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Three to Twenty Authors (Purdue OWL)

List by last names and initials; commas separate author names, while the last author name is preceded again by ampersand. This is a departure from APA 6, which only required listing the first six authors before an ellipsis and the final author's name.

Nguyen, T., Carnevale, J. J., Scholer, A. A., Miele, D. B., & Fujita, K. (2019). Metamotivational knowledge of the role of high-level and low-level construal in goal-relevant task performance. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 117(5), 879-899.  (double spaced and 2nd/subsequent lines indented) 


(Kernis et al., 1993)

Kernis et al. (1993) suggest...

Group Authors (Purdue OWL)

Group authors can include corporations, government agencies, organizations, etc; and a group may publish in coordination with individuals. Here, you simply treat the publishing organization the same way you'd treat the author's name and format the rest of the citation as normal. Be sure to give the full name of the group author in your reference list, although abbreviations may be used in your text.

Entries in reference works ( e.g. dictionaries, thesauruses, and encyclopedias) without credited authors are also considered works with group authors.

Merriam-Webster. (2008). Braggadocio. In Merriam-Webster’s Advanced Learner’s English Dictionary. Merriam-Webster.

When a work has multiple layers of group authorship (e.g. The Office of the Historian, which is a part of the Department of State, publishes something), list the most specific agency as the author and the parent agency as the publisher.

Bureau of International Organization Affairs. (2018). U.S. contributions to international organizations, 2017 [Annual report]. U.S. Department of State.


If the author is an organization or a government agency, mention the organization in the signal phrase or in the parenthetical citation the first time you cite the source, just as you would an individual person.

According to the American Psychological Association (2000),...

If the organization has a well-known abbreviation, you may include the abbreviation in brackets the first time the source is cited and then use only the abbreviation in later citations. However, if you cite work from multiple organizations whose abbreviations are the same, do not use abbreviations (to avoid ambiguity).

First citation: (Mothers Against Drunk Driving [MADD], 2000)

Second citation: (MADD, 2000)

Unknown Author (Purdue OWL)

When the work does not have an author move the title of the work to the beginning of the references and follow with the date of publication. Only use “Anonymous ” if the author is the work is signed “Anonymous.” This is a new addition to APA 7.

Merriam-Webster's collegiate dictionary (11th ed.). (2003). Merriam-Webster.

NOTE: When your essay includes parenthetical citations of sources with no author named, use a shortened version of the source's title instead of an author's name. Use quotation marks and italics as appropriate. For example, parenthetical citations of the source above would appear as follows: (Merriam-Webster's, 2003).


A similar study was done of students learning to format research papers ("Using Citations," 2001).

Note: In the rare case that "Anonymous" is used for the author, treat it as the author's name (Anonymous, 2001). In the reference list, use the name Anonymous as the author.

Title Has Its Own Punctuation

What Do I Do When the Title Ends in a Question Mark or Exclamation Point?

Authors and readers often ask how to deal with references that already contain punctuation—for example, a title that ends in a question mark or exclamation point. The short answer is, keep the original punctuation and do not add any extra. --APA Webpage