Book with corporate author [from Print source using APA 6th ed.]


Use this format where the authorship is not identified as being the responsibility of individuals, but a whole organisation, e.g. American Psychological Association, or University of Portsmouth. In APA, if the publisher is the same as the corporate author, use Author in place of the publisher. Building contracts issued by the Joint Contracts Tribunal (JCT) are generally given an ISBN (International Standard Book Number) and so should be treated as books with a corporate author.

Don't panic if you see several dates inside the book. The date you need to use is the one which matches the edition of the book that you're using. Ignore any dates that are just listed as reprints or impressions. Look on the book cover and see if it says e.g. Fourth edition (it should also say this on the title page inside the book). In this case all that you need to show in your reference in the reference list is the date for the 4th edition of the book (and give the edition after the title of the book, immediately before the page numbers). Search for the book on the library catalogue to check the details needed for the reference if you are unsure.

Standard Form

Author. (year). Title of book (Edition if later than first e.g. 3rd ed.). Place of publication: Publisher.


American Psychological Association. (2001). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (5th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

Joint Contracts Tribunal. (2000). Standard form of building contract. Private with quantities: Incorporating amendments 1:1999 2:2000. London: RIBA Publications.

Joint Contracts Tribunal. (2005). Standard building contract with quantities (SBC/Q). London: Sweet & Maxwell.

University of Portsmouth, Centre for Coastal Zone Management. (1995). Best practice guide for the preparation of coastal zone management plans: Tender submitted by the Centre for Coastal Zone Management, University of Portsmouth. Portsmouth: University of Portsmouth Enterprise Ltd.

Citation in Text

... the ordering of the reference list (American Psychological Association [APA], 2001, p. 219) is essentially alphabetical ...

When dealing with works by authors with same surname (American Psychological Association, 2001, p. 221), it is necessary to ...

There is a case for an holistic approach (University of Portsmouth, Centre for Coastal Zone Management, 1995, p. 4) which...


  • Where you have a document produced by an organisation and the organisation is commonly referred to by an abbreviation/acronym you should do the following:

In the in-text reference write out the name of the organisation in full the first time and give the abbreviation in square brackets e.g.

... clearly stated policy (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations [FAO], 2005, p. 24)

then subsequent in-text references can just use the abbreviation e.g.

... measures to improve food supplies (FAO, 2005, p. 26).

  • In the reference list, always spell out the name of the organisation in full e.g.

        Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. (2005). title of doc etc.
  •  The parent body precedes a subdivision e.g. University of Portsmouth, Centre for Coastal Zone Management.