There was a thread here about this a couple of years ago, that suggested that APA style had been altered so that the issue number (if available) was always to be inserted after the volume number, like this: 3(4). And indeed, that is what the current EN implementation of APA 6th style does. However, I’ve just had a back-and-forth with one of the editors on the apastyle web site on this question, and apparently there is no ambiguity: current APA style is to insert the issue number only if the journal paginates each issue starting with 1 ; otherwise it is incorrect to insert it.
The majority of journals paginate issues continuously throughout a volume and therefore issue numbers would not be allowed for them. I have made a new EN style I call APA 6th-issueless that never inserts them, which should be correct most of the time, but I’m wondering if there is any way to have some kind of journal database that could be used to condition the presence or absence of the issue number, or, failing that, some way to set a flag or condition code on individual reference entries that could be used by the format template to condition issue number insertion for that reference.
The update to APA 5th in 2007(?) for electronic materials had the provision that the issue number be included regardless of pagination through the volume.
The Publication Manual for APA 6th, however, states at 6.30 “Include the journal issue number (if available) along with the volume number if the journal is paginated separately by issue.”
So this rule for issue numbers in APA 6th is the same as the old one in APA 5th: omit the issue number if the volume is paginated continuously.
While in some ways logical, it’s a pity, really, as having to work out how volumes are paginated in a journal when referencing (especially for electronic journals) seems a waste of time, and when tracking down a reference it can be very handy to have an issue number to speed up finding the article if drilling down via a contents list.
The editor person on the apastyle blog made the helpful suggestion that each journal from which you cite a reference should be looked up on the journal’s web site to verify how they paginate issues.
Here is the blog where I made my comments.
My “how to” question is about how to handle this situation in Endnote.
The only way in EndNote to handle the situation I know of is to simply leave the issue number out when a volume is paginated throughout or delete the issue number if it is there owing to downloading the citation from a database.
If you want to keep info about the issue number “just in case”, I’d suggest putting it in a notes field.
(It’s no good editing the APA output style to omit the issue number always, as if the pagination restarts in each issue the issue number is required. Most other styles I know of have this peculiar rule too, so if you change to a different output style the citation in respect to volume and issue numbers should still be correct).
I guess MLA’s latest revision requires volume and issue on all journal articles.
// In 2009, the seventh edition of the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers was published… Both a volume number and issue number are now included in citations for journal articles. //
Some formats match APA (MLA used to); some require issue numbers unless the “complete date” (i.e, month and year) is given; some, like ICMJE, gives the option of omitting both issue number and month if the journal is continuously paginated. In other words, the issue numbers should be in the references database and there should be some way to indicate either for the journal in general, or for individual reference entries, whether to include them in the inserted bibliography.
What I think I’m going to do for myself is to replace “Issue” with “Custom 1” in the journal article template, if I can figure out how to do that. By default, Custom 1 will be empty so no issue number will print; if I need an issue number, I’ll put into Custom 1 and it will print. Kind of a kludge, but I think it will work, and it won’t affect, e.g., MLA format’s consistent insertion of Issue numbers. I’ll do the same thing for any other format that I use with the issue pagination rule.
(Of course, maybe Custom 1 is used by some format, in which case I’ll just use another custom field in that format.)
I have implemented my solution. It turns out that in fact Custom 1 and Custom 2 had already been renamed for some reason, so I changed the name of Custom 8 to “IssueThis”, and changed the bibliography template in the APA 6th format to use IssueThis instead of Issue. Now by default, no issue numbers are inserted into the bibliography. However, if I need to have an issue number put out for a certain reference, I simply copy the contents of the Issue field into the IssueThis field, and all is good.
On the other hand, formats that require issue numbers all the time, such as the new MLA format, will read them as usual from the conventional Issue field, which is unchanged, and which will be filled automagically by the import process.
The same modification can be made to any other format that usually suppresses issue numbers, but needs them sometimes.