I have been trying to go through Mayfield Book on Technical Writing to find out how to do an in-text and parenthetical citation of a source that I found online. The source is an article from a popular magazine (similar to Nature, PopSci etc.) mentioning analysis of some researchers on Pollution.

The title says:

Air Pollution: Salvaging the Destruction

Just below the article the source where usually the names of all the authors are found, it mentions the following:

Changragupta Ren and colleagues present a bibliometric analysis confirming that ...

I'd earlier presumed that there is only author but looking at the end, it mentions names of five people as follows:

Vincent Van is chaired assistant professor of ... at the University of .., US.
Chu Ma is in the School of ... at University ...
Yves Raj is chaired professor of ... at the University of ... at .., US. 
Blaise Faulkner is chaired professor of ... at .... 
C Ren is assistant professor in the ...
e-mail: cren@...

How would I cite the above source? Would I use the name of only one researcher that figures in the title or should I use the information at the end of the article? There's no particular order in the end references as observed above.
For eg. The author mentioned in the title comes last in the references even if they are not arranged alphabetically. How would I do a parenthetical and in-text APA citation for these?

In-text (consider 1st citation)

As C Ren et al. (2012) suggest ...

Parenthetical (consider 1st citation)

Key indicators such as partciulate matter suggest that the situation might be improving (C Ren et al., 2012).

If not, what would be the correct way to cite this source?

  • Please provide a link to the original source.
    – user5645
    Jun 15, 2015 at 17:12

1 Answer 1


For a work by two authors, you either name both authors in the single phrase, or in the parentheses each time you make reference to the work. For example:

Foo and Bar (1994) note that the world did not end.

The world did not end (Foo & Bar, 1994).

For a work by three to five authors (which is what applies to your example), list all five names the first time you cite the work in either a single phrase or in parenthesis.

Foo, Bar and Nom (1994) note that the world did not end.

The world did not end (Foo, Bar & Nom, 1994).

Then, for each subsequent citation use the first author's last name followed by "et al.".

(Foo et al., 1994)

For six or more authors, you always use the first author's last name, followed by "et al.", either within the phrase or in parenthesis.

Foo et al. (1994) note that the world did not end.

The world did not end (Foo et al., 1994).

Source: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/03/

  • In my case, I also do not know the order of the five authors except one that appears to be primary, as he is the only one mentioned in the title. What order should I give to the authors in my first citation? Should it start with the primary author mentioned in the title or the order that is mentioned at the end of the article?
    – Cipher
    Jun 15, 2015 at 13:36
  • The order of authors varies greatly from field to field, and can also depend on journal guidelines, and even local preferences. If further research can't help, then from your example, I would suggest that Ren would be first as you know he is the primary author, followed by the names of the other authors in order that they appeared from the original source i.e. Ren, Van, Ma, Raj, and Faulkner, 2012. I wouldn't worry too much about it! Jun 15, 2015 at 13:57
  • 1
    Oh, and you can always email the primary author and ask, if it bothers you (since his email does seem to have been published with the article). Jun 15, 2015 at 13:58
  • 1
    Note that APA uses the ampersand (&) instead of the word "and" inside the parenthetical citations. You may want to edit to reflect this.
    – vpn
    Nov 11, 2016 at 17:31

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