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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.



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)

Last updated: August 2020Date created: May 2009
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