How do you cite a reference to a book when there is no author or editor?

This page reflects guidance from the sixth edition of the Publication Manual.

For the most current guidelines, see the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.) and our Style and Grammar Guidelines page for the seventh edition.

Example (print version):
Merriam-Webster's collegiate dictionary (11th ed.). (2005). Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster.

  • Place the title in the author position.
  • Alphabetize books with no author or editor by the first significant word in the title (Merriam in this case).
  • In text, use a few words of the title, or the whole title if it is short, in place of an author name in the citation: (Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 2005).

Example (electronic version):
Heuristic. (n.d.). In Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary (11th ed.). Retrieved from

  • If the online version refers to a print edition, include the edition number after the title.

(adapted from the sixth edition of the APA Publication Manual, © 2010)