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Homepage / How do I reference… multiple items with the same author in APA7?

How do I reference… multiple items with the same author in APA7?


In previous posts and in our APA7 referencing training, we established that an in-text citation requires the insertion of the author’s name and the date of the work we are citing into our own text. This can either be parenthetical (i.e. within brackets at the point where you are referring to the contributing text) or narrative (i.e. worked into your text).  See examples of both techniques below:

Parenthetical citation: JSFs and UAVs are some of the platforms discussed (Kurt, 2015).
Narrative citation: Kurt (2015) claims the Enhanced Position Location Reporting System (EPLRS) data network will struggle to meet the data requirements of new platforms.

Each citation should correspond to a bibliographic reference. The APA7 referencing style dictates that your references are presented at the end of your document, listed alphabetically by author’s surname. If you have more than one item by the same author, they should be listed in date order with the earliest appearing first. If there is no date (n.d.), the reference should be at the top of the list and if it is in-press it should be at the bottom. For example:

Reference list:
Smith, M. J. (n.d.). Article title. Journal Name, 1(2), 3-10.
Smith, M. J. (2010). Article title. Journal Name, 3(4), 5-11.
Smith, M. J. (2021a). Another article title. Journal Name, 5(6), 7-12.
Smith, M. J. (2021b). Article title. Journal Name, 7(8), 9-13.
Smith, M. J. (in press). Book title. Publisher name.

But what do you do with a group of items with the same author which are all published in the same year?

Yes, this can happen! The trick is to start by organising them in your reference list alphabetically by the title of the article. Then assign letter suffixes to the year, with the first in the list being allocated a lower case ‘a’, the second a lower case ‘b’ etc.  For example:

Reference list:

Biggs, J. (1996a). Assessing learning quality: reconciling institutional, staff and educational demands. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 21(1), 5-16.

Biggs, J. (1996b). Enhancing teaching through constructive alignment. Higher Education, 32(3), 347-364.

In-text citations should also then have the relevant lower case ‘a’, ‘b’, etc. as designated in your reference list. For example, if you were first citing the paper ‘Enhancing teaching’, the in-text citation would be formatted as (Biggs, 1996b). If you then went on to cite Biggs’ work from ‘Assessing learning quality’, the in-text citation would be formatted as (Biggs, 1996a).

Please note: Cranfield supports two different referencing styles – APA7 (Author-date) and Numbered (NLM). Please make sure you use the style preferred by your supervisor or lecturer. The advice above relates only to the APA7 style. If you have any questions about referencing, please contact the Library.

Feature image from Pixabay. Available at:

Helen Holmes

Written By: Helen Holmes

An Assistant Business Librarian since 2023, Helen provides support for SOM students and staff

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