I'm working on a paper that covers concurrency in Java, however to properly explain many concepts I feel code samples are basically needed.

However, I don't know how to properly cite code I've borrowed, or how to properly format code that I've written myself.

How is this accomplished?


3 Answers 3


APA offers the following guidelines for citing a computer program/software/programming language (under the "Other electronic media" section):

Reference list entries are not necessary for standard off-the-shelf software and programming languages. Provide entries for specialized software or programs with limited distribution.

In text, give the name of the software, the version number and year.

Do not italicise the names of software, programs, or languages.

If an individual has proprietary rights to the software, name him or her as the author; otherwise, treat such references as unauthored works.

Immediately after the title and version, identify with a source type such as [Computer program], [Computer language], or [Computer software].

If no version number is available, include the retrieval date.

If the program can be downloaded or ordered from the web, give this information in the publisher position.

Schoonjans, F. (2008). MedCalc Statistical Software (Version [Computer software]. Retrieved from 3D2F.COM Software Directory: http://3d2f.com/programs/13-638-medcalc-statistical-software-download.shtml

Accurate Personality Test [Computer software]. (2007). Retrieved June 19, 2008, from http://www.sharewareconnection.com/accurate-personality-test.htm

Tools and applications. CultureGPS lite (Version 1.13) [Computer software]. (2011). Retrieved from http://itunes.apple.com/app/culturegps-lite/id297051765?mt=8

Pages (Version 1.5) [Computer software]. (2011). Retrieved from http://itunes.apple.com/us/pages/id361309726?mt=8&ls=1

Scott, C. (2011). Treasure hunt - the interactive boardgame (Version 1.1) [Computer software]. Retrieved from http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/treasure-hunt-the-interactive/id4425986640?mt=8

Consider looking at this page for a few helpful tips too (not APA though).


Maybe you can find what you want In-Text Citations: Author/Authors section, where they give additional rules for citing indirect sources, electronic sources, and sources without page numbers. I believe it would work for source code.

  • Do you mean the sections "Electronic Sources" and "Sources Without Page Numbers"? If so, let's quote that here in the answer. Nov 11, 2013 at 22:12

To refer to the details of Proper citing code in an APA paper , here's a reference guide which may help you : http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/25/

  • Which part of it? There's nothing here about source code. The computer software part? Nov 11, 2013 at 22:30

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