Q. How do I order multiple author names for a source when I create the reference for that source?


When you create the reference for a source with multiple authors, list the authors in the order given in the text.

While the entries in a reference list are ordered alphabetically by the first author’s last name, this is not true for the order of the names in an individual reference to a source. You always list the authors of a source in the order they are listed on the title page (for a book) or first page (for an article); you do not alphabetize them. The authors have intentionally listed themselves in a specific order for a reason. Sometime the authors of a text will agree to list themselves alphabetically. In the sciences, authors are often listed in order of prominence in the field. And in other disciplines, the first author frequently is the one who contributed the most to the text. 



Mertler, C. A., & Charles, C. M. (2011). Introduction to educational research. Boston, MA: Pearson.

bussell hagman and guder first page


Bussell, H., Hagman, J. & Guder, C. S. (2017). Research needs and learning format preferences of graduate students at a large public university: An exploratory study. College & Research Libraries, 78, 978–998. https://doi.org/10.5860/crl.78.6.761

For More Information

See A Graduate Student's Guide to Determining Authorship Credit and Authorship Order (APA Science Student Council, 2006).

See Publication Practices & Responsible Authorship (American Psychological Association, 2018).


APA Science Student Council. (2006). A graduate student’s guide to determining authorship credit and authorship order. Retrieved from https://www.apa.org/science/leadership/students/authorship-paper.pdf

American Psychological Association. (2018). Publication practices & responsible authorship. Retrieved from https://www.apa.org/research/responsible/publication/

  • Last Updated Nov 05, 2018
  • Views 106
  • Answered By Maureen Barney

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