theses and APA

Hi ,

I have had a question from one of our students about using Endnote to reference different types of theses in APA.

For masters and doctorates APA requires “Upublished master thesis” or “Unpublished doctoral dissertation” respectively. The Endnote template seems to give us just “Unpublished PhD” etc. Do we really need to create two different reference types to handle this, ie to insert either the word “thesis” or “dissertation” depending on the thesis type?

This is the basic difficulty before we even start on the issue of theses from DAI and UMI, which APA has specific ways of referencing. It also distinguishes between referencing items from inside US abnd outside US. Has anyone expereince with using Endnote for any of this?

Many thanks,


Hi Gary 

The simplest solution is to input the required words (master’s thesis, doctoral thesis, doctoral dissertation, etc.) in the Thesis Type field. Of course, this will make the references less usable for other referencing styles, as other styles are likely as not to treat theses and dissertations in different ways.

APA itself is pretty complex in the ways it handles different types of print and electronic theses (Publication manual exx. 54-57; APA style guide to electronic references 8-10). This complexity can be accommodated in EndNote by using a range of referencing types (Journal Article [exx. 54, 55], Thesis [exx. 56-57]; Electronic Book [exx. 8-9], and Web Page [ex. 10]) - though, in saying that, we have corrected the APA output style for Electronic book and Web page to better match the published APA style guides.

A final comment is that theses is yet another example of when it would be helpful if EndNote had the ability to apply conditional logic (if … then …) within output styles’ templates.



Thanks for this John. Yes that makes sense and confirms that there wasn’t just some option I was overlooking. I was actually wondering if there was some kind of conditional option to allow this – but obviously not.



but for the other styles, you can simply not use that field and insert the required text name.  So it isn’t really a problem.