In APA, authors' family names come first. In an in-text citation, you will normally only need to give an author's family name. In your list of references you also need to include the initials of the author's first or given name(s).
If there are multiple authors, you should list them in the order that they appear on the source.
Click on the relevant tab above to see examples of formatting different types of authors.
If a source has been written by two authors, include both of their names in every in-text citation. Use an ampersand (&) between their names inside brackets. If you integrate the authors' names into your sentence, use the word 'and' between their names.
Include both authors in your list of references entry. Use an ampersand (&) to separate their names. Note that even when there are only two authors, you should still include a comma after the first author's name, before the ampersand.
If a source has three or more authors, give just the first author's name in in-text citations, followed by 'et al.'.
'Et al.' is short for a Latin phrase which means 'and others'.
Note that if you have integrated the first author's name into your sentence, you should still use a plural reporting verb after 'et al.' (i.e. 'Tortora et al. (2018) argue' rather than 'argues').
Sometimes there will not be a person named as the author of a work. In this case, use the name of the company or organisation as the author. This is called a 'corporate author'.
If the organisation has a common abbreviation (e.g. NMC) and you will be referring to it more than once, you should write the organisation's full name out the first time with the abbreviation in brackets. For subsequent in-text citations you may then just use the abbreviation:
Write out the organisation's name in full in your list of references, followed by a full stop.
Sometimes each chapter of a book will be written by a different author. The job of an editor is to bring together all of these chapters into one book. Normally the editor's name will be on the front cover.
For your in-text citation, you should reference the author of the chapter. The chapter within an edited collection section will tell you how to write an entry in your list of references.
If a work was originally published in another language and has now been republished in English, it may have a translator. See the works in other languages section to find out how to reference this.
Entries in your list of references should be the same as normal, with the initials after the surname.
If you are referencing more than one source written by the same author(s) which were published in different years, reference them as normal. The date in your in-text citation and reference will make it clear which source you are referring to.
If the sources were published in the same year, follow the instructions below.
Add a letter after the year to differentiate between two different sources written by the same author and published in the same year.
Include the letters after the year in your list of references. This allows readers to trace which source you have referred to in each in-text citation.
Occasionally, you may need to keep details about a source confidential, particularly if you have been on placement or you work for the organisation. This may be because the source includes private health information, or commercially sensitive information.
The APA Manual does not provide a way to reference this, so Coventry University's advice is below. However you change your reference, you should keep it consistent, and as close to APA style as possible. Talk to your lecturer if you are unsure about confidentiality in your assignment.
Sometimes, it may also be appropriate to add an anonymised extract of the document to an appendix, to provide context to the reader.
For the author, give an anonymised description of who they are.
Follow the Other Sources guide to construct a reference with as much information as you can.
As well as the author, you may also need to anonymise some or all of the title. Put any information you have anonymised into square brackets, to make it clear that you have changed it from the original.
Note: The title in this example included the name of the NHS Trust (e.g. University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire vaccination protocol). The name of the trust has been anonymised and put into square brackets, but the rest of the title has been retained.
Note: In this example, the whole title would have identified the company. Therefore an anonymised description of the document has been used, and the description has been put into square brackets.
Note: The company name has been anonymised in this example, but the original title of the document does not identify the company in any way. The original title has therefore been included in full.
See the Missing information FAQ for information about how to reference a source with no author.
If you have questions not answered in this guide: