Q. How do I cite demographics sources anonymously in APA?


For M.Ed. action research projects, you need to include baseline data and demographics. You also need to use real sources and cite them, but your research site needs to stay anonymous and confidential. 

To do this in APA style, you should treat your sources like confidential research participant data. To maintain privacy, you can't list the exact source information. Since the reader can’t access the exact source, mention the general source in the text only. Do not create a reference entry for your references list.


If you were using statistics for the city of Portland from the U.S. Census Bureau (n.d.) website, you might be accessing this page: https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/portlandcityoregon. To keep your reader from knowing what city your research site is located in- but to alert the reader (and your instructor!) to the source of your demographics- include something like this in your text: 

“According to the most current data from the United States Census Bureau website, the site location population….”

For More Information

See Let’s Talk About Research Participants (Lee & Hume-Pratuch, 2013).


Lee & Hume-Pratuch. (2013, August 22). Let’s Talk About Research Participants [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://blog.apastyle.org/apastyle/2013/08/lets-talk-about-research-participants.html

United States Census Bureau. (n.d.) QuickFacts: Portland city, Oregon. Retrieved from https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/portlandcityoregon


  • Last Updated Nov 27, 2018
  • Views 84
  • Answered By Lily Morgan

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