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Dissertation & Doctoral Project Formatting & Clearance: Formatting Author Information

After you successfully defend your dissertation or doctoral project, what happens? This is a guide to submitting your dissertation or doctoral project for the formatting check and final copy.

Citing Authors

The APA Manual (6th ed.) offers a great table on basic citation styles (see APA, Table 6.1, p. 177).  Author formatting is not always limited to basic styles.  Scroll down for additional examples.

Two citations with same author and same year

When two sources have the same author surname and publication year, use this format for in-text citation:

Author/Date separate

Brown (2007a)

Brown (2007b)

Taylor (in press-a)

Taylor (in press-b)

Parenthetical citation

(Brown, 2007a)

(Brown, 2007b)

(Taylor, in press-a)

(Taylor, in press-b)

Two works within the same parenthenses

(Brown, 2007a, 2007b)

(Taylor, in press-a, in press-b)

(Brown, 2007a, 2007b; Taylor, in press-a, in press-b)


Two references that have the same year and several of the same authors
(see APA, section 6.12, p. 175; APA Style Blog, "Et al.: When and How, Comments Section)

Example Bischoff, Frey, Hoeferkamp, and Wienhorst (2011) 
Bischoff, Frey, Smith, and Holmes (2011)
Subsequent citations in text  
Bischoff, Frey, Hoeferkamp, et al. (2011)
Bischoff, Frey, Smith, et al. (2011
Parenthetical citation  
(Bischoff, Frey, Hoeferkamp, & Wienhorst, 2011) 
(Bischoff, Frey, Smith, & Holmes, 2011)
Subsequent parenthetical citations
(Bischoff, Frey, Hoeferkamp, et al., 2011)
(Bischoff, Frey, Smith, et al., 2011)

Et al.

When a source that has three, four, or five authors is cited, all authors are included the first time the source is cited. When that source is cited again, the first author’s surname and “et al.” are used.

  • First time: (Payne, Bergin, Bielema, & Jenkins, 1991).
  • Subsequent usages: Payne et al. (1991) showed that …

When a source that has six or more authors is cited, the first author’s surname and “et al.” are used every time the source is cited (including the first time).

Group Authors

APA recognizes that corporations, associations, government agencies, and study groups can serve as authors (see APA, section 6.13, p.176).  These group authors are spelled out in every text citation.  Some group author names are spelled out in the first in text citation, and then abbreiviated in the second and subsequent citations Group author names should be abbreviated when the name is too long. 

General rule: always give enough information about the group name in the citation so that the reader can locate it in the reference list.

Examples (taken from APA, Table 6.1, p. 177):

Type of Citation First citation in text Subsequent citations in text Parenthetical format, first citation in text Parenthetical format, subsequent citations in text
Groups (readily identified through abbreviation) as authors National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH, 2003) NIMH (2003) (National Institute of Mental Health [NIMH], 2003) (NIMH, 2003)
Groups (no abbreviation) as authors University of Pittsburgh (2005) University of Pittsburgh (2005) (University of Pittsburgh, 2005) (University of Pittsburgh, 2005)

No Author(s)/Anonymous)

No Author(s)

When you cannot identify the author(s) of the source, use the first few words of the reference list entry, usually the title, and the year for the in text citation.  Titles of articles, chapters, and web pages need double quotation marks.  Italicize titles of periodicals, books, brochures, and reports (see APA, section 6.15, p. 176; APA Style Blog, "The Generic Reference: Who?"; or APA Style FAQ, "How Do You Reference a Webpage that Lists No Author").


dark chocolate prevents heart disease ("Chocolate Lovers," 2007)

the report Chocolate and Your Heart (2007)

Anonymous Author (see APA, section 6.15, p. 177)

If a work is credited to an "Anonymous" author, cite the word Anonymous and the date in the text citation:

(Anonymous, 2012)

Multiple Authors for Separate Sources

Different sources may be cited when referring to several representative sources used for a key point. For in text citations, list authors in alphabetical order within the same parentheses, and separate names with semicolons.  If a work is in press, put that after the years of publication (see APA, section 6.16, pp. 177 - 178).


Multiple works by same author

Arrange by year of publication and place in-press citations at the end.

Sleep deprivation causes nausea (Rogers, 2001, 2005)

Studies (Johnson, 2001, 2002, in press) indicate that

Same author, same publication date

Arrange same publications with suffixes a, b, c, etc. after each year.  These suffixes are mentioned in the reference list as well.

Multiple reports (Stein, 2005a, 2005b; Weinberger & Adams, 2007a, 2007b, in press-a, in press-b).

Multiple works, different authors in the same parentheses

Arrange in alphabetical order by first author's surname.

Writing in APA style is difficult at first (Meyer, 2007; Robinson, 2009)

See also

A major citation can be separated from other citations within a parenthetical citation by inserting the phrase see also

(Johnson, 2001; see also Rogers, 2005; Weinberger & Adams, 2007)