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APA 7th Edition Referencing Guide

A Wintec Library guide to referencing in APA 7th edition style

Referencing works with multiple authors

  • Reference list entries for books, journal articles, or any resource with multiple authors can include up to 20 authors' names before it is necessary to abbreviate.

  • For resources with 21+ authors, use the names of the first 19 authors, followed by ellipsis (...) and the name of the final author (i.e., there should be a maximum of 20 authors included in the reference list entry). 

Number of authors to include in text

In-text citations for works with three (3) or more authors can be shortened to the name of the first author and 'et al.' (and page/para. number as usual). 

When abbreviating in-text citations with the use of et al., take care to avoid ambiguity. For example:

(Smith, Jones, & Brown, 2018).
(Smith, Jones, Brown, Anderson, Williams, Wilson, & Andrews, 2018).

Both citations above refer to different works published in the same year. Both could be shortened to simply (Smith et al., 2018), thereby creating confusion as to which work is being cited. To avoid ambiguity, the names of as many authors as necessary to distinguish the sources should be used in each citation before abbreviation with et al. For example:

(Smith, Jones, & Brown, 2018).
(Smith, Jones, Brown, Anderson et al., 2018).


Referencing a book with multiple authors

Reference list entry

Stillings, N. A., Weisler, S. E., Chase, C. H., Feinstein, M. H., Garfield, J. L., & Rissland, E. L. (1995). Cognitive science: An introduction (2nd ed.). The MIT Press.

In-text citations

Stillings et al. (1995) argue that ... (p. 67).

... (Stillings et al., 1995, p. 67).

Referencing a journal article with multiple authors

Reference list entry

Cuppage, J., Baird, K., Gibson, J., Booth, R., & Hevey, D. (2018). Compassion focused therapy: Exploring the effectiveness with a transdiagnostic group and potential process of change. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 57(2), 240–254.

In-text citations

Cuppage et al. (2018) outline ... (p. 244).

... (Cuppage et al., 2018, p. 244).

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