Q. How do I cite the same author twice?


If you are using 2 different sources from the same author, there are two possible ways to cite this, depending on if the sources were published in the same year or different years. 

  • If you have two works by the same author, but with different years, you will not need to differentiate them using letters because the publication year will indicate which resource you are making reference to. For example, you might have (Jones, 2010, p. 37) and (Jones, 2012, p. 301). There will be no change to your reference in the references section of your paper either.

  • To cite two works by the same author and the same year in an in text citation, you will differentiate the two works with small lowercase letters. For example, you could write (Smith, 2009a, p. 78) and (Smith, 2009b, p. 24). On the references page, you should sort the two entries in alphabetical order by the title of each article, since the authors' names will be identical. You should designate each entry with the same small lowercase letters you use in your in-text citations. For example:

Smith, J. (2009a). Rise and fall of management systems. New York, NY: Wiley.

Smith, J. (2009b). Systems Management. Chicago, IL: Hawthorne Press.

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  • Last Updated Jan 30, 2018
  • Views 33826
  • Answered By Baker Librarians

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Comments (6)

  1. What if I use two or more citations from the work of one author? Would the reference list state the author once or do I differentiate with the alphabetical letters next to publishing date? I'm new to this. Any guidance would be appreciated.
    by Bronwen on Dec 14, 2016.
  2. When using two separate references by the same author, they will be distinguished by their publication year. If they are the same publication year, then add a letter to the year as an indicator. For example:

    Reference: Smith, A. (2010a)....

    In-text: (Smith, 2010a).

    Reference: Smith, A. (2010b)....

    In-text: (Smith, 2010b).

    For more information, see this post at the APA Style Blog: http://blog.apastyle.org/apastyle/2011/10/reference-twins.html

    And please let us know if you have any further questions!
    by Patrick Mullane on Dec 14, 2016.
  3. Hi, what should we do if there are two studies by the same first author but different order of coauthors in the same year:
    For example Johnson, Brown, Smith, White, & Kang (2015)
    and Johnson, White, Hanson, King, & Wright (2015).
    When we start using Johnson et al., 2015 how, do we differentiate these two from each other?
    by Gulcin on May 23, 2017.
  4. Despite the authors being in a different order, it will still be difficult to differentiate between them in-text with the same first author after the first citation. To fix this, treat them as if they're the same by adding the letter to the date:

    Reference: Johnson, Brown, Smith, White, & Kang (2015a)

    In-text: (Johnson, Brown, Smith, White, & Kang, 2015a). in first citation of paper

    In-text: (Johnson et al., 2015a) in subsequent citations

    Reference: Johnson, White, Hanson, King, & Wright. (2015b).

    In-text: (Johnson, White, Hanson, King, & Wright, 2015b) in first citation of paper

    In-text: (Johnson et al., 2015b) in subsequent citations

    See this APA Style Blog entry for more information: http://blog.apastyle.org/apastyle/2011/11/the-proper-use-of-et-al-in-apa-style.html

    Please let us know if you have any further questions!
    by Patrick Mullane on May 23, 2017.
  5. Hey, what should I do if I have the same author twice, but the year is unknown? For example Johnson, A. (n.d.). Agricultural management.

    Do I write:

    Johnson, A. (n.d.a). Agricultural management.
    Johnson, A. (n.d.b). Agricultural management.

    Johnson (n.d.a) / (Johnson, n.d.a)
    Johnson (n.d.b) / (Johnson, n.d.b)

    Thank you
    by Steve on Jun 11, 2017.
  6. Hello,

    Yes, what you provided is the correct format for citations with the same author and no date.

    Please let us know if you have any further questions!
    by Patrick Mullane on Jun 12, 2017.

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