You are here

Citing personal communications: APA (6th ed.) citation guide

This guide is based on the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th ed. It provides selected citation examples for common types of sources. For more detailed information please consult a print copy of the style manual available at the SFU Library.

For the best printing results for this guide, use theĀ printer-friendly PDF format

Personal communications, interviews and class notes (6.20, p. 179)

Reference in text example:

In his interview M.S. Bloomberg (personal communication, April 22, 2007) talks about...

Reference list example:

Not Usually Applicable


  • Personal communications may be letters, e-mails, interviews, telephone conversations, etc.
  • Some forms of personal communication are recoverable, and these should be referenced as archival material (See Rule 7.10, pp.212-214 for examples of archival material).
  • Unpublished, unrecoverable personal communications are not included in the reference list because they do not provide recoverable data. Cite in text only.
  • Cite information from your own class notes as a personal communication and refer to it only in the body of your paper (e.g. In a lecture on September 23, 2007 to a PSYC 103 class, Professor Brown said... ).
  • Published interviews are included in the reference list. If the published interview has a title, include it after the year. Give further description in [brackets] if necessary. Provide the original source where the interview was published (e.g. a print journal article with one author, a website, etc.) and choose the format accordingly. If the published interview lacks a title, give a description of the interview in [brackets].
  • See Rule 7.11, pp. 214-215 for citing messages posted to newsgroups, online forums and electronic mailing lists.