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CSE Style Guide: Name-Year Examples

The Council of Science Editors (CSE) style guide is designed for the natural and physical sciences. IRSC students writing in these disciplines can use this guide.

Content Note

One author

Two or more authors

Multiple works by the same author

Authors with same surname

Organizations as authors

Works without authors

Works with mulitiple dates

Works without dates

Name-Year Examples

One author

 Give the author's name and the year of publication. If the author's name is stated in the sentence, only the year is needed.

(Clark 1998)

Clark's (1998) study shows that . . .


Two authors

Give both names separated by 'and'. If the surnames are identical, add the initials.

(Flannigan and McBride 2001)

(Smith TL and Smith UV 1990)


Three or more authors

Give only the first author's name followed by et al. (not in italics) and the year.

(Martinez et al. 1990)

If the first author's name and the years of publications are the same for several references, include enough additional co-author names to eliminate ambiguity. Include a comma after the last name.

(Martinez, Fuentes, et al. 1990)


Multiple works by the same author

For works published in the same year, add alphabetic designators to the year in both the in-text reference and the end reference.

(Anderson 1997a, 1997b)

For works published in different years, place years in chronological sequence separated by commas.

       (McBride 2003, 2007)


 Authors with the same surname

 When authors of 2 works published in the same year have the same surname, include their initials in the in-text citation and separate the names by a semicolon and space.

(Dawson J 1986; Dawson M 1986)


Organizations as authors

If an organizational author is referenced only once or twice in a document, the full organizational name is acceptable. A shortened form can be used in the in-text reference if the organization has a familiar abbreviation.

(Institute of Medicine 1975)

(NSF 2005)

End reference: National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (US). 2006.  How to format in text??   (National Alliance . . .

If an organizational author is referenced several times in a document, a shortened form of the organizational name can be used. Use the initial letter of each part of the name or a recognizable abbreviation. Include the abbreviation as the initial element of the end reference within square brackets.

 (IOM 1975)

End reference: [IOM] Institute of Medicine (US). 1975.  


Works without authors

Begin the in-text reference with the first word or first few words of the title, followed by an ellipsis. Use only enough words to distinguish this title from other end references.

(Handbook . . . c2000)

End reference: Handbook of geriatric drug therapy. c2000. Springhouse (PA): Springhouse.


Works with multiple dates

This can occur with journals whose volumes span calendar years, books with several volumes, and electronic documents.

Give the first and last years of publication, separated by a hyphen.

(Johnson L and Johnson BR 1999-2002)

For electronic publications include only one date in the in-text reference in the following order of preference:

  • date of publication
  • date of copyright
  • date of modification, update or revision
  • date of citation 

(Harris et al. [cited 2008])

End reference:

Harris CL, Sheets A, Bigot D. [cited 6 Jun 2008]. Imaging of the Montastrea faveolata [Internet]. Miami (FL): Saveseas. Available from


Works without dates

Place the words 'date unknown' within square brackets in the in-text reference. Include [date unknown] in the end reference also. Rarely, will no date be associated with a publication.

(Brigmeyer [date unknown])