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APA Citation and Formatting: Encyclopedias

Attention Students!

This guide is a starting point. For full details on correctly citing resources and creating references, please consult
the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (7th Ed.) (2020), or Cites & Sources (6th Ed.) (2021).

Please Note! Library staff do not teach APA, and cannot evaluate or correct work. If you need help with APA Style, please contact your instructor.

How Do I Cite Encyclopedias?

An image of a book cover and a title page verso, and the first page of an encyclopedia entry. The title of the encyclopedia reads, “Gale Encyclopedia of Emerging Diseases”. The editor is listed as Deirdre S. Hiam. The title of the entry is, “Influenza”, and the entry was written by Rebecca J. Frey. The title page verso lists 2018 as the date of publication. It gives Gale as the publisher. Blue arrows point to the publication title, article title, editor, author, date of publication and publisher.

Reference List Entry: Format (10.2-10.3)
Author. (Date). Title of article. In Editor (Ed.)Title of publication. Publisher. Retrieval Date, from URL if applicable.

Please note! The citation style for print and electronic encyclopedias is similar, but when citing an online dictionary, include a link and retrieval date, e.g.: Retrieved September 3, 2023, from

Remember! Both an author and an editor can be listed. If a resource has both, list both in the reference list entry. If no author is listed and the author cannot be determined from context, the entry is treated as having no author, and the title of the entry becomes the first piece of information listed in the reference, followed by the date in parentheses, and then the title of the publication and the publisher.

Frey. R. J. (2018). Influenza. In D. S. Haim (Ed.), Gale encyclopedia of emerging diseases. Gale.  

Please Note! To find the date of publication and the name of the publisher for a book, check the title page verso. This page contains all of the publishing information, and is usually the second or third page in a book. It appears before any indexes or introductions to the book. For encyclopedia entries, look at the individual entry and the title page verso. Both can have important citation information.

Remember! Encyclopedias may have authors for individual entries, and an editor for the whole encyclopedia. The author of the entry is listed first, and the editor of the whole work is listed second, after the title of the entry and before the title of the whole work. If the article does not have an author, the title of the article becomes the first piece of information in the citation, followed by the date, title of the encyclopedia, publisher, and URL, if applicable.

Parenthetical Citation (Paraphrase)
(Author, Date), or (Author & Author, Date), or (Author et al., Date) for encyclopedia entries with three or more authors, e.g.: (Frey, 2018)

Parenthetical Citation (Direct Quotation)
(Author, Date, Page number), or (Author & Author, Date, Page number), or (Author et al., Date, Page number) for encyclopedia entries with three or more authors, e.g.: (Frey, 2018, p. 382)

Narrative Citation (Paraphrase)
Author (Date), Author and Author (Date), or Author et al. (Date) for encyclopedia entries with three or more authors, e.g.: Frey (2018)

Narrative Citation (Direct Quotation)
Author (Date, Page number), Author and Author (Date, Page number), or Author et al. (Date, Page number) for encyclopedia entries with three or more authors, e.g.: Frey (2018, p. 382)

Remember! For in-text citations of works with two authors, list the last names of both authors. For works with three authors or more, list the last name of the first author followed by et al. 

Please Note!

This guide is based on the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th ed. (2020). Library staff have reviewed the information in this guide, and to the best of our knowledge, it is accurate. However, mistakes do occur. Students bear sole responsibility for ensuring that their citations are correct, and that their assignments meet the criteria laid out by their instructor. Students are encouraged to contact Peer Tutoring or the Writing Clinic for assistance.