Referencing authors in the APA style

General rules

  • Invert the author(s) name(s) and use the initial(s) of the first name(s).
  • If the author's name is hyphenated, include the hyphen with a full stop after each initial, e.g. Tsui, M.-S.
  • Precede the final name of multiple author citations in running text by the word and. Join the names by an ampersand (&) for citations in parentheses in-text and in the reference list, e.g. Smith and Jones (2015) ... OR ... (Smith & Jones, 2015)

Two authors

In-text citation

According to Ainger and Finner (2014) ... OR
Research indicates ... (Ainger & Finner, 2014)

Reference list

Ainger, C. M., & Finner, R. A. (2014). Sustainable infrastructure: Principles into practice. London, United Kingdom: ICE.

Three, four or five authors

In-text citation

According to Hall, Timothy, and Duval (2007) ... OR
Research indicates ... (Hall, Timothy, & Duval, 2007)

  • Cite all authors the first time in-text. In subsequent citations, include only the surname of the first author followed by et al. and year of publication, e.g. (Hall et al., 2007)

Reference list

Hall, C. M., Timothy, D. J., & Duval, D. T. (2007). Safety and security in tourism: Relationships, management and marketing. Mumbai, India: Jaico.

  • Separate the final name from the rest with a comma and an ampersand

Six or seven authors

In-text citation

According to Hawi et al. (2015) ...

  • In text cite only the surname of the first author followed by et al.

Reference list

Hawi, Z., Cummins, T. D. R., Tong, J., Johnson, B., Lau, R., Samarrai, W., & Bellgrove, M. A.. (2015). The molecular genetic architecture of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Molecular Psychiatry, 20, 289–297.

  • Include all names in the reference list

Eight or more authors

In-text citation

Yoon et al. (2001) argue OR
Research indicates ... (Yoon et al., 2001)

Reference list

Yoon, P. W., Chen, B., Faucett, A., Clyne, M., Gwinn, M., Lubin, I. M., ... Muin, J. (2001). Public health impact of genetic tests at the end of the 20th century. Genetics in Medicine, 3, 405–410.

  • Include the first six authors' names, then insert three dots and add the last author's name

Multiple works by same author

In-text citation

As discussed by Gardner ... (1999, 2004)

Reference list

Gardner, H. (1999). Changing minds: The art and science of changing our own and other people's minds. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.

Gardner, H. (2004). Intelligence reframed: Multiple intelligences for the 21st century. New York: Basic Books.

  • Order chronologically in the reference list

Multiple works published in the same year by the same author

Note: Multiple citations to different works from the one author from the same year are distinguished by assigning a, b, c, to the citations in text and also in the reference list. This is entered after the date.

In-text citation

Recent research suggests (Graham, 2006a, 2006b)...

Reference list

Graham, S. (2006a). Strategy instruction and the teaching of writing: A meta-analysis. In C. MacArthur, S. Graham, & J. Fitzgerald (Eds.), Handbook of writing research (pp. 187–207). New York, NY: Guilford.

Graham, S. (2006b). Writing. In P. Alexander & P. Winne (Eds.), Handbook of educational psychology (pp. 457–478). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

No author

In-text citation

Research indicates ... ("Autism," 2009)

The McGraw-Hill Concise Encyclopedia of Science & Technology (2005, p. 29) defines ....

  • Use a few words of the title (or whole title if it is short)
  • If it is an article or chapter title, put the title in quotation marks. If it is a book or web page title, put it in italics
  • Use title case (capitals for every major word) in the body of the paper.

For more information on title case and sentence case capitalisation see the APA Style Blog.

Reference list

Autism. (2009). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from

McGraw-Hill concise encyclopedia of science & technology (5th ed.). (2005). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

  • Place the title in the author position
  • Use sentence case for titles of chapters, books, web pages, etc.

Corporate authors

In-text first citation

(Ministry of Health [MOH], 2008)

Subsequent text citations

(MOH, 2008)

  • Corporate authors can be abbreviated in subsequent citations, however, if the name is short or if the abbreviation would not be easily understood, type out the name each time it occurs. If you are going to use the abbreviation, indicate the abbreviation in the first in-text citation.

Reference list

Ministry of Health. (2008). Future directions for eating disorders services in New Zealand. Wellington, New Zealand: Author.

  • When the publisher and the author are identical, use the word Author as the publisher.

Editor as author

In-text citation

Research indicates ... (Friedman, 1998) ... OR
According to Friedman (1998) ...

Reference list

Friedman, H. S. (Ed.). (1998). Encyclopedia of mental health. San Diego, CA: Academic Press.