Answered By: Carrie Mann
Last Updated: Nov 20, 2018     Views: 8493

The following explanation can be found on the OWL Purdue website.

Citing Indirect Sources

If you use a source that was cited in another source, name the original source in your signal phrase. List the secondary source in your reference list and include the secondary source in the parentheses.

Johnson argued that...(as cited in Smith, 2003, p. 102).

Note: When citing material in parentheses, set off the citation with a comma, as above. Also, try to locate the original material and cite the original source.

Additional information on how to cite an indirect source with multiple authors in APA format may be found on this  website: 


Citing a Source within a Source (Publication Manual, p. 178)

Scenario: You read a 2007 article by Linhares and Brum that cites an earlier article, by Frederick. You want to cite Frederick's article, but you have not read Frederick's article itself.

Reference List Citation In-Text Citation

Linhares, A., & Brum, P. (2007). Understanding our understanding of strategic scenarios: What role do chunks play? Cognitive Science, 31(6), 989-1007.

Your Reference list will contain the article you read, by Linhares and Brum. Your Reference list will NOT contain a citation for Frederick's article.

Frederick's study (as cited in Linhares & Brum, 2007) found that...

Your in-text citation gives credit to Frederick and shows the source in which you found Frederick's ideas.

As you can see, the citation is treated like any other citation with multiple authors.  In the Reference list, you will only cite the article or book that you used, the one that referred to the indirect source.  For the in-text citation, you'll add as cited in before the author's names and pub. date.

If you look at the example and explanation of the in-text citation I think it will explain your question about the use of "in".  It is used to show the source in which you found the reference to the original author's work. So, in the example you gave in your question, Smith is the author of the article that you read.  They say "in" because they are telling you that the original author's work was cited in Smith's work.