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Reference guide (APA 7)

This guide shows how you cite different types of sources. It is based on the APA 7 style (American Psychology Association)

Different types of authors

When you cite a source by 1-2 authors, the in-text citation consists of the author’s surname and publication year. The page number(s) should always be added to the in-text citation when quoting your source.


One author

In-text citation

Template: (Author, year)

Example: (Mäntysaari, 2022)

Example: Mäntysaari (2022) claims that …


Reference list

Template: Author, Initial. (year). Title. Publisher.

Example: Mäntysaari, P. (2022). Stocks for all: people's capitalism in the twenty-first century. De Gruyter.


Two authors

In-text citation

Template: (Author & Author, year)

Example: (Bohdanowicz & Clamp, 1994)

Example: According to a study by Bohdanowicz and Clamp (1994)


Reference list

Template: Author, Initial. & Author, Initial. (year). Title. Publisher.

Example: Bohdanowicz, J. & Clamp, L. (1994). Fashion marketing. Routledge.

When a publication has 3-20 authors, only mention the first author followed by et al. (= and others) in the in-text citation. In the reference list, list all the authors in the same order as they are mentioned in the publication, and add & between the last two names.


In-text citation

Template: (First author et al., year)

Example: (Kotler et al., 2011)

Example: According to Kotler et al. (2011)


Reference list

Template: 1st author, initial., 2nd author, initial. & 3rd author, initial., ...  & 20th author, initial. (Year). Title. Publisher.

Example: Kotler, P., Kartajaya, H. & Setiawan, I. (2017). Marketing 4.0: moving from traditional to digital. Wiley.

For books or articles by more than 20 authors, only the first 19 authors are included in the reference list. The authors are added in the same order as in the publication. The in-text citation includes only the first author followed by et al.


In-text citation

Template: (1st Author et al., year)

Example: One study (Anderson et al., 2020) shows...

Example: According to Anderson et al. (2020)...


Reference list

Template: 1st author, initial., 2nd author, initial., 3rd author, initial., ... & 19th author, initial. (Year). Title. Publisher.

A group author can also be called corporate author.

If no person is named as the author, an organization (e.g., authorities, firms, conferences) is the author of the publication. The official name of the organization is spelled out in full. Well-known abbreviations, however, can also be used. In the first in-text citation, spell out the entire name and add the abbreviation in the brackets after the name. In any further in-text citations, you may use the abbreviation only.

In the reference list, do not abbreviate the group author.


In-text citation

Template: (Organisation, year)

Example: Micro and small businesses were the majority… (Official statistics of Finland, 2021).

Example: The report concludes that … (United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs [UNESDA], 2005). Furthermore the report states that.... (UNESDA, 2005)

Example: (Rovio, 2023)


Reference list

Template: Organisation. (year). Title. Publisher. URL

Example: Official statistics of Finland. (2021). Statistics of business subsidies 2020 (2021). Statistics Finland.

Example: Ministry of education and culture. (n.d.). Steering, financing and agreements of higher education insitutions, science agencies and research institutes. Ministry of education and culture.

Example: Rovio. (2023). Better games together: one year on and going strong. Rovio.

If you are citing an edited book as a whole, the main entry is the editor’s surname in the in-text citation. Add (Ed.) or (Eds.) in the reference list. It is however more common to cite a chapter/article in an edited book. See examples of this under edited books. If the book title is mentioned in the text, use italics.


In-text citation

Template: (Editor(s), year)

Example: In Oxford handbook of organizational change the authors cover the latest trends in research… (Poole & van de Ven, 2021).

Example: Theoretical issues in... (Griffin, 2016)


Reference list

Template: Editor (ed.). (year). Title. Publisher.

Example: Poole, M. S. & van de Ven, A. H. (eds.). (2021). The Oxford handbook of organizational change and innovation. Oxford University Press.

Example: Griffin, E. (Ed.) (2016). A field guide for organisation development: taking theory into practice. Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.

Sources published in the same year by the same author are distinguished by “a”, “b” and “c” placed directly after the year. The source you cite first in your text is given “a”, the following “b” and so on. This is used both in the in-text citation and in the reference list.


In-text citation

Example: (Alvesson, 2010a)   (Alvesson, 2010b)


Reference list

Example: Alvesson, M. (2010a). Self-doubters, strugglers, storytellers, surfers and others: Images of self-identities in organization studies. Human Relations, 63(2), pp. 193-217.

Example: Alvesson, M. (2010b). Interpreting interviews. Sage.

When citing two authors with the same surname, distinguish them from each other in your in-text citation by adding the authors initials.


In-text citation

Example: R. Johansson (2021) and A. Johansson (2021) reported that...

Example: The first study (R. Johansson, 2021) indicates that..... However, the second study shows... (A. Johansson, 2021)

Example: This is the result of two independent studies... (Johansson, R., 2017; Johansson, A., 2017).

When you base your text on several different sources supporting the same view in your in-text citation, you can place all the sources in the same in-text citation parenthesis and separate them with a semicolon. Place your sources in alphabetical order and separate the sources with a semicolon. All sources should have separate entries in the reference list.


In-text citation

Template: (Surname, Year; Surname, Year)

Example: According to two recent studies... (Lehner & Knoll, 2008; Naqvi, 2020)


Reference list

Example: Lehner, O.M. & Knoll, C. (2023). Artificial intelligence in accounting: organisational and ethical implications. Routledge.

Example: Naqvi, A. (2020). Artificial intelligence for audit, forensic accounting, and valuation: a strategic perspective. John Wiley & Sons.

If there is no person or organisation named as the author, the title of the work will be the main entry in the in-text citation. Usually the 2-3 first words of the title are included in the in-text citation. In the reference list the source is placed alphabetically according to the first word of the title.

Don't use "Anonymous" unless the author is specifically designated as Anonymous. In this case, the reference is ahlpabetized as Anonomus in the reference list. If there is no named author, alphabetize the entry by the first significant word in the title.


In-text citation

Template: (Beginning of title, year/date)

Example: In an interview for the BBC the chief executive stated… (BA and Ryanair, 9.6.2021)

Example: The book (Anonymous, 2019) received positive response from...


Reference list

Template: Title (year/date). Publisher. URL

Example: BA and Ryanair investigated for refusing refunds (9.6.2021). BBC News.

Example: Anonymous, (2019). A warning: A senior Trump administration official. Twelve.

Read more about how to cite different types of surnames in the APA Style blog.

In-text citation

(Torres Barrera, 2015)

According to Torres Barrera (2015)...

(Rivera-Gutierrez, 2020)

(af Trolle, 2013)


Reference list

af Trolle, U. (2013). Title...

Rivera-Gutierres, D. J.  (2020). Title...

Torres Barrera, A. (2015). Title...

Secondary sources

Secondary sources are sources that report on content from another previous source. A secondary source can be, for example, a review, textbook or in some cases an encyclopedia.

Avoid using secondary sources and try to find the original (primary) source when citing. If accessing the primary source proves difficult or impossible, the in-text citation and full reference should be formed in a way that they are clear for the reader to know which source you have read. It’s the source you have read that you cite, not the original source, and it's the source you have read that should be included in the reference list. If the year of publication is known for the primary source, include it in the text.


In-text citation

Example: Team roles according to Belbin… (2012, cited in Harding, 2017)

Example: Team roles are... (Belbin, 2012, as cited in Harding, 2017)


Reference list

Include the source that you have read (the secondary source) in the reference list. According to the example above, add the source by Harding to your reference list.