APA Style, 6th Edition

How to cite indirect sources (an original source found inside a secondary source)

One indication of a highly accurate, scholarly information source is many in-text citations and references. This means you may find useful quotations or information within a source that refer or originate from another source. 

In APA style, you must credit both the original and the secondary source. In effect, you need to communicate to the reader the originating source of the information, while also indicating the actual source you found the source of information. To do this, cite BOTH the original and secondary source through in-text citation within the paper, but cite ONLY the secondary source in your reference list at the end of the paper.

Proper APA format depends on how the original source appears in the secondary source. In both cases, you must use the phrase "as cited in" to indicate the author(s), year and page number(s) of the secondary source in the parenthetical citation:

For a work discussed through paraphrase, summary, or direct quotation, identify the original author(s) and publication year of the original source in a signal phrase


Smith (the secondary source) refers to the ideas of Johnson (the original source):

Johnson (2008) argued that the Calgary stampede is rooted in conservative political ideologies (as cited in Smith, 2013, pp. 102-103).

In the References page at the end of the paper, only cite the source by Smith. 

For a direct quote from the secondary source that contains one or more in-text citations, include the in-text citations to the original source(s) within the quotation


Holden et al. (the secondary source) cite multiple research studies by Hargittai and Feldman, Jones and Czerniewicz, and Hope (the original sources):

An increasing amount of critical analysis and evidence have undermined "the notion that digital natives have a unique aptitude for digital technologies (Hargittai & Feldman, 2010; Jones & Czerniewicz, 2010; Hope, 2011)” (Holden et al., 2012, p. 18). 

In the References page at the end of the paper, only cite the source by Holden et al.