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APA Support Centre: Personal Communications (including interviews, emails, intranet resources)

Personal Communications

Interviews and emails 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 email.


"Infections are often contracted while patients are recovering in the hospital" (J. D. Black, personal communication, May 30, 2013)


Note: 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.

J. D. Black explained that "infections are often contracted while patients are recovering in the hospital" (personal communication, May 30, 2013).

Consider your audience when citing sources found on an organization's intranet, such as an internal procedures manual. If your audience can access the resource, cite it in text and in your references list using the appropriate citation template. If your audience doesn't have access to the intranet resource, cite the source as personal communication (see examples for Interviews and Emails).

Remember to check that you have permission to use and refer to information found in internal organization documents.

  • If the information was published in a source, such as a book, video, or article, cite the information using the appropriate citation format.
  • Consider the sources you are using to ensure that Indigenous Peoples are appropriately and accurately portrayed in the source.
  • If the information was not recorded and cannot be accessed by your reader, such as information from a personal interview, cite the work as personal communication. You don't have to include a full citation in your Reference List, but include the following in your in-text citation: person's full name, name of Indigenous group, location, personal communication, date of communication.

For more information, see APA Style: Personal Communications & APA Publication Manual 7th edition (Chapter 8.9)

What are Personal Communications?

Personal communications include works that cannot be accessed by your reader or audience, such as emails, personal interviews, unrecorded lectures and speeches, text messages, and phone conversations. Use this method only when you're unable to locate a recoverable source.

Note that personal interviews are interviews that you conduct. If you are using a published interview (e.g., interview found on YouTube), remember to cite your source in text and in your Reference List using the citation template for your source. 

(Source: APA Style)