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Referencing Guide

How to cite multiple authors in APA

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If you are citing a source that has multiple authors in the APA 7th Edition citation style guide, follow these basic steps.

Citing one or two authors

When a source has one or two authors, include the author’s last name(s) every time the source is cited. In parenthetical citations, use an ampersand (&) between names for work with two authors. In narrative citations, spell out the word “and”.

Consider the following examples:

Number of authors Parenthetical citation Narrative citation
1 (Smith, 2022) Smith (2022) said…
2 (Smith & Davis, 2019) Smith and Davis (2019) argue that…

Citing three or more authors

When a source that has three or more authors is cited, include the last name of only the first author plus “et al.” (an abbreviation of “et alia” which means “and others”) in every citation.

Consider the following example:

Number of authors Parenthetical citation Narrative citation
3 or more (Richards et al. 2017) Richards et al. (2017) showed…

Reference list with more than twenty authors

In the reference list a source that has three or more authors, all the authors (up to 20) are spelt out in the reference list. If there are more than 21 authors “…” is used between the 19th author and the last author. APA 7th ed. replaces all authors between the 19th and last author with “. . .”.

For example:

Kalnay, E., Kanamitsu, M., Kistler, R., Collins, W., Deaven, D., Gandin, L., Iredell, M., Saha, S., White, G., Woolen, J., Zhu, Y., Chelliah, M., Ebisuzaki, W., Higgins, W., Janowiak, J., Mo, K.C., Ropelewski, C., Wang, J., Leetmaa, A., … Joseph, D. (1996). The NCEP/NCAR 40-year reanalysis project. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 77(3), 437-471. http://doi.org/fg6rf9

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