Authors and Editors


The author can be anything from a single person to a group or organization. There are many types of authors. Examples include a speaker at a TED talk, the editor of a book, a singer, the writer of an article, or someone who comments on a web page.

This page explains how to cite authors and editors as part of your APA reference list.


Inverted Names

Most of the time you’ll first want to give an author’s surname, followed by initials:

Jones, A. B. (2001).

If the first name is hyphenated (e.g., Mary-Jo), use both a period and a hyphen (e.g., M.-J.). In general, remove titles (e.g., Dean, President, etc.), but do add suffixes (e.g., Jr.).


If you’re citing two or more authors, join the last two names together with an ampersand (&):

Jones, A. B., Smith, C. D., & Axelrod, D. T. (2009).

When using an ampersand between two group names, don’t add a comma:

Fun in the Sun Conference & The Hawaiian Epicurean Society.

However, do provide commas with three or more group authors.

Twenty-One or More Authors

When citing a source with 21 or more authors, delete every name after the 19th and before the final one. Use three spaced periods to indicate the omission:

Seacrest, B. T., Reynolds, A. T., Etheridge, L., Cruise, T., Merkel, A., Bergkamp, N., Cornflake, X., Bobbejaan, I., Watson, E., Ampersand, N., Doubletake, C. B., Corny, W., Snowflake, Y., Naughty, T., Funfner, P., Zijlstra, K., Allegro, U., Andante, E., Presto, J. . . . Ratzinger, W. (2015).

Same Name

If authors share the same last name and initial(s), you can add the full first name in brackets:

Williams, B. [Brent]. (1999).

Williams, B. [Bryan]. (2004).

Be sure also to spell out each initial in the text of your essay (e.g., Brent Williams, 1999).

Group Author

Don’t abbreviate the names of group authors:

Peruvian Pavlovians Society. (2009).

Hawaiian Littoral Study Group. (2011).

If you list the group name as author, don’t include it again later in the source section of the entry.

No Author

If a source has no author, place the title first:

Dit is niet een echte titel. (2006).

Only if the work is clearly signed “Anonymous” can you use this designation as the author.


Editor as Author

When citing one or more editors in the author position, invert the names and add (Ed.). or (Eds.).

Brown, A. T. (Ed.). (2011).

Strand, J. S., & Johnson, C. N. (Eds.). (2016).

Editor and Author

If the source has an author, and the editor’s name comes later in the entry, don’t invert the editor’s name:

Templeton, R. (2009). The destructive work habits of slobs (T. V. Time, Ed.; 2nd ed.). Billabong University Press.

Entry in Edited Volume

If the source is a chapter or entry in an edited volume, use the word In before the editor’s name:

Prune, B., & Bucket, C. J. (2017). Are splash parks a waste of water? In N. Green, & B. B. Gun (Eds.), Climate change and urban planning (pp. 14-19). Spain: Solar.

For more information about how to format the author element, please see chapter 9 (especially pp. 285-89) of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.).