How do I enter authors, corporate authors, editors, different editions and different sorts of places of publication in my reference list?


APA format has different rules for how many authors to include for the in-text citations (see the Citations & Reference list page) and for reference list entries (covered in this tab).

You must follow the guidance here, and the examples in the guide, exactly.  You must use capital letters and the appropriate punctuation where it is shown below.  Failure to do so is likely to mean you lose marks.

The reference list must be sorted into alphabetical order, to help the reader find the reference they are looking for. APA references are often presented with a hanging indent. This is easily done in Microsoft Word by selecting your reference list text, then right-click mouse and choose “Paragraph…”. In the box that comes up, in the indentation section, click the “special” drop-down list and choose “Hanging”.


One to seven authors:

List all authors by surname, comma, then initials. Use the order in which they appear on their publication (which will have been carefully chosen, perhaps even argued over, as the earlier authors made a greater contribution to the work). Separate the names by commas, with the ampersand (&) sign before the final name. There is no comma after the final name.

Example: Bloggs, J., Smith, J. & Doe, J. (2012)….

Eight authors or more:

Give the names of the first six authors, as above, but after the sixth name put an ellipsis (…) then the final name in the list of authors.

Example: Gilbert, D. G., McClernon, J. F., Rabinovich, N. E., Sugai, C., Plath, L. C., Asgaard, G., … Botros, N. (2004)…

This is a difference to the previous 5th edition of the APA Manual, where the first six authors were names and then the others reduced to “et al.”, then the year. The APA made this change as it is now more common for the final author to be a distinguished figure who made a major contribution to the work (

Anonymous author

List as: Anonymous. (year)…


Where the author of an item is an organisation whose name is normally, or frequently, abbreviated to its initials, e.g. APA, it should be written in full both in the citation in the text and in the reference list at the end of your work, e.g.

IN TEXT CITATION: American Psychiatric Association (2009)… OR (American Psychiatric Association, 2009)

REFERENCE LIST: American Psychiatric Association. (2009). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

If the author is also the publisher, as in the example above, the publisher is listed simply as “Author”.

Some initials and acronyms, e.g. BBC or NHS, are general knowledge and can be used without being written out in full.


First edition or there is only one edition

Just don’t mention the edition in your reference, such as in this example:

Coulson, N. (2015). Online Research Methods for Psychologists. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan. 

Not the first edition – numerical

Put the edition number in brackets after book title, with edition abbreviated as ed. – don’t put it in italics as you do with the book title.

Ogden, J. (2012). Health Psychology: A Textbook (5th ed.). Maidenhead, UK: Open University Press.

Not the first edition - revised edition

Put (Rev ed.) in brackets (not in italics) after book title for revised edition.

Gorbachev, M. (1987). Perestroika (Rev. ed.). London, UK: Fontana/Collins.


It is a common student error to miss out the city of publication from references to books. It can be found on the copyright page inside the book and is also listed in RGU library catalogue entries.  

In APA format, for a city in the USA, give the city and state abbreviation

A web search will quickly give the two-letter abbreviation for any U. S. state.

New York, NY

Thousand Oaks, CA

Boston, MA

In APA format, for a city in any other country (including the UK), give the city and country:

London, UK

Toronto, Canada

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Basingstoke, UK