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APA Citation Style Guide (7th ed.): Missing Reference Information

Missing Reference Information

When the information needed to create a reference citation is missing or is not known, there are ways to adapt the citation.  The following table shows strategies to use when information is missing.  For further information, refer to the Publication manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th ed., 2020, p. 284.

Creating a Reference With Missing Information

Missing Element Solution Reference List Entry In-Text Citation
Nothing - all elements are present Provide the author, date, title, and source of the work. Author. (Date). Title. Source.

(Author, year)

Author (year)

Author Provide the title, date, and source Title. (Date). Source.

(Title, year)

Title (year)

Date Provide the author, write "n.d." for "no date," and then provide the title and source. Author. (n.d.). Title. Source.

(Author, n.d.)

Author (n.d.)

Title Provide the author and date, describe the work in square brackets, and then provide the source. Author. (Date). [Description of work]. Source.

(Author, year)

Author (year)

Author and date Provide the title, write "n.d." for "no date," and then provide the source. Title. (n.d.). Source.

(Title, n.d.)

Title (n.d.)

Author and title Describe the work in square brackets, and then provide the date and source. [Description of work]. (Date). Source.

([Description of work], year)

[Description of work] (year) 

Date and title Provide the author, write "n.d." for "no date," describe the work in square brackets, and then provide the source. Author. (n.d.). [Description of work]. Source.

(Author, n.d.)

Author (n.d.)

Author, date, and title Describe the work in square brackets, write "n.d." for "no date," and then provide the source. [Description of work]. (n.d.). Source.

([Description of work], n.d.)

[Description of work] (n.d.)

Source Cite as a personal communication or find another work to cite. No reference list entry

(C.C. Communicator, personal communication, month day, year)

C.C. Communicator (personal communication, month day, year)

Publication manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th ed., 2020, p. 284.