What is personal communication?
Personal communication is any source that cannot be recovered by a reader. This type of sources includes email, text messages, interviews, phone or in-person conversations, live speeches or webinars, messages on non-archived discussion boards or online bulletin boards, personal voicemail, unrecorded or live course lectures, social media limited to "Friends" only or restricted, and other sources that are similar in nature.
Personal communication can also be sources that have not been formally published or sources that are available only to a certain population (e.g., resources available to employees in a company's intranet, training documents, etc.). In cases like these, be sure to consider the audience. If the document will be formally published to the general public, then these items should be treated as personal communication. On the other hand, if the document will have an audience who has access to items, then these may be referenced as discussed in Section 8.8 on page 259 of the APA Manual, 7th edition.
Examples of personal communication include conversations, email, text messages, online chats or direct messages, personal interviews, telephone conversations, live speeches, unrecorded course lectures, memos, letters, messages from non-archived discussion groups or online bulletin boards, social media shared with "Friends" only, etc.
Because personal communication cannot be recovered, only cite personal communication within the text of the paper. Do not include a reference within the reference list. Only include references in the reference list for sources that can be found or located by the reader. To cite personal communication, list the initials and last name of the communicator, the words "personal communication," and as exact a date as possible.
(G. Christner, personal communication, January 12, 2020)
G. Christner (personal communication, January 12, 2020) stressed .....
For more information about personal communication, see Section 8.9 on pages 260-261 of the APA Manual, 7th edition.
APA recognizes that interviews can be classified into 3 broad categories.
Quotation from Research Participants - Created by APA - provides guidance on quotes from research participants.
For more information about interviews, see Section 8.7 on page 259 of the APA Manual, 7th edition.