APA Format: When writing the name of a program I used in a study (MyFriendQuest) do I need to italicise the name or add a trademark sign? I am not sure how to stylise the name of the program or if I even need to.

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    You can presumably get a definitive answer from apa.org/pubs/books/4210512.aspx. I have no idea whether you should italicize the name, but including a trademark sign would be nonstandard in academic publications. (I'm not a lawyer, but I believe nobody is legally required to use one; instead, the purpose is to let trademark owners highlight the trademark status of the name. Of course they would like it if other people did as well, but they cannot require it, and academic papers very rarely do this. I certainly hope APA format doesn't require it.) Feb 19, 2013 at 3:53

2 Answers 2


According to Section 7.08 (page 210) of the 6th edition of the Publication Manual of the APA,

Do not italicize the names of software, programs, or languages.


Reference entries are not necessary for standard software and programming languages, such as Microsoft Word or Excel, Java, Adobe Photoshop, and even SAS and SPSS. In text, give the proper name of the software, along with the version number. Do provide reference entries for specialized software or computer programs with limited distribution.

An example of a reference entry:

Comprehensive Meta-Analysis (Version 2) [Computer software]. Englewood, NJ: Biostat.

  • I agree with @Anonymous Mathematician in his comment above that a trademark symbol is not usually included in academic publications. I usually see trademark symbols only in software user manuals.
    – JRN
    Feb 21, 2013 at 23:50

I have to cite my online university references in APA, and know that the journal article/book title has to be in italics, to make it stand out. I'm not as sure about a program like this, though it could be in my 15-odd page style guide I have to use.

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