Answered By: Jennifer Harris
Last Updated: Dec 13, 2018     Views: 18059

Identifying Authorship

Per the APA Style Blog, to determine authorship, ask "who is responsible for this content?"  Sometimes it isn't a person or persons who wrote or edited the material but rather an entity (government, associations, agencies, companies, etc).  Therefore, the entity will be the author.  For example, if you are referencing the CDC brief on the h1n1 flu outbreak, your author would be the Centers for Disease Control:

The CDC recommended that anyone with flu-like symptoms remain home until they are fever-free for 24 hours (Centers for Disease Control, 2009).

Citing Sources with No Author

When there is no author identified, use the first few words from the title of the source used. When you are using the name of articles, book chapters, and web pages in the body of your paper, put the title in quotes and capitalize the important words. For journal, book, report, or brochure titles, italicize the title and capitalize the important words. See APA (6th ed.), 6.15, pp.176-177 for additional information.

The report condemned the practice ("Will returning to its founder's vision​", 2011).

The government was at fault for the results (Anonymous, 2016).

Examples of Citing Articles, Book Chapters, Web Pages, and Special Issue of Journal with No Author

The oil spill affected the entire Gulf Coast ("11 Facts," n.d.).

"11 Facts" (n.d) discussed how the oil spill affected animals.

General Rules:
  • Use double quotes around the title or the first few words in the title.
  • The comma goes inside the double quotes.
  • You can use the first few words of the title if the entire is too long. For example:  ("Rewriting the long 18th century," 2008)
  • The important words in the article title are capitalized in the text of the paper, but only the first word is capitalized in the reference citation at the end of the paper.

Examples of Citing Periodicals, Books, Reports, or Brochure Titles with No Author

The research findings (Do Drug Courts Work?, 2008) were...

Do Drug Courts Work?, (2008) stated

In 2008, Do Drug Courts Work? argued

General Rules:
  • Italicize the title
  • If the entire title is too long, use the first few words in the title.
  • The important words in the title of the report are capitalized in the text of the paper, but only the first word is capitalized in the reference citation at the end of the paper.

More information:

For further help please contact the Wolak Learning Center at 603.645.9606 (UC Students) and Online Writing Center at 866.721.1662 (Online/COCE Students) for assistance with citing a source with no author in APA Style.

You may also want to consider:

This information is intended to be a guideline, not expert advice. Please be sure to speak to your professor about the appropriate way to cite a source with no author in your class assignments and projects.


11 facts about the BP oil spill. (n.d.). Retrieved from

American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.

Anonymous. Part IV: ISIS rising 2014-2015. (2016, August 14). New York Times Magazine, 43-50. 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2009). CDC recommendations for the amount of time persons with influenza-like illness should be away from others. Retrieved from

Do drug courts work? Findings from drug court research. (2008). Retrieved from

Lee, C. (2010). The generic reference: Who? [Blog post]. Retrieved from

Will returning to its founder's vision bring prosperity to the Detroit automotive giant, asks Ray Hutto. (2011, January 9). Sunday Times, pp.9.

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