How to Cite the CDC

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Reference styles such as American Psychological Association and Modern Language Association include special rules for referencing publications by government agencies such as the CDC. How you cite a CDC report will differ based on whether it is a Web or print document.

American Psychological Association Style

  • When citing a CDC report in APA style, include the full name of the organization as author. The report number is included after the title of the report:

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2012, March). NCHS data brief: 75 years of mortality in the United States, 1935–2010 (No. 88). Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics.

    If taken from the CDC's website, use the URL in place of the publisher location information:

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2015, February). NCHS data brief: Prescription opioid analgesic use among adults:
    United States, 1999–2012
    (No. 189). Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db189.htm

Modern Language Association Style

  • In MLA style, the works cited list citation will include the country and organizations that the CDC is a part of. The type of publication -- print or Web -- is also noted:

    United States. Dept. of Health and Human Services. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. NCHS data brief: 75 years of mortality in the United States, 1935–2010. Hyattsville: National Center for Health Statistics, March 2012. Print.

    A Web citation in MLA does not include a URL, but does require you to note the last date you accessed the site:

    United States. Dept. of Health and Human Services. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. NCHS data brief: Prescription opioid analgesic use among adults: United States, 1999–2012. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, February 2015. Web. 14 April 2015.

In-Text Citations

  • When referencing works in text, include a parenthetical citation noting your source. In APA style, your parenthetical citation includes the name of the organization and the year of publication: (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2012). If a source is paginated, include the page for direct quotes. If you cite the same organization multiple times, use an acronym for each citation past the first: (CDC, 2012, p. 8).

    MLA style in-text citations do not include date information, only the name of the author and the page number, if applicable: (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 8).

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