How to Cite a Survey in APA Style: Practical Guide with Examples

Surveys can be a valuable source of information if they are cited correctly. In this post, we'll discuss how to cite a survey in APA 7th edition, including key things to know in the format of a practical guide.

Citing the survey you’ve conducted in APA 

When your research involves conducting a survey, and you want to quote from it in your paper, you don’t need to cite it in the reference list. The survey has not been published anywhere before and is part of your research.

Citing a survey in APA format: published version

You should use the relevant format if the survey is published in a journal article or book. The rules will vary depending on where you cite your work ─ check out the key directives: 

In-text citation

Include the author's last name and the year of publication in parentheses.

According to a recent survey (Smith, 2021), 75% of respondents reported feeling satisfied with their jobs.

Reference list 

Here, make sure to provide more extensive information:

  • Author(s) name;
  • Year of publication;
  • Title of survey(in italics);
  • Publisher;
  • DOI(if available) or URL.

Here's an example:

United States Census Bureau. (2015). Current Population Survey: Annual Social and Economic (ASEC) Supplement Survey, 2015 (ICPSR 36525) [Data set].  United States Department of Labor.

Citing unpublished data

If the survey you want to use has not been seen by the world yet, adhere to these rules. 

In-text citation

Use the same style as the published ones, but include the year the data was collected in parentheses instead of the year of publication. Also, include the author’s last name. 

For example:

According to our survey data (Jones, 2022), 65% of participants reported never trying sushi.

Reference list 

For APA survey citation, make sure to include accurate data:

  • Author(s) name;
  • Year the data was collected;
  • Title of survey (if applicable);
  • Unpublished raw data description in square brackets;
  • An institution in which you collected the data.

Raw data may go untitled so put a description [Unpublished raw data on Subject]. If titled, still include the description but just [Unpublished raw data].


Jones, A. (2023). Food consumption survey [Unpublished raw data]. University of Phoenix.


Can a survey be considered a reliable source?

Yes, it can be considered a reliable source if it is well-designed and conducted with appropriate methods and a representative sample.

If I am the author of the survey, should I cite it? 

It depends on whether it was published before. If your research requires conducting a survey, you don't need to cite it. However, if it is a previously published one, you need to cite it.

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