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So before I invested too much more time with biblatex-apa, I wanted to have a look at how biblatex-apa presents my reference list, and then compare that with the examples from the authoritative source: the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Sixth Edition.

I'm surprised to find some noteworthy differences, and although I am no expert on the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Sixth Edition, I sense that it is perhaps one of the most persnickety of any style published, so my questions here may also be persnickety. Apologies if they come across in any other manner than just professional curiosity and concern for getting my manuscript written correctly. My goal is simply to try and find out if I'm doing something wrong in using biblatex-apa to get these differences or if these differences that I point out below are known limitations in biblatex-apa or perhaps something altogether different.

I won't try to reproduce the hanging indent format of the reference list, because that seems like it might be hard in TeX.sx, but other than that, below I list 3 different entries in a reference list for the same source document. The three different entries are from:

  1. the APA examples (sample-references2.pdf),

  2. a citation engine from my library's electronic database engine for journal articles (called PsycINFO, and it wouldn't surprise me much to learn that this is incorrect with respect to APA 6th ed, but I've listed it for reference here, kind-of a "tie-breaker", and interestingly enough, it seems to agree with biblatex-apa and to disagree with the APA 6th ed.),

  3. and biblatex v1.5 with biblatex-apa v4.2


  1. Carstensen, L. L. (1992). Social and emotional patterns in adulthood: Support for socioemotional selectivity theory. Psychology and Aging, 7, 331–338. doi:10.1037/0882-7974.7.3.331

  2. Carstensen, L. L. (1992). Social and emotional patterns in adulthood: Support for socioemotional selectivity theory. Psychology and Aging, 7(3), 331-338. doi:10.1037/0882-7974.7.3.331 (this is strictly ascii text, so I don't expect any font formatting)

  3. Carstensen, L. L. (1992). Social and emotional patterns in adulthood: support for socioemotional selectivity theory. Psychology and Aging, 7(3), 331–338. doi:10.1037/0882-7974.7. 3.331

I've done the font formatting with the tools of TeX.sx, but the preview output looks pretty similar to what biblatex is giving me.

My two concerns are:

  1. the differences between the APA 6th ed (which foregoes the Number of the journal and lists instead only the Volume (perhaps because the page numbers uniformly increase throughout the volume regardless of number, and so perhaps number is redundant? not sure)) and biblatex-apa (which presents both Volume and Number), and

  2. the differences between the APA 6th ed (which lists the doi code in the same proportional font as most of the rest of the entry: is that Times?) and biblatex-apa (which presents the doi code in a fixed font)

Can anyone comment on this? I'd like to continue using biblatex-apa because it looks really powerful, but I'd also like to have my reference list look like that of the APA 6th ed, and as of now, it doesn't. I'm not sure how important the differences are either, so if anyone can comment on that aspect, I welcome the feedback there too.

share|improve this question
New versions of BibLatex and Biber are released quite frequently. The up-to-date version of BibLatex is 1.7 (and you are using 1.5). Even if your current problem has a different origin, I would recommend using the newest stable release available. – matth Nov 28 '11 at 13:50
up vote 7 down vote accepted

These are quite easy to fix. To remove the number you can add:


which will cause any number field to disappear.

The formatting of the URLs is determined by the url package. You can add:


to change all URLs into Roman. If you place this in your preamble, it will affect your main document, so if you only want Roman in the references, place this command right before the \printbibliography command.

share|improve this answer
On the DOI, I have similar issues in my biblatex styles: do you treat the formatting as part of the bibliography style itself or as part of the house style for the publication it is in. I tend to take the latter view, so as Alan says stick with 'standard' URL commands to alter the formatting. – Joseph Wright Nov 28 '11 at 8:06
Just came across this and thought I might comment. I'm not a fan of \DeclareFieldFormat*{number}{} because it will make biblatex think it printed the number when it didn't actually, potentially messing up the punctuation tracker. A \clearfield approach seems safer. – moewe Jul 29 '15 at 17:29
@moewe Thanks. I've updated the answer. – Alan Munn Jul 29 '15 at 18:54
Thank you very much. – moewe Jul 30 '15 at 5:11

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