APA (6th ed.) referencing bite-sized: which date?

calendarBooks and ebook publishers, in particular, seem to enjoy listing long lists of dates on the back of the title page in order to confuse anyone trying to reference the (e)book.  This blog post explains how to pick the right date for referencing (using any referencing system, not just APA).

Dates to use

The date you want is the one marked as “publication date” or “this edition published on” date on the back of the title page.  On some first edition books, the publication date is listed as “first published in year“.

If no publication date is given, use the most recent copyright date listed.

Dates to avoid

Printing/imprint dates

First published (unless the edition you are using is the first edition!)

Publication dates for previous editions

First published by this printing house

Long lists of copyright dates (use the most recent if no publication date is given)

Other random dates

Assistant Librarian (Promotions) at the University Library. An enthusiastic advocate of libraries, diversity, inclusion, equity, and social justice for all, inside and outside the workplace.

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