxxx

Example of Task Force Online Report

Report of the APA. Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls. Retrieved from http://www.xxxxxxx

Example of Nongovernmental Organization Report

A nongovernmental organization, or NGO, is a non-profit organized around a common goal for the betterment of society. NGOs will often publish research results.

Terry, M.A & Lopez, F. M. (2010). Racism and poverty in the Bay Area. (Research Report No. 10.4). Retrieved from Organization Name website: http://www.xxxxx

Example of Institutional Archive

Many libraries, universities and other institutions interested in preserving documents provide archives for collections of work. This includes technical reports. Here is an example of a report archived at the University of Michigan.

McDaniel, J.E., & Miskel, C. G. (2002). The effect of groups and individuals on national decisionmaking: Influence and domination in the reading policymaking environment (CIERA Report 3-025). Retrieved from University of Michigan, Center for Improvement of Early Reading Achievement website: https://www.xxxxxx

Example of Issue Brief

An issue brief is a short summary outlining the problems surrounding an issue, written for a layperson. Include the issue brief number inside parentheses after the title, as shown.

Yosso, T. J., & Solórzano, D. G. (2006). Leaks in the Chicana and Chicano educational pipeline. [Latino Policy & Issues Brief Number 13]. UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center (NJ1).

Research Government Reports Too

Government reports are also good ways to find authoritative sources for your APA format school report. Study the reports carefully to determine whether they are primary or secondary sources.

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