Internal document [from Print source using APA 5th ed.]


An internal document has not been published, but produced within an organisation, for internal use, for example course notes or a unit handbook.

As this may not be a recoverable item for the reader, it is important to show that it is unpublished.

Standard Form

Author, Initials. or Organisation if no named author. (year, plus month and day if given). Document title (policy/report/circular number if given). Unpublished internal document, Organisation (if not listed first).


Bonar, I. (2003, October). Library policies and decision making. Unpublished internal document, University of Portsmouth.

Hampshire Constabulary. (2006, April 10). Student charter. Unpublished internal document.

Savage, S. (Ed.). (2007). Understanding society and social problems (probation) (2 vols.). Unpublished internal document, University of Portsmouth.

Citation in Text

The library's stock editing policy (Bonar, 2003, p. 18) lays down that ...

Hampshire Constabulary (2006, p. 1) specify that a student may ...

... a lack of a coherent strategy (Savage, 2007, p. 15) leads to ...


  • Please note that the third example is a distance learning unit from the Institute of Criminal Justices Studies. Avoid over-reliance on unit materials or course notes which are designed as introductory texts and which you are expected to supplement from the sources referred to in the unit, and sources found through your own research. 
  • While lecture notes can be referenced using this format, many departments do not welcome the use of lecture notes as a referenced source. Only use lecture notes in a way approved by your department.