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Libraries and Learning Skills

APA 7th Edition - University of Lincoln

How to cite sources with no author

When a work has no author, use the title and date for the in-text citation - e.g. ("Generalised Anxiety Disorder", 2019). If the title of the work is italicised in the reference, also italicise the title in the in-text citation. If it is not italicised, use double quotation marks around the title of the in-text citation. Capitalise all major words of the titles in the in-text citation but use sentence case in the reference list. 

For the reference list, move the title of the work to the author position – e.g. Generalised anxiety disorder. (2019). http://xxxxx 
Alphabetise the entry in the reference list by the first significant word of the title (ignoring “A”, “An”, “The” at the beginning of titles). 

Only if the work is signed “Anonymous,” can you use “Anonymous” as the author – e.g. (Anonymous, 2017) for the in-text citation and: Anonymous. (2017). Title. Source for the reference list entry. 

How to cite when there is no date

If the publication date of a work is unknown or cannot be determined, use (n.d.) instead of the date in both the in-text citation and the reference list, e.g. Pritchard (n.d.) for the in-text citation. Use a full stop after letter with no space in between. 

How to cite multiple authors

When a work has two authors, cite both names every time the reference occurs. When a work has three or more authors, cite the first author followed by et al. (Latin for "and others") from the first citation. For example (Banner et al., 2017) or Banner et al. (2017). This is new to APA 7th.

Note: use last names only unless there are different authors with the same surname. In this case, use the initials of the different authors in addition to the last name even if the year of publication is different. E.g. (W. Gardener & French, 2018; L. Gardener, 2014).

How to cite multiple references within the same brackets

Where citing multiple works, you can combine them in a single in-text citation. Within brackets, put the works in alphabetical order by the first author's surname and separate the works with a semi-colon - e.g.  

(Fry et al., 2014; Jacklin, 2009). 

Several studies (Miller, 2014; Shafranske & Mahoney, 2017; Tate, 2018) show that... 

If multiple sources are are cited in a narrative citation (i.e. the author surnames are in the body of the sentence with the date in brackets), then you do not need to list the sources alphabetically by author surname.

Avoiding ambiguity in in-text citations

Occasionally you may find that two works with multiple authors and the same year would shorten to the same in-text citation. If this is the case, include as many authors as necessary to differentiate between the two citations and abbreviate the remaining authors to et al. in each citation.

For example, when writing the in-text citation for these two works:

James, King, Atkinson, Roberts, and Browne (2018)

James, King, Simons, Chen, and Thompson (2018)

under normal APA rules, these would both shorten to the same citation (James et al., 2018). Therefore, to enable your reader to distinguish between the two sources, these would instead be cited as:

James, King, Atkinson, et al. (2018) or (James, King, Atkinson, et al., 2018)

James, King, Simons, et al. (2018) or (James, King, Simons, et al., 2018)

For citations where only the final author is different, do not use et al. in place of the final author, instead put all of the authors' names in each citation.

See the APA's guidance for more information at:

How to cite authors with multiple works in the same year

Sometimes authors publish a few studies in the same year. In this case, use a lowercase letter after the year in both the in-text citation and the reference list entry. Order the references alphabetically by title to determine whether they are a, b or c, etc.  E.g.  

(Fry & Jacklin, 2009a) 

Fry and Jacklin (2009b) 

Citing the same work in a paragraph

If you are citing from the same source multiple times within a paragraph, avoid overcitation. It is not necessary to repeat the citation in each sentence within the paragraph when paraphrasing from the same work. Instead, APA recommends that you cite the source in the first sentence it is mentioned then there is not need to repeat this in subsequent sentences within that paragraph if it is clear that the source remains the same.