Abstract from a secondary source [from Print source using APA 5th ed.]


Abstracts are only short summaries of the subject matter of articles, so it is better practice to read and comment on (and thus reference) the full article. Reference the abstract as for the full article, but add a statement about where the abstract was found. If you are referencing an abstract which appears within an abstracting service, but have not had access to the original article, use this format.

Standard Form

Author, Initials. (year). Title of article. Title of journal, volume number (part), page range. Abstract obtained from Title of abstracting service, year, volume and issue number - if any, Abstract no.


Dahles, H. (1993). Game killing and killing games: An anthropologist looking at hunting in a modern society. Society and Animals, 1(2), 169-184. Abstract obtained from Sociological Abstracts, 1994, 42(6), Abstract No. 9411965.

Harrell, J. S., Gansky, S. A., Bradley, C. B., & McMurray, R. G. (1997). Leisure time activities of elementary school children. Nursing Research, 46(5), 246-253. Abstract obtained from Psychological Abstracts, 1998. 85, Abstract No. 1936.

Citation in Text

Dahles (1993) describes hunting as a symbolic strategy ...

Among the most popular reported boys' activities (Harrell, Gansky, Bradley, & McMurray, 1997) were ...


  • Abstracting services sometimes also provide abstracts of books, conference papers, etc. The first part of the reference, relating to the original abstract, should follow the format for the type of material abstracted, followed by the statement about where the abstract was obtained.