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Referencing style

Author variations

30 September 2023

There are intricacies of author variations in APA style, including citing works with two authors, multiple authors, or even 21 or more authors. Learn how to handle multiple works by the same author, publications with authors, materials with no author, and those authored by corporate entities or editors.


Reference list

Ainger, C., & Fenner, R. (2014). Sustainable infrastructure: Principles into practice. ICE Publishing.

Su, C. F., & Picker, M. (Directors). (2001). Mickey Mouse monopoly: Disney, childhood & corporate power [Film]. Media Education Foundation.

In-text citations

Ainger and Fenner (2014, p. 251) ... OR ... (Ainger & Fenner, 2014, p. 251)

Su and Picker (2001, 20:50) ... OR ... (Su & Picker, 2001, 20:50)


Reference list

Huber, M., Knottnerus, J. A., Green, L., van der Horst, H., Jadad, A. R., Kromhout, D., Leonard, B., Lorig, K., Loureiro, M. I., van der Meer, J. W. M., Schnabel, P., Smith, R., van Weel, C., & Smid, H. (2011). How should we define health? BMJ, 343(7817), Article d4163.

Witten, I. H., Frank, E., & Hall, M. A. (2011). Data mining: Practical machine learning tools and techniques (3rd ed.). Morgan Kaufmann.


  • Include all author names in the reference list in the order they appear on the document
  • Separate the final name from the rest with a comma and an ampersand
In-text citations

Huber et al. (2011) ... OR ... (Huber et al., 2011)

Witten et al. (2011, pp. 90–94) ... OR ... (Witten et al., 2011, pp. 90–94)


Reference list

Session, A. M., Uno, Y., Kwon, T., Chapman, J. A., Toyoda, A., Takahashi, S., Fukui, A., Hikosaka, A., Suzuki, A., Kondo, M., Heeringen, S. J. van., Quigley, I., Heinz, S., Ogino, H., Ochi, H., Hellsten, U., Lyons, J. B., Simakov, O., Putnam, N., . . . Rokhsar, D. S. (2016). Genome evolution in the allotetraploid frog Xenopus laevisNature538(7625), 336–343.


  • Include the first 19 authors’ names, insert an ellipsis (...) but no ampersand (&) and then last author's name
In-text citation

Session et al. (2016) argue ... OR Research indicates ... (Session et al., 2016)


Reference list

Gardner, H. (1999). Intelligence reframed: Multiple intelligences for the 21st century. Basic Books.

Gardner, H. (2004). Changing minds: The art and science of changing our own and other people’s minds. Harvard Business School Press.


In-text citation

As discussed by Gardner (1999, 2004) ... OR Research indicates ... Gardner (1999, 2004)

Reference list

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

Graham, S. (2006b). Writing. In P. Alexander & P. Winne (Eds.), Handbook of educational psychology (2nd ed., pp. 457–478). Erlbaum.


In-text citation

As discussed by Graham (2006a, 2006b) ... OR Recent research suggests ... (Graham, 2006a, 2006b)


Reference list

Bolstad, R., & Gilbert, J. (with McDowall, S., Bull, A., Boyd, S., & Hipkins, R.). (2012). Supporting future-oriented learning and teaching: A New Zealand perspective: Report prepared for the Ministry of Education. Ministry of Education.

Morgan, G. (with McCrystal, J.). (2009). After the panic: Surviving bad investments and bad advice. Random House New Zealand.

Plummeridge, C. (with Adams, P.). (2001). Beyond the classroom. In C. Philpott (Ed.), Learning to teach music in the secondary school: A companion to school experience (pp. 222–237). RoutledgeFalmer.


In-text citation

Bolstad and Gilbert (2012, Chapter 4) ... OR ... (Bolstad & Gilbert, 2012, Chapter 4)

Morgan (2009, pp. 213–219) ... OR ... (Morgan, 2009, pp. 213–219)

Plummeridge (2001) ... OR ... (Plummeridge, 2001)


Reference list

Anonymous. (2017). Stories from my time as a spy. Bond Publishers.

The epic of Gilgamesh (M. G. Kovaks, Trans.). (1998). Academy of Ancient Texts. (Original work published ca. 2500–2750 B.C.E.)

Overuse of benzodiazepines: Still an issue? (2015, February). Best Practice Journal, (66), 30–35.


  • Use sentence case capitalisation for most titles (e.g., the titles of articles and books). Use title case capitalisation for the titles of journals.
  • For a missing author, do not use “Anonymous” as the author unless the work is actually signed “Anonymous”. If the work is signed “Anonymous”, use “Anonymous” in the reference and in-text citation.
  • When there is no author nor an “Anonymous” author, place the title in the author position.
In-text citations

Anonymous (2017) ... OR ... (Anonymous, 2017)

The Epic of Gilgamesh (ca. 2750–2500 B.C.E./1998) ... OR ... (The Epic of Gilgamesh, ca. 2750–2500 B.C.E./1998).

(“Overuse of Benzodiazepines,” 2015)


  • For a missing author, do not use “Anonymous” as the author unless the work is actually signed “Anonymous”. If the work is signed “Anonymous”, use “Anonymous” in the reference and in-text citation.
  • When there is no author nor an “Anonymous” author:
    • Use a few words of the title (or the whole title if it is short).
    • If the title is in italics in the reference (e.g., a book title), write the title in italics. If the title is not in italics in the reference (e.g., an article title), enclose the title in quotation marks.
    • Use title case capitalisation (capitals for every major word) in the body of the paper, including in all in-text citations.

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

Reference list

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

Te Tāhuhu o Te Mātauranga–Ministry of Education & New Zealand Teachers Council–Te Pouherenga Kaiako o Aotearoa. (2011). Tātaiako: Cultural competencies for teachers of Māori learners. Ministry of Education.


  • When the publisher and the author are identical, omit the publisher.
  • For organisation names that include both English and Māori names:
    • include both names separated by an en dash (–)
    • the order of the names follows that appearing on the source document or work
    • this guidance is provided by the APA Style Experts (personal communication, February 25, 2020).



In-text citation

(Te Tāhuhu o Te Mātauranga–Ministry of Education & New Zealand Teachers Council–Te Pouherenga Kaiako o Aotearoa, 2011) OR According to Te Tāhuhu o Te Mātauranga–Ministry of Education and New Zealand Teachers Council–Te Pouherenga Kaiako o Aotearoa (2011)

(Ministry of Health, 2008) OR According to the Ministry of Health (2008)


  • Corporate authors can be abbreviated provided the abbreviation is well-known, will help avoid cumbersome repetition or will appear at least three times in the paper.
    • If you use abbreviations, indicate the abbreviation in the first in-text citation, for example
      First citation: (Ministry of Health [MOH], 2006) OR According to the Ministry of Health (MOH, 2006)
      Subsequent citations: (MOH, 2006).
    • After you define an abbreviation, use only the abbreviation; do not alternate between spelling out the term and abbreviating it. Use the abbreviation every time thereafter, even at the beginning of a sentence or paragraph or within headings.
  • If the name is short or the abbreviation would not be easily understood, type out the name each time it occurs.
  • See more on the APA Style website: Group Author Abbreviations
  • See also Format of Group Author Names on the APA Style website, which explains how to identify the authors of a report and how to handle organisation names that have layers of hierarchy.

Reference list

Scott, C. R., & Lewis, L. (Eds.). (2017). The international encyclopedia of organizational communication. John Wiley & Sons.

In-text citation

Many articles in Scott and Lewis (2017) ... OR Research indicates ... (Scott & Lewis, 2017)


General rules


Personal author names in references
  • Order of authors: List authors in the order that they appear on the source.
  • Surnames: Write the author’s surname exactly as it appears on the source, for example
    Velasco Caballero
    • If uncertain about the proper format for a name, look at the source itself for any guidance or if that does not clarify the name, consult how the author is cited in other sources’ citations, bibliographic database records, the author’s website and so on. For example
      van der Schaft – catalogue indexes author as “van der Schaft, Arjan”
      Van der Westhuizen – catalogue indexes author as “Van der Westhuizen, Christi”
      Horst, van der – author’s own website has citations as “Horst, van der H.” This is usually the type of format for authors based in continental Europe, as this author is.
  • Format of names: Invert the names of personal authors and use the initials of the first names, for example
    Veseth, M. – on the source as “Michael Veseth”
    Zirpoli, T. J. – on the source as “Thomas J. Zirpoli”.
  • Forenames with hyphens or parentheses: Include these elements with a full stop after each initial, for example
    Tsui, L.-C. – on the source as “Lap-Chee Tsui”
    Andrews, W. (J.) – on the source as “Waimirirangi (Jean) Andrews”.
    • When the second element of a hyphenated name is lowercase, treat it as a single name, for example
      Tsui, M. – on the source as “Ming-sum Tsui”.


In-text citations
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