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List of authors and their works

It’s true confessions time: I copyedited APA journals for years and even taught APA Style to APA copy editors, and yet I’ve tripped over some really basic issues more times than I like to admit. One issue that has tied me in knots several times is how to order a reference list when there are authors with the same surname and almost the same initials.

Let me show you an example of what I mean. Suppose you had the following citations arranged in this order in a reference list (they really don’t have DOIs and they were read from hard copy, so they don’t need to have the journal homepage URLs, though see these previous posts on when to use a DOI and when to use a URL):

  1. Foorman, B. (2007). Primary prevention in classroom reading instruction. Teaching Exceptional Children, 39(5), 24–30.
  2. Foorman, B. R. (1995). Research on the great debate: Code-oriented versus whole language approaches to reading. School Psychology Review, 24, 376–393.

Is it in the right order? Maybe yes, maybe no. The correct order depends on whether B. Foorman and B. R. Foorman are actually the same person. Here’s what you need to consider:

• Rule 6.25 of the Publication Manual directs us to “arrange entries in alphabetical order by the surname of the first author followed by initials of the author’s given name.”

However

• We are also instructed to order several works by the same first author by year of publication, the earliest first.
• And works by different first authors with the same surname are ordered alphabetically by the first initial—in addition, citations in text should include initials with the surname of the first author to differentiate between the sources.

Source: blog.apastyle.org
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