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Citing Meeting and Symposia Proceedings in APA


Professional, government agencies, and corporations often host conferences in which researchers can present new material and ideas to their peers. Conferences tend to be large multi-day events while a symposium is a smaller gathering, usually conducted in one day.

Referencing information in conference for research paper

Using Proceedings in Research

Important current research is often presented at meetings and symposia, which is then published in periodicals, such as journals or even published in a book. These proceedings can be a good source for researching your school paper. It’s not difficult to cite published proceedings in APA format as it follows the book citation. You may also cite poster presentations the same way, if published.


Witten, I. H., Boddie, S. J., Bainbridge, D., & McNab, R. J. (2000). Greenstone: a comprehensive open-source digital library software system. In Proceedings of the fifth ACM conference on Digital libraries (pp. 113-121). ACM.


Note: Include the URL or DOI, if retrieved online.

However, if the paper or presentation has not been published formally, use this format:


Contributor, A.A., Contributor, B.B., Contributor, C.C., & Contributor, D.D. (Year, Month). Title of contribution. In E.E. Chairperson (Chair). Title of symposium. Symposium conducted at the meeting of Organization Name, Location.


Muelbauer, J. (2007, September). Housing, credit, and consumer expenditure. In S. C. Ludvigson (Chair), Housing and consumer behavior. Symposium conducted at the meeting of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Jackson Hole, WY.


(Source: Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association)

Paper Presentation/Poster

As part of a larger conference, which may be held over the course of several days, presenters may include poster presentations. Much like the science fair projects you created in school, these posters provide data in appealing, visual ways. Poster presentations also include a list of sources. This list may be handed out on a separate sheet or included on the poster itself, much like a slide show citation list.

Presenter, A.A. (Year, Month). Title of paper or poster. Paper or poster session presented at the meeting of Organization Name, Location.

Note:  Use the month and year of the symposium or meeting for unpublished works.


Herculano-Houszel, S., Collins, C.E. Wong, P., Kass, J.H., & Lent, R. (2008). The basic nonuniformity of the cerebal cortex. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, 105, 12593-12598. doi:10.1073pnas.0805417105


It takes a little more work to find published and unpublished proceedings of symposia, poster and other presentations, but it gives depth to your research and provides current thought on ongoing research areas.

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About the author

Adrienne Mathewson

Adrienne Mathewson, Editor-in-Chief of Bibliography.com, is an Information Professional with a Master’s in Library, Information & Science from San José State University with an emphasis on information literacy and scholarly publishing. She is a certified librarian through the State of New Mexico.

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