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Guidelines to APA Style: Data sets and software reference examples

Libguide on citing sources in APA Style.

Data set

Owner of the data set. (Publication year). Title of data set (Version number) [Data set]. Publisher. Retrieved Month day, year, from http://xxxx or https://xxxx or

Data sets consist of research data ('raw data') used in a document for a table, for example.

  • If there is no version number it is omitted.
  • The publication date for published sets is the year of publication and for unpublished sets is the year(s) of collection.
  • If you are citing existing data or statistics, cite the publication in which the data were published (e.g., a journal article, report, or webpage) rather than the data set itself.

Pew Research Center. (2018). America trends panel Wave 26 [Data set]. Retrieved February 21, 2021, from

Parenthetical citation: (Pew Research Center, 2018)
Narrative citation: Pew Research Center (2018)

Software or mobile app

  • Common software (e.g. Word, Excel, Photoshop or SPSS) and mobile apps (e.g. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) mentioned in the text, but not paraphrased or quoted, do not need citations. Simply give the proper name of the software or app along with version number in the text, if relevant.
Data were analysed with IBM SPSS Statistics (Version 25).


Author, A. (Publication year). Name of programme (Version number) [Description]. Publisher. Retrieved Month day, year, from http://xxxx or https://xxxxx

  • The publication year of a computer software is the year of publication of the version used.
  • The bracketed description is flexible: [Computer software], [Mobile app], [Apparatus and software].
  • For a mobile app the publisher can be stated as Google Play Store or App Store.
  • To cite a content of a social media app see Social media.

Koha-community. (2021). Koha Library Software (Version 20.05.09) [Computer software]. Koha. Retrieved February 28, 2021, from

Parenthetical citation: (Koha-community, 2021)
Narrative citation: Koha-community (2021)

Impala Studios. (2021). Weather+ (Version 4.11.12) [Mobile app]. Retrieved August 17, 2021, from

Parenthetical citation: (Impala Studios, 2021)
Narrative citation: Impala Studios (2021)