How to Cite With Et Al. in APA Style

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Pay tribute where tribute is due: this is the reason for scholarly citation. Just as athletes receive trophies and politicians win accolades, scholars get citations. Sometimes, however, space issues limit the recognition you give to the authors of your sources. In this case, the Latin abbreviation "et al.," meaning "and others," is essential. The sixth edition of the "Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association" offers guidelines in the use of et al. to cite references.

Use the lead author's name and et al. for subsequent in-text citations of a work with 3 to 5 authors. All author surnames should be given in the initial citation. For example, initial citation: "Krimgold, Queezy, Percival, & Rent (2011) noted ..."; subsequent citation: "Krimgold et al. (2011) found ..."

Use the lead author's name and et al. for subsequent parenthetical citation of a work with 3 to 5 authors. All author surnames should be given in the initial citation. For example, initial parenthetical citation: (Krimgold, Queezy, Percival, & Rent, 2011); subsequent parenthetical citation: (Krimgold et al., 2011).

Use the lead author's surname and et al. for in-text citation of a work with 6 or more authors. For example, "... as Blythe et al. (2003) reported ..."

Use the lead author's surname and et al. for parenthetical citation of a work with 6 or more authors. For example, (Blythe et al., 2003).

Use the lead author's name and et al. in your reference-list citation of a major reference book with a large editorial board. For example, "Props, F. F. et al. (1967). Encyclopedia of Halloween Costumes. Generous, KY: BigEyes Publishing.

Tips

  • In an actual APA citation, italicize the names of books and journals.