Public communication [from Direct communication using APA 5th ed.]


Examples include a speech, lecture, seminar and announcement.

If the text of the communication is available as a print or electronic resource, and is recoverable, then this is what should be referenced. However, if the communication is not recoverable it should be treated like a personal communication, and not included in the reference list. It can be cited in the text.

Standard Form

Not applicable

Citation in Text

In a recent speech (October 25, 2006) Tony Brown told the Labour Party that ...

In a lecture in the Portsmouth Business Shool (October 9, 2006) Professor Merlin Stone stated that contact centres were ...


  • There is the question whether this is the best sort of material to refer to in your work. Are there recoverable sources which make the same point more authoritatively?
  • Lectures: many departments at Portsmouth do not allow you to use lecture notes as the source for your essays. You should use the reading list which your lecturer has given you and turn to those sources when writing your essay. If your lecturer has not indicated where they got their information, and you want to use it, go and ask for the source.
  • If your department does approve the use of lecture notes as a cited source, then you could include them in your reference list. APA gives no guidance for this sort of material; you could use the style for an internal document. Check with your lecturer before using lecture notes as a source.