Biology: Working Bibliography

Biology students use the APA style

APA formatting style:

  • Author’s last name only is spelled out in full
  • First and middle names are given as initials
  • Publication date follows in parentheses
  • Title of article/book, only first letter and proper nouns are capitalized
  • Title of the journal itself follows the usual rules of capitalization
  • Place of publication comes next but is not included for articles in APA format
  • In the case of a journal article, the volume number and the page numbers occur at the end of the entry

There are no endnotes or footnotes in the APA method; one uses citations made in brief form directly in the text.

  • This brevity constitutes one of the major advantages of the APA approach to documentation
  • After each citation, author’s last name and date of publication are included


When two or more works by different authors are cited within the same parentheses, all with reference to the same topic or point in the text, then they should be separated by semicolons (Able, 1980; Baker, 1982; Charlie, 1984).

When there are two or more authors of the same work, an ampersand (“&”) is used before the name of the last author (Red & Green, 1981; Blue, Brown, & Purple, 1985).

After the first citation for three or more authors, in subsequent citations use only the name of the first author followed by “et al.” (for the Latin et alii, meaning “and others”) without underlining, and with no period after “et” followed by the year (Blue et al., 1985).

For all citations, as demonstrated in the prior examples, final punctuation appears outside the parentheses.

For publications with six or more authors, cite only the first author followed by "et al." (Note: "et al." has a period after "al." only.)

If the same author has published more than once in a single year, the date is followed by a lower-case “a,” “b,” etc.

  • Professor Newsome published two articles in 1965 (both cited in the bibliography and within the text) - (Newsome, 1965a) and (Newsome, 1965b)
  • If both articles appear in the same parentheses, they are separated by commas (Newsome, 1965a, 1965b)

Answers to further questions about APA form can be found in the sixth edition of the APA Publication Manual (2010), on reserve in Grossman Library.

Further Examples

Geertz, C. (1973). The interpretation of cultures. New York: Basic Books.

Newsome, A. E. (1965). The abundance of red kangaroos in central Australia. Australian Journal of Zoology, 13, 269-287.  

La Greca, A.M., & Spetter, D.S., (1992).  Psychosocial aspects of childhood diabetes: A multivariate framework.  In N. Schneiderman & A. Baum, (Eds.), Stress & disease processes: Perspectives in behavioral medicine.  Hillsdale, NJ: Earlbaum.

Chamberlin, J., Novotney, A., Packard, E., & Price, M. (2008, May). Enhancing worker well-being: Occupational health psychologists convene to share their research on work, stress, and health. Monitor on Psychology, 39(5), 26-29.