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Technical Directions

APA Citation Generator - Technical Directions

This is a Shiny app developed to streamline the process of creating APA citations for books, websites, and journal articles. Users input details about the document, and the tool outputs the "Reference List Citation", "Parenthetical Citation", and "Narrative Citation" in the APA format.

About the Tool

The APA Citation Generator is a Shiny Web Application created by Matthew Courtney in 2023. It's designed to facilitate the referencing process, ensuring accurate and standardized APA citations. Hosted on the server, it's a robust tool powered by the R programming language, making citation generation a breeze.

Preparing your Citations

  1. Understanding APA Style: Familiarize yourself with the basics of APA citation style to ensure accurate data input. Each document type (Book, Website, Journal Article) requires different information.

  2. Collect Required Details: Before using the tool, gather necessary details for your document. For a book, you'll need author(s), year of publication, title, publication location, and publisher. For websites, collect the author(s), year of publication, webpage title, website title, URL, and access date. For journal articles, note the author(s), year, article title, journal name, volume & issue, and either the DOI or URL.

  3. Author Name Format: Ensure author names are input as Last name, Initials. For multiple authors, separate them with a semicolon.


Using the APA Citation Generator

  1. Select Document Type: Initiate your citation generation by selecting the type of document you're referencing from the "Document Type" dropdown menu.

  2. Input Details: Populate the relevant fields that appear based on your document type choice. Ensure accurate entry to guarantee a correct citation.

  3. Generate Citations: After entering all details, click "Generate Citation". You'll be provided with the "Reference List Citation", "Parenthetical Citation", and "Narrative Citation" instantly.

  4. Reset for New Citations: If you have more documents to cite or want to modify the current one, use the "Start Over" button to clear all fields.

Closing the Tool

You can exit the APA Citation Generator by clicking the "stop" button in RStudio or by closing the app window.



  1. R: R Core Team (2021). R: A language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria. URL

  2. shiny: Winston Chang, Joe Cheng, JJ Allaire, Yihui Xie and Jonathan McPherson (2018). shiny: Web Application Framework for R. R package version 1.4.0.

  3. APA Manual: American Psychological Association. (2020). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.).

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