How to Cite APA in References Without a Date or an Author

The style of the American Psychological Association calls for arranging entries in the reference list alphabetically by last name. The date of publication follows the name. If you do not know the author's name or the publication date for a certain reference, you should still include that reference in the reference list. Change the reference format slightly to account for the unknown information.

Step 1

Insert the reference into the reference list alphabetically according to the title.

Step 2

Begin the entry with the title of the reference. Italicize the title if it is a book. If it is a periodical, enclose the title in quotation marks. End with a period after the title.

Step 3

Follow the title with "n.d.," the abbreviation for "no date," in parentheses.

Step 4

Complete the rest of the reference entry as you would for any other entry. For example, if your entry is for a periodical, complete the entry as you would for any other periodical that did include an author and date. For example:

"Child Brides of Afghanistan." (n.d.), Childhood Issues, 54-57.


Use a shortened version of the title and "n.d." for in-text citations with no author or date. Italicize the title of a book or put quotation marks around the title of an article or essay. For example, ("Childhood," n.d.).


As an example, Merriam-Webster's online dictionary does not have authors or dates. Cite an entry like this, with the website name in italics: Citation. (n.d.). In Merriam-Webster's online dictionary. Retrieved from

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