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How to Cite Business & Economics Databases

Best Practices in Citing Databases in APA 7th Edition

Business databases and data can be challenging to cite, as they don't follow the same standardized format as books and articles.  This page lists my best suggestions for how to cite business databases in APA format 7th edition.  

General Principles of Business Database Citations

Below are the general guidelines I used when creating the citation examples


When a publication or work is attributed to a specific person, use the person's name over the name of the organization, company, or database.  (see IbisWorld as an example)



When a publication month and date are available, I listed these in the citation.  This is because business databases will often revise reports regularly.

If the source does have a date, I have used (n.d.) to indicate "no date."  These citations should have a "Retrieved" date.



Provide as much information about the title as possible.  When in doubt, provide more information rather than less.  Note that this can make for some fairly awkward looking citations, especially with business databases. 


Bracketed Descriptions

In many of the examples below, I have used [Bracketed descriptions] to better describe the format of the source.  This is because sources from proprietary business databases are not books or articles and fall well outside the typical peer-reviewed academic literature works.  The bracketed description can help describe the format of the source to the reader who is unfamiliar with the type of source.  


Database Name

In general, APA 7th Edition discourages the database name in the citation for articles, books, and other sources that can be easily found from a library catalog, publisher website, etc.  However, because business databases contain original proprietary information that generally cannot be found outside of the specific database, I chose to list the database name in the source citation.  The database name should be italicized

If no specific person(s) is listed as an author of the source, and the database is listed as the author, I did not list the database name again in the citation to avoid redundancy. 



For the source URLs, I linked to the database location within my Business Guides.  I chose this as the citation because most of the users of this citation guide will be students within our university community who are submitting papers and projects for course work.  To facilitate finding the source by other students or faculty members within our university community, I suggest using the link where they can log in to the databases with their Ohio University credentials.  

For faculty citing a source in an external publication, I suggest using the vendor website, rather than the link the Oho University database record.