How to Credit Authors and Other Contributors

Author "refers broadly to the person(s) or group responsible for a work" (p. 285). 

An author may be one person, more than one person, one group, more than one group, or a combination. 

This element includes not only authors of articles, books, reports, and other works but also others who played primary roles in the creation of a work, such as editors of books, directors of films, principal investigators of grants, podcast hosts, and so on.” 

Cite an author’s name exactly as it appears on the source.

Tips for Determining Authors (p. 286)

Sometimes it is not obvious who the author of a work is, especially for online works. The author of reports is usually the group that produced it. For a website from a group like an organization, agency, university, etc., list the group as the author unless a specific author is clearly identified. To determine the author of other webpages, you may need to browse periphery information, like the About page or the website’s homepage.  

Single and Multiple Authors (p. 286)

APA guidelines indicate to use the full last name of an author, but for an author’s first name and any middle name, only use their initials. For multiple authors, list them in the same order as they are listed on the source. Citation Maker will add the correct formatting, like reversing the order of the names.


1 author: Twain, M.

2 authors: de Beauvoir, S., & Loewe, F. J.

3-20 authors: Anderson, R. K., Wilson, J., & Lewis, M. P.

21 or more authors: List the names of the first 19 authors, substitute an ellipsis for the ampersand, and then add the name of the final author: 
Anderson, R. K., Carlson, E., Smith, R, J., Lewis, M. P., Jones, R., Petrov, L., Andrews, N. A., Hernandez, W., Long, T., Marshall, H., Roberts, T. W., Thompson, S., Edwards, E., Barnes, J., Nelson, P., Douglas, G. R., Edwards, R. T., Wong, R. J., Parks, R., . . . Olson, A. K.


Group as Author (p. 288)

An author may be a group, corporation, organization, institution, or agency. Spell out the full name of a group author. When an organization is both the author and publisher, skip the Publisher field and only list the organization in the Author field.

Group as Author, Government Agency (p. 288)

For a government agency that is the author of a work, list the name of the most specific agency as the author. The parent agency or agencies not already listed as the author are listed as the publisher.


For the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Nursing Research
     ...the Author is:       National Institute of Nursing Research
     ...the Publisher is:   U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health

Usernames (p. 287)

If both an author’s username and real name are known, provide the real name of the individual or group, followed by the username in square brackets. When the @ symbol is part of a username, include the username in the brackets.


DeGeneres, E. [@TheEllenShow]
Badlands National Park [@BadlandsNPS]

Titles and Suffixes (p. 287)

If a person's title, position, rank, or degree is listed, do not include it in the citation. Examples include U.S. Senator, Lieutenant, Committee Chair, and PhD.  

However, in rare cases, a title will be included, like for Queen Elizabeth II. For that situation, enter the title and full name in the text box for Last Name.

If an essential suffix is included at the end of the name, include it in the citation. Edit your citation after you transfer it to your reference list. 


For Stephen Hawking, PhD:                   Hawking, S.
For Sir Anthony Hopkins:                        Hopkins, A.
For Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.:     King, M. L., Jr.
For Sen. John D. Rockefeller, IV:            Rockefeller, J. D., IV

One-Word or Multi-Part Names (p. 287)

Occasionally, some authors will have a one-word name or a multi-part name where all parts are necessary to identify the person. That is true for some celebrities, recording artists, and ancient Greek or Roman authors. Enter the full name in the text box for Last Name. 


Lady Gaga (not: Gaga, L.)
Malcolm X (not: X, M.)

Hyphenated and Two-Part Last Names (p. 287)

Cite an author’s name exactly as it appears on the source, including when the last name is hyphenated, consists of two names, or starts with lowercase letters. 


Jones-Henderson, A.
Velasco Rodriguez, J. N.
van der Waal, P. N.

Contributors Other Than Authors (pp. 287-288)

APA indicates to credit other contributors in certain circumstances. Other contributors could include editors, illustrators, narrators, translators, executive producers, and/or performers. Add each contributor’s name in the relevant field, and Citation Maker will add the correct role and punctuation. It will also correctly abbreviate the name of the role, when required by APA rules.


Smith, J. P. (Ed.)
Smith, J. P., & Guerrero, R. (Eds.)
Lane, M. D. (Executive Producer)
Park, O. (Writer), Grant, R. (Writer), & Anderson, L. P. (Director)
(R. Nguyen, Trans.; T. R. Jones, Narr.)
(L. Bailey, Ed. & Trans.)
[Performed by Oregon Symphony Orchestra]

No Author (p. 289)

“A work is treated as having no author when its author is unknown or cannot reasonably be determined.” When there is no author, move the title of the work to the author position, followed by the date of publication.

“If, and only if, the work is signed ‘Anonymous,’ use Anonymous as the author.”


Generalized anxiety disorder. (2019).
Anonymous. (1996). Primary colors.

Reference List: Multiple Entries from Same Author (pp. 303-306)

When you cite multiple sources from the same author, list the full author's name in every entry. Arrange them in order by publication date, with the earliest first. If the date is the same, alphabetize by the title, ignoring A, An, or The.


Fitzgerald. F. S. (1920). Flappers and philosophers. Scribners.
Fitzgerald. F. S. (1920). This side of paradise. Scribners.
Fitzgerald. F. S. (1925). The great Gatsby. Scribners.

Reference List: Multiple Entries from Same Author with other Authors (pp. 303-306)

Citations with only one author come before citations with that same author and additional authors. When you cite sources with the same first author and different second or third authors, arrange them alphabetically by the last name of the second author. If the second author is the same, arrange them alphabetically by the last name of the third author, and so on. 


Jones, E. P. (2012).
Jones, E. P., & Lewis, C.  (2015).
Jones, E. P., & Martinez, P. (2014).
Jones, E. P., Martinez, P., & Nguyen, A. (1998)
Jones, E. P., Martinez, P., & Williams, K. (2002).


American Psychological Association. (2020). Elements of reference list entries. APA Style.

American Psychological Association. (2020). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.).

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