Many times, researchers in a particular field will write papers together. At times, multiple authors, even eight or more, will collaborate on an extensive research paper. This can be confusing while creating your APA reference list, but it doesn’t need to be.
Creating Reference List Entries for Multiple Authors
When a source has multiple authors, follow this format for your APA citation entry. This is the format to follow for up to and including a total of seven authors:
Author, A.A., Author, B.B., Author, C.C. & Author, D.D. (2000). Book title. Location: Publisher.
Continue adding authors, including the seventh author.
More Than Seven Authors
When you have more than seven authors, include the first six authors’ names. Then, insert three ellipsis points and the last author’s name:
Author, A.A., Author, B.B., Author, C.C., Author, D.D., Author, E.E., Author, F.F.,…Author, G.G. (2001). Book title. Location: Publisher.
In-Text Citations for Multiple Authors
Remember that each source citation will have a corresponding in-text or parenthetical citation. When a book has six or more authors, cite only the surname of the first author followed by et.al. and the year for the first and subsequent citations.
Sometimes you will have two or more citations with the some of the same authors. Since researchers in the same field will often collaborate on research projects, this may happen frequently. If you just list the first author’s name and et al., you may not lead the reader to the correct source. In order to avoid that problem, follow these steps:
- Check the dates of the cited material.
- If there are different publication dates, continue to use the first author’s surname, et al., and then the date.
However, if the years of publication are the same, you’ll need to list the authors’ surnames until you reach the first different author.
Let’s say researchers Frederick Alonzo and Stuart Lessing collaborate on papers. In this case, they also worked with four other authors on other projects. List the author names, followed by the date of publication in-text.
Citing several authors within the text and in your reference list can be time-consuming and confusing; however, it’s important that you point your reader to the correct source. Since many researchers collaborate in their respective fields, you will find this scenario comes up frequently during your research.