Creating a citation is a complicated task. Therefore, it is normal to be faced with several questions, such as where to place the punctuation marks and what to do when you cannot find an author's name. Follow the steps in this article to learn how to correctly cite the World Health Organization (WHO) in APA format.
Method 1 of 2: Citing a WHO webpage or report in the reference list
Step 1. Use "World Health Organization" as the author
You should always start a reference by the author's name. Therefore, if you have used a report created by WHO in your work, start by writing the name "World Health Organization", followed by a period.
- The first part of your reference will be:
World Health Organization
Step 2. Add the year
You will then be prompted to enter the year the report was last published or updated. The APA gives priority to the year in which the text was published, as this type of citation is mainly used in scientific papers. The publication date can usually be found at the top of the page, but there are cases where it appears at the bottom. Put the year in parentheses after the author and end it again with a period. Add the day and month of publication after the year if you find them. Use "n.d." if no date is found.
- The reference will look like this:
World Health Organization. (2011)
- If you find the day and month, the reference will look like this:
World Health Organization. (2011, January 5th)
Step 3. Add the report title
After the date, it is necessary to put the title of the report. You will find it at the top of the web page or document used. In the reference, italicize the title of the report and end it with a period.
- When writing the title, you should capitalize only the first word and proper names.
- Therefore, the reference will look like this:
World Health Organization. (2011, January 5th). A health report
Step 4. Place the website at the end
Finally, you should write "Removed from" and add the site you accessed. Use the exact address where you found the report.
- Your reference will look like the following:
World Health Organization. (2011, January 5th). A health report. Retrieved from
Step 5. Add a location if the publication is to be printed
If the report used is printed, you will need to add the city and state where it was published instead of the website.
- In this case, the reference will look like the following:
World Health Organization. (2011, January 5th). A health report. Sao Paulo-SP
Method 2 of 2: Citing in Text
Step 1. Start with the author
In addition to the reference at the end of your work, you will also need to create a citation to use in the text, which only includes the author's name and publication date. You can quote the author's name in one sentence and open a parenthesis to the date, or enclose both in parentheses and separated by a comma.
- You can include the organization's name in a sentence as follows:
- According to the World Health Organization ([WHO], …
- The abbreviation in square brackets indicates to the reader that you will use it later in the article.
- You can also put the organization name in parentheses:
According to a recent report, investments in health are increasingly falling (World Health Organization [WHO], …
Step 2. Use the abbreviation
After indicating the abbreviation to the reader, you can use it in any later citation in place of the full name.
- In this case, simply write "WHO":
- According to WHO (….
- According to the report, the main cause is the increase in infectious diseases (WHO, …
Step 3. Add the date after the author's name
The date must also be included in an in-text citation so the reader can determine the report you are referring to. You must add this information after the organization name and in parentheses. Use "n.d." if you don't find it.
- If it is the first citation, include the date inside the parentheses, after the abbreviation of the organization's name:
According to the World Health Organization ([WHO], 2011), …
- If the organization's name is in parentheses, write:
According to a recent report, investments in health are increasingly falling (World Health Organization [WHO], 2011)
- In the following quotes, you can write:
- According to WHO (2011), …
- According to the report, the main cause is the increase in infectious diseases (WHO, 2011).
Step 4. Put the page number or paragraph number at the end
When making a transcript, you will need to add the page or paragraph number (if you cannot find the page numbering) where the transcribed excerpt was taken from in your citation. While it's not yet mandatory, the APA recommends adding this information even when you're just paraphrasing a passage of source text. The page or paragraph number must be entered in parentheses and after the last quotation mark, but before the period.
- You can add the page number as follows:
According to WHO (2011), "infectious diseases are a widespread problem" (p. 63)
- If the quote appears after the transcript, you can add the page like this:
According to the report: "Infectious diseases are a widespread problem" (WHO, 2011, p. 63)
- Follow the same procedure to quote a paragraph:
According to WHO (2011), "infectious diseases are a widespread problem" (para. 30)