Citation Guide: Council of Science Editors (Name-Year System)

Examples of Variations to Name-Year In-Text Formatting Rules

1. Citing Anonymous Sources

The word "Anonymous" replaces an author's name in the parenthetic citation of a work authored by an anonymous source rather than the abbreviated title. The reference list entry begins the same way.


Critics occasionally mention the difficulty of interpreting findings like these (Anonymous 1995).

2. Citing Authors with Same Last Name in the References List

Include first name initials of all in-text cited authors when other authors in your References List have the same last name.


K.K. Sullivan (1962) and D. Sullivan (1996) came to similar conclusions about the effects of this treatment method.

3. Citing Sources with More than One Author

Format: Sources with Two Authors
Mention all names in the parenthesis. Do not use an ampersand (&) for "and" between names.


One study (Zoerner and Stephens 1994) is particularly notable.

Format: Sources with Three or More Authors:
Name only the first author followed by the words "and others". When two references with multiple authors shorten to the same "and others" form include as many names, separated by commas, as necessary to distinguish between the two references.

Example 1:

One study (Pelech and others) found that...

Example 2:

One study (Edmands, Wardrop, Thomas, and others (1993) found...

Another study (Edmands, Wardrop, Reid, and others (1993) argue that...

Note: The References entries for the above citations would be as follows:

Edmonds, Wardrop, Thomas, Nesbitt, Keifer, and Palmquist (1993)Edmonds, Wardrop, Reid, Thomas, LeCourt, and Russell (1993)

4. Citing Sources Authored by a Group

The names of group authors may be mentioned in full in texts with few citations, or they may be shortened in all citations subsequent to the first when there are many; however they must unequivocally point to the correct entry in the References list.


Where the References List entry looks like:

Bas Bleu Theatre Company. 1998. 1998 NEA Grant Application for…

The first in-text citation will look like:

The grant proposal (Bas Bleu Theatre Company [BBTC] 1998) was an important effort to support the arts in the community.

And a subsequent in-text citation will look like:

The proposal requested new and increased salaries for theatre staff (BBTC 1998).

5. Citing Two or More Sources in the Same Parentheses

Format: Two or More Sources by Same Author
When you are citing two or more works by the same author in one parenthetical note, list the name of the author only once, followed by the publication dates of the various works in order of year of publication.


Psychologists have arrived at this conclusion in the past (Tripp 1987, 1994, 1995).

Format: Two or More Sources Published by Same Author in Same Year
When, in one parenthetical note, you are citing two or more works by the same author published in the same year, be sure to distinguish between the two by assigning them letter suffixes ("a," "b," etc.). These designations will be consistent with those you have given the works in the reference list.


Past research (Johnson 1983a, 1983b) has revealed interesting patterns.

Format: Two or More Sources by Different Authors
When you refer to works by different authors within the same parenthetical note, separate them by using semicolons and arrange them according to their publication dates. Arrange alphabetically when publication years are identical.


Several studies (Evens 1992; Dorer 1994; Bundy 1996) have contributed to our current understanding of this phenomenon.

6. Citing a Source within a Source

Note: Include the phrase "cited in" when citing a "second-hand" source (i.e., by way of another source) and include an entry for both in the References list.


This process (Perina 1912, cited in Huges 1935) was instrumental in arriving at certain of the conclusions presented after the experiment.

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