Citation Guide

How to cite an encyclopedia/dictionary in a bibliography using APA

The most basic entry for an encyclopedia/dictionary consists of the author name(s), article title, encyclopedia/dictionary name, and year published.

Last Name, F. (Year Published). Article Title. In Encyclopedia/Dictionary name (Vol. Volume Number, Page Numbers). Publication City: Publisher Name.

Smith, J. (2009). Internet. In Encyclopaedia Britannica (Vol. 20, pp. 81-82). Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica.

The author's name should be reversed, with the last name coming first, followed by a comma. First names and any middle names are given as initials, each followed by a period. A suffix, such as a roman numeral or Jr./Sr. should appear after the author's first and middle initials, preceded by a comma. If any of the authors are editors, include the text "Ed." in parentheses after the person's name.

For an article written by two or more authors, separate them by comma, and use an ampersand before the last author's name. If more than six authors are cited, abbreviate the seventh author and any others that follow with "et al."

Smith, J., & Doe, J. (2009). Internet. In Encyclopaedia Britannica (Vol. 20, pp. 81-82). Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica.

After the author names are listed, list the article title, followed by a period. Then include the text "In" and, in italics, the encyclopedia/dictionary name. Afterwards, in parentheses, write the volume number and page numbers. The volume number should be preceded by the abbreviation "Vol.", while the page numbers should be preceded with the abbreviation "p." for a single page, or "pp." for multiple pages. Separate the volume number and page numbers by a comma, and place a period after the parentheses. End the citation with the city in which the publisher is located, a colon, the publisher name, and a period.

If the article has no author, move the article title into the author position before the year published.

Internet. (2009). In Encyclopaedia Britannica (Vol. 20, pp. 81-82). Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica.

If you are citing an entire encyclopedia/dictionary and not a specific article, omit the article title and the word "In" that precedes the name of the reference book. Additionally, inside the parentheses that follow the name of the reference book, first include the edition number, followed by the abbreviation "ed." and a comma, as well as the abbreviation "Vols." and the volume numbers.

Smith, J. (2009). Encyclopaedia Britannica (12th ed., Vols. 1-12). Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica.

If the article was published online, conclude your citation by including the word "Retrieved", followed by the date on which you accessed the website (written in the format of "month day, year"). Follow the date with a comma, the word "from", and the web address of the website.

Smith, J. (2009). Internet. In Encyclopaedia Britannica (Vol. 20, pp. 81-82). Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved February 21, 2009, from http://www.britannica.com/articles/id=2533

If the article was found in a database, include the word "Retrieved", followed by the date on which you accessed the database (written in the format of "month day, year"). Follow the date with a comma, the words "from the", the name of the database, the word "database", and a period.

Smith, J. (2009). Internet. In Encyclopaedia Britannica (Vol. 20, pp. 81-82). Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved February 21, 2009, from the LexisNexis database.