Entry with author(s) 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. Look for an author of the entry (often at the end). 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

Author, Initials. (year). Title of entry. 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


Frost, W. (2001). Rainforests. In D. B. Weaver (Ed.), The Encyclopedia of Ecotourism. Retrieved from https://search.credoreference.com

McLaughlin, E. (2001). Fear of crime. In E. McLaughlin, & J. Muncie (Eds.), The Sage dictionary of criminology. Retrieved from https://ebookcentral.proquest.com

Moulin, C. (2006). Alzeimer's disease. In G. Davey (Ed.), Encyclopaedic dictionary of psychology. Retrieved from https://search.credoreference.com

Temple, J. (2008). Balanced growth. In S. N. Durlauf, & L. E. Blume (Eds.), The new Palgrave dictionary of economics (2nd ed.). Retrieved from https://linkspringer.com

Citation in Text

... definition of rainforests (Frost, 2001, para 5) draws on the principle of ...

McLaughlin discusses public faith in the criminal justice system (2001) ...

The progression of the disease (Moulin, 2006, para 2) ...

... definition of balanced growth (Temple, 2008) draws on the principle of ...



  • If no date appears on the item you are trying to reference, insert (n.d.) where you would normally give the year.
  • Omit editor information if it is not given.
  • If there are no page numbers, the entry title is sufficient.
  • 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.
  • List up to seven authors in the reference. For eight or more authors, include the first six authors' names, then insert an ellipsis ( . . . ), and add the last author's name.

Citing multiple authors in the text of your work:

  • With two authors both names should be listed in each citation e.g. (Duncan & Goddard, 2003, p. 99).

  • With three to five authors, name all authors the first time, then use et al. (and others). For example: the first time it would be (Moore, Estrich, McGillis, & Spelman, 1984, p. 33) and subsequent references to the same publication would use (Moore et al., 1984, p. 33).

  • Note that when the in-text reference occurs naturally within the sentence "and" should be used before the final author. But when the entire reference is enclosed in brackets the ampersand (&) should be used.