Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Page Title

APA Style Annotated Bibliography: Missing Elements of Reference Citations (Guidance from the APA)

What is an annotated bibliography? Why write an annotated bibliography? This guide will show you how and why your Bibliography and Annotations are important to the research process.

What to do if you are missing author name, article dates, etc.

apa style logo

 
 
 
 
 

Missing Reference Information

Sometimes the information needed to create a reference list entry is missing or unknown. When this is the case, there are various strategies to adapt the reference.

The following table shows the basic structure of an APA Style reference to a published work, adapted for missing information, along with the corresponding in-text citations.

Refer to the reference examples and Chapters 9 and 10 of the Publication Manual for specific details for the type of work being cited.

This table is reproduced from the APA Website

Missing
element

Solution

Template

Reference list entry

In-text citation

Nothing—all
elements are present

Provide the author, date, title, and source of the work.

Author. (Date). Title. Source.

(Author, year)

Author (year)

Author

Provide the title, date, and source.

Title. (Date). Source.

(Title, year)

Title (year)

Date

Provide the author, write “n.d.” for “no date,” and then provide the title and source.

Author. (n.d.). Title. Source.

(Author, n.d.)

Author (n.d.)

Title

Provide the author and date, describe the work in square brackets, and then provide the source.

Author. (Date). [Description of work]. Source.

(Author, year)

Author (year)

Author and
date

Provide the title, write “n.d.” for “no date,” and then provide the source.

Title. (n.d.). Source.

(Title, n.d.)

Title (n.d.)

Author and
title

Describe the work in square brackets, and then provide the date and source.

[Description of work]. (Date). Source.

([Description of work], year)

[Description of work] (year)

Date and title

Provide the author, write “n.d.” for “no date,” describe the work in square brackets, and then provide
the source.

Author. (n.d.). [Description of work]. Source.

(Author, n.d.)

Author (n.d.)

Author, date,
and title

Describe the work in square brackets, write “n.d.” for “no date,” and then provide the source.

[Description of work]. (n.d.). Source.

([Description of work], n.d.)

[Description of work] (n.d.)

Source

Cite as a personal communication or find another work to cite (see the Publication Manual for more information).

No reference list entry

(C. C. Communicator, personal communication, month day, year)

C. C. Communicator (personal communication, month day, year)