Entry with no author in a reference book [from Electronic source using APA 6th ed.]


Examples of dictionary or encyclopaedia/encyclopedia entries are found in collections such as Credo Reference. For books from online collections such as Credo Reference, Ebook Central (formerly ebrary and MyiLibrary), Google Books and dawsonera, give the web address of the e-book collection homepage rather than the full URL of the e-book.

Many electronic sources do not provide page numbers. If paragraph numbers are visible, use them in place of page numbers (using the abbreviation para.), e.g. para. 582. Alternatively, cite the chapter or section, followed by the paragraph number (if appropriate) e.g. Chapter 4, para. 3). 

Whenever possible the URL you give should be a stable URL and link directly to the webpage itself. A stable URL, also known as a 'permalink' will not be generated 'on-the-fly' and is more likely to remain accessible. To check if a link to a URL is stable, paste the link into the address bar of an Internet browser to make sure that it works.

The Discovery Service provides a permanent link known as a 'Permalink' for each item in its index, including those in HTML format.  To see the Permalink, click on the title of the item and look under Tools on the right-hand-side of the screen where you will see a Permalink link. Click on this link and the URL will be displayed for you to copy and paste into your reference.

Although you must give the full web address (or URL) in your reference list, you do not show this in the body of your essay. Your in-text reference must match the start of the reference as it appears in your reference list. Use the author if your reference has one; otherwise use the first few words of the title.

Standard Form

Title. (year). In Initials. Name of Editor/s (Ed/s.)[if any], Title of reference book (Edition if later than first e.g. 3rd ed., Vol. number[if any], pp. start and end page numbers of entry). Retrieved from web address


Accrual accounting. (2000). In Dictionary of Financial Engineering. Retrieved from https://www.credoreference.com

Agnostic. (n.d.). In Merriam-Webster's online dictionary (11th ed.). Retrieved from https://www.merriam-webster.com

Guidance of the Sentencing Guidelines Council on suspended sentences. (2007). In A. P. Carr & A. J. Turner (Eds.), Stone's justice manual (Vol. 1, paras. 3-152). Retrieved from https://www.lexisnexis.com/uk/legal

Quantum theory. (2012). In The Columbia encyclopaedia (6th ed.). Retrieved from https://www.encyclopedia.com

Citation in Text

... recognising when the right to receive revenue has been earned ("Accrual accounting", 2000) ...

... this definition ("Agnostic", 2009) ...

... "energy is treated solely as a continuous phenomenon" ("Quantum theory", 2012) ...


  • If no date appears on the item you are trying to reference, insert (n.d.) where you would normally give the year.
  • For major reference works with a large editorial board, list the name of the lead editor followed by et al.
  • Omit editor information if it is not given.
  • If the online version refers to a print edition, include the edition number after the title inside brackets.  Otherwise, leave out this part of the reference.