Message posted to an online forum or mailing list [from Electronic source using APA 5th ed.]


If the author's full name is available, list the last name first followed by initials. If only a screen name is available, use the screen name.
Provide the exact date of the posting.

Follow the date with the subject line of the message (also referred to as the "thread"); do not italicize it. Provide any identifier for the message in brackets after the title.

Finish the reference with Message posted to followed by the address of the newsgroup, etc.
The protocol (i.e. the first part of the Internet address or URL) may be news rather than http.

Standard Form

Last name, Initial (Year, Month Day). Subject line of the message [Message identifier - if there is one]. Posted to Internet address or URL of message


Electronic mailing list

Couper, P. (2006, September 26). Discussion on fieldwork safety training in HE. Message posted to Fieldwork-Safety electronic mailing list, archived at


Ullrich, D. (2002, December 19). What is Functional Analysis useful for? [Msg 4.]. Message posted to

Online forum or discussion group

Simons, D. J. (2000, July 14). Much Ado about SATs [Msg 31.]. Message posted to

Citation in Text

Safety is not to be taken lightly (Couper, 2006) but it is necessary ...

The absolutist approach to SATs (Simons, 2000) leads to the rapid devaluation ...

... as stated by Ulrich (2002) there is no need to ...



  • If no date appears on the item you are trying to reference, insert (n.d.) where you would normally give the year.