Book with no author [from Print source using APA 6th ed.]


Use when there is no identifiable author or editor, personal or corporate. Do not use Anonymous, unless the book specifically designates the author as Anonymous. The title is placed in the author position in the reference, and italicised. This format can be adapted for other materials where there is no author or editor.

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

Title. (year). Place of publication: Publisher.


Encyclopedia of psychology. (1979). London: Routledge.

Merriam-Webster's collegiate dictionary (10th ed.). (1993). Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster.

Citation in Text

As there is no author to identify the item in the in-text citation, use the first few words of the title and italicise them:

Cognition (Encylopedia of psychology, 1979, p. 57) is understood to be ...

Merriam-Webster's collegiate dictionary (1993, pp. 70-72) defines cognition as ...


  • When arranging the items in a reference list in alphabetical order, use the title words.