How to Cite a Mobile App

Mobile apps are a great way to digest content and gather sources for your paper. Once thought of as merely for gaming and social media, now there are apps that can give you scholarly information to use in your research. Apps are individual platforms for information that can be helpful in discovering relevant content for your topic quickly and efficiently. For instance, you used to have to consult a print version of the Oxford Dictionary when you found something useful to include in your paper. Now, there’s a mobile app for that!

However, there’s a catch. Just because information is easier to find than it used to be, that does not mean you don’t have to give proper credit and create citations for each of these sources that you use. Failure to cite is considered plagiarism, and can carry strict consequences whether you meant for it to happen or not.

Need help citing a mobile app for your paper? Below are guidelines for how to do this in APA format, MLA formatting, and Harvard referencing. Remember, if you’re unsure which style you should be using in your paper, ask your instructor for their preference.

What Information Do I Need to Make the Citations?

As you are using different mobile apps for your research, be sure to note which ones you take information from, so that you don’t forget to reference them later. A great way to do this is to move each app into the home screen of your device, so the next time you open your phone or tablet, the apps you need are front and center.

Here is information that is typically needed to cite a mobile app. We’ve listed out an example of each piece that we will use throughout this guide. It is important to note that the exact number and combination of these may differ depending on your chosen citation style. This information can easily be found on the download page in your platform’s app store:

A Note on In-Text Citations

In-text citations are references to sources that you include within the body of your paper. These are typically in a footnote or parenthetical format. They signal to the reader when you have taken information from someone else’s work.

Like references or citations that you include in your bibliography, in-text citations look different depending on your chosen citation style.

Let’s take a look at how to cite a mobile app in three popular styles: MLA, APA, and Harvard.

How to Cite a Mobile App in APA Style

APA in-text citation:

(WordWeb Software, 2017)

Full citation:

WordWeb Software. (2017). Oxford Dictionary of English (3.5) [Mobile application software]. Retrieved https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/oxforddictionary/id602660809?mt=8.

How to Cite a Mobile App in MLA Style

MLA in-text citation:

(WordWeb Software)

Full citation:

Oxford Dictionary of English. WordWeb Software, 2017. Vers. 3.5. Apple App Store, itunes.apple.com/us/app/oxforddictionary/id602660809?mt=8.

How to Cite a Mobile App in Harvard Style

Harvard in-text citation:

(WordWeb Software 2017)

Full citation:

WordWeb Software, 2017. Oxford Dictionary of English. Mobile app. Version 3.5. Available from: itunes.apple.com/us/app/oxforddictionary/id602660809?mt=8. Accessed 29 August 2017.

You can make citations in thousands of different styles (like Chicago format) on Cite This For Me!