APA (6th ed.) referencing bite-sized: citing less common things

Following on from my first post introducing citation, I just wanted to cover a couple of variants that commonly cause confusion – sources written by ‘corporate’ authors, sources with no author, and sources with no publication date.

Corporate authors

Companies, government departments and other organisations write reports and publish them with themselves as author.  Treat such ‘corporate authors’ as for individual authors.  For example:

Shell (2005, p. 10) gives the gross profit margin for Q1 2004 as…


Shell’s gross profit margin for Q1 (2004) was … (Shell, 2005, p. 10).


Citations for sources with no publication date

If you have a copyright date for a source but no publication date, use the copyright date instead.

If no date is given, which is common on websites, put n.d. (for “no date”) instead of a date, for example:

“Angel therapies” (n.d.) describes a complementary therapy…


Various complementary therapies exist, including angel therapy (“Angel therapies”, n.d.)…


Citations for sources with no author

Use the first (typically up to four) words of the title instead of the author’s name.  If the source is a book or ebook, give the title in italics; for webpages, reports and other materials, use “double quotation marks” instead.

For a website or other source without page numbers

“Life amidst adversity” (2020) debates…


…after lockdown ends (“Life amidst adversity”, 2020).

For books and ebooks

Viral dreams (2020) is a collection of dystopian short stories…


…Lovecraftian horror combined with contemporary events (Viral dreams, 2020)

Give (a) page number(s), if appropriate.  In this example the citation is for the book as a whole and so includes no page number(s).


The last word on citation

If you are ever in doubt about citing something, there is extensive advice under Cite it on the Referencing@Portsmouth website.  You can find Referencing@Portsmouth by clicking on the blue and white [r] button on the Library website.

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