The category "Personal Communications" is used in situations where you are taking information from a source such as an email or an interview you conducted with someone else. In this case the work isn't published anywhere, someone else couldn't find and read the full interview or email on their own.
Sometimes you may find interviews with people in journals, magazines, newspapers, websites, etc. In those cases don't use the "Personal Communications" category. Instead, cite them according to where you found the information.
For example, an interview in a magazine would be cited as a magazine article. That way anyone reading your assignment could easily track down the interview for themselves by finding the same magazine article.
In-Text Citation or References List?
Interviews, e-mails and your own notes from lectures are considered personal communications in APA style. This means that they are only cited within the text of your assignment, but do not get an entry on the References list.
Some sources, such as websites, may not have the full information to create a citation. APA has guidelines for dealing with missing components of a citation, both in-text and reference entry.
NorQuest College has created a new style for citing Indigenous Knowledge Keepers. Please refer to the Indigenous Elders and Knowledge Keepers source style in the drop down list under "Citation by Source" to learn more.
|(First Initial of Person Who Was Interviewed or sent the e-mail. Second Initial if known. Last Name, personal communication, Month Day, Year interview took place or e-mail was received)|
John Black noted that hospital patients tend to be susceptible to contracting infections during their stay. (personal communication, May 30, 2013).
"Infections are often contracted while patients are recovering in the hospital" (J. D. Black, personal communication, May 30, 2013).
Interviews and e-mail are considered personal communications in APA style. They are cited within the text of your assignment, but do not get an entry on the References list. Put the citation right after a quote or paraphrased content from the interview or e-mail.
If the name of the person who was interviewed is mentioned in the sentence leading into the quote or paraphrased content, you do not need to repeat it in the in-text citation.
Citing Traditional Knowledge or Oral Traditions of Indigenous Peoples
How this information is cited is dependent on if and how the information was recorded. If it has been recorded in a format or manner that can be retrieved, for example, a book, YouTube video, podcast etc., cite it as you would that type or format of the source with an in-text citation and an entry in the reference list.
For Traditional Knowledge or Oral Traditions that are not in a retrievable format, you must provide an in-text citation with as much detail as possible to outline the content and contextualize the origin of the information. You do not need to include a reference entry.
Did you speak to an Indigenous person directly?
If they are not a research participant, then you can cite them as you would personal communication. Include in an in-text citation the person's full name and the specific Indigenous group they belong, location, and additional details that are relevant to them, ending with the words "personal communication" and the date of the communication.
Parenthetical in-text citation: (A.A. Smith, Indigenous group, location, additional details, personal communication, March 31. 2020)
Narrative in-text citation: A.A. Smith shared the importance of blueberry sauce in their community gatherings.... (Indigenous group, location, additional details, personal communication, March 31, 2020)
Did your information gathering occur over a number of dates?
If this is the case you should include a general date or range of dates that reflect when you consulted with the person.
Are you including information from your own experience and/or community?
If you are an Indigenous person and are including information from your own experience or information that has previously not been recorded of your people "describe yourself in the text (e.g., what nation you belong to, where you live) to contextualize the origin of the information you are sharing." (APA, 2020, p.261). You do not need to include a personal communication citation or have a reference list entry.
Credit: The above information was created and shared by the University of British Columbia's Library guide.