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Chicago B: Author-Date Style:  In-text citations

UON Library guide to Chicago B: Author-Date Style 17th edition

In-text citations: General rules


Format of an in-text citation

An in-text citation is usually taking one of the following two formats depending on the focus of the writing:

  • Narrative Citation: in the format of Author (Year of publication) ...

Narrative Citation is an author prominent citation format. Use this format when you want to emphasise the author, e.g.

Smith and Jones (2016) report that this model has been adopted widely in the last decade.

  • Parenthetical Citation in the format of (Author Year of publication) ...

Parenthetical Citation is an information prominent citation format.  Use this format when you want to emphasise the information, e.g.

This model has been adopted widely in the last decade (Smith and Jones 2016).


General rules of in-text citations

  • An in-text citation can appear anywhere in a sentence, provided that it follows the paraphrasing of the source or a direct quote.
  • The closing parenthesis precedes a comma, period, or other mark when the quotation is run into the text; the opening parenthesis follows the terminal punctuation at the end of a block quotation, and no period either precedes or follows the closing parenthesis
  • An in-text citation lists the author's surname and the year of publication, enclosed in parentheses, e.g. (Smith and Jones 2016).
  • If the author's name is mentioned in the text, only the year of publication appears in the parentheses, e.g. Smith and Jones (2016) ... 
  • The date should immediately follow the author’s name, even if the name is used in the possessive, e.g. Tufte’s (2001) book...
  • If you include a direct quote (word-for-word), the in-text citation will include the page number where the quotation appeared, e.g. … “correct referencing is a necessity” (Smith and Jones 2016, 16). A comma separates the date and the page cited.
  • Page numbers are also required when citing secondary citations or paraphrasing specific information.
  • Editors and translators are formatted in the same way as for authors in in-text citations.
  • Terms such as editor, translator or pseudonym, abbreviated in a reference list, are omitted from an in-text citation.
  • Use “and” when citing 2-3 authors e.g. (Smith and Jones 2016), or (Smith, Adams, and Beats 2019). 
  • If a source has four or more authors, list only the first author followed by et al. e.g. Vromen et al. (2017)... or (Vromen et al. 2017).
  • When no author is available, cite the work by its short title, but must include the first word (other than an initial article).
  • When no date is available, use n.d. (no date) in the place of the year, preceded by a comma, e.g. (Smith, n.d.) or Smith (n.d.) notes that …
  • When citing multiple works in one parenthetical citation, the order in which they are given may depend on what is being cited, and in what order, or it may reflect the relative importance of the items cited. If neither criterion applies, alphabetical or chronological order may be appropriate.
  • For citing multiple works by the same authors in the same year, add a, b, c, and so on after the year to differentiate the references, e.g.(Acciari 2014a) or (Acciari 2014b)
  • Additional works by the same author(s) are cited by date only, separated by commas except where page numbers are required, e.g.

    (Whittaker 1967, 1975; Wiens 1989a, 1989b)
    (Wong 1999, 328; 2000, 475; García 1998, 67)

  • For different authors with the same surname, include their initials before surname, e.g. (A. Smith 2017) and (D. Smith 2018).
  • For secondary sources, include both the original and the secondary sources in the text, e.g. (Baker 2008 quoted in Bail 2016, 1175) or Baker (2008 quoted in Bail 2016, 1175) ... and cite only the secondary source in the reference list entry.

1, 2, 3, 4 or more authors


Every time you paraphrase, or use an idea from another source you must include an in-text citation to that source.

See the general rules for in-text citations for more details:


Below are the general formats for in-text citation for sources with 1, 2, 3, 4 or more authors

  • 1 author: (Author's Surname Year of Publication), e.g. (Dempsey 2019), or Dempsey (2019) ...

Australian education providers will need to address a number of challenges to ensure standards of special education are fully supporting students with special needs and their families (Dempsey 2019).

Dempsey (2019) states that Australian education providers will need to address a number of challenges to ensure ...


  • 2 authors: (1st Author and 2nd Author Year of Publication), e.g. (Marra and Edmond 2019) technologies need to be evaluated before large scale investment is made by organisations (Marra and Edmond 2019).


  • 3 authors: (1st Author, 2nd Author, and 3rd Author Year of Publication), e.g. (Chan, Adams, and Smith 2019)

...this finding (Chan, Adams, and Smith 2019) shows.... 

According to the data collected by Chan, Adams, and Smith (2019) ...


  • 4 or more authors: list only the first author followed by et al. (1st Author et al. Year of Publication), e.g.(Black et al. 2019)

... the role for adult literacy partnerships (Black et al. 2019) ...

According to Smith et al. (2022), ...

Unknown author (no author)


If the source has no author, cite the work by its short title, but must include the first word (other than an initial article) of the title. The short title should be up to 4 words in the proper format (the same format as the title in the reference list, e.g. if the source is a smaller part of a larger publication, such as journal articles, book chapters, or web pages, enclose the title in double quotation marks; if the source is a book, brochure, web site or report, italicise the title. 

See the general rules for in-text citations for more details.


Below is the general format for sources without an author:

  • Journal article / book chapter / web page (smaller part of a large source): ("Short Title" Year of Publication), e.g.

... to avoid visiting the doctor ("Australians Turning to Dr Google" 2016).


  • Book / brochure / web site / report : (Short Title Year of Publication), e.g.

... a memorial to all Australians who lost their lives in service during the First World War (Anzac Memorial 2012)... 

Corporate authors


If the source is by a corporate author (e.g. a university, association, or government department), cite it in the format of (Corporate Author Year of Publication), e.g. 

... thousands of teachers, principals, early childhood workers and academics have graduated and gone on to make their mark in and out of the classroom in communities (University of Newcastle 2019).

If a publication issued by an organization, association, or corporation carries no personal author’s name on the title page, the organization may be listed as author even if it is also given as publisher.

To facilitate shorter parenthetical text citations, the organization may be listed under an abbreviation, in which case the entry must be alphabetized under that abbreviation (rather than the spelled-out name) in the reference list, e.g. 

In-text citation

... (ISO 1997)

Reference list

ISO (International Organization for Standardization). 1997. Information and Documentation—Rules for the Abbreviation of Title Words and Titles of Publications. ISO 4:1997. Paris: ISO.

Works by authors with the same surname


To cite works by authors who SHARE the SAME SURNAME, but who are in fact different people:

  • Add the first initials of the lead (first) author to the in-text citation to identify the specific reference, e.g. (A. Smith 2012) ... and (D. Smith 2019). The initials can be with or without full stop but be consistent across the whole paper.
  • If the lead (first) authors share the same surname and first initial, include the authors full name (first and last names) for the in-text citation, e.g. (Adam Smith 2012) ... and (Andrew Smith 2019).


Adding the initial to the author names helps readers avoid confusion with the in-text referencing and allows easier location of entries in your reference list.

Works by the same author


  • For citing multiple works by the same authors in the same year, alphabetise by title  and then add a, b, c, and so on after the year to differentiate the references (regardless of whether they were authored, edited, compiled, or translated), e.g.

...(Acciari 2014a) ... and ... (Acciari 2014b), or ...(Acciari 2014a, 2014b)


  • Additional works by the same author(s) are cited by date only, separated by commas except where page numbers are required, e.g.

    (Whittaker 1967, 1975; Wiens 1989a, 1989b)
    (Wong 1999, 328; 2000, 475; García 1998, 67)

Citing multiple works in one citation


  • Citing more than one publication in one citation

If you need to cite more than one publication within one in-text citation, list all the sources alphabetically separating each citation with a semicolon, e.g.

...several reviews (Featherstone 2012; Gates 2011; Muldoon 2014) have found that...


  • Citing two or more locations from the same work

Citations of different locations in a single sources are separated by commas, e.g. 

... (Baron 2019, 194, 200, 197-98)...


  • Citing two or more publications by the same author

If you need to cite two or more publications by the same author, order the citations by the year, e.g. 

...about the reading and the physical media (Baron 2008, 2004) ...

Direct quotations


If you include a direct quote, that is word-for-word, from a source, the in-text citation must include the author, year and page numbers where the quotation appeared. Direct quotations must be accurate and follow the wording, spelling, and punctuation of the original source.

The in-text citation for a short quotation (no more than 4 lines enclosed in quotation marks) is placed after the closing quotation mark, before the period. If the author is mentioned in the text, only the year and page/s cited appear in the citation. For example:

Reading is "just half of literacy. The other half is writing" (Baron 2013, 194). ...


According to Naomi Baron, reading is "just half of literacy. The other half is writing" (2013, 194). ...


For a long quotation (more than 4 lines) that is set in a separate block off from the text (block quotation, indented, without quotation marks), type a space after the concluding punctuation mark of the quotation and insert the in-text citation. There is no punctuation before or after the citation. For example:

The forms of writing that accompany reading 

can fill various roles. The simplest is to make parts of a text prominent (by underlining, highlighting, or adding asterisks, lines, or squiggles). More-reflective responses are notes written in the margins or in an external location--a notebook or a computer file. (Baron 2013, 194)

Omitting words from a quotation:

A quotation may be shortened from that included in the original source by including three spaced ellipses points (...) within the quotation to indicate where the omitted words had been included.


Whereas, other researchers "believe that the third stage of labour is a much neglected stage in the process of labour ... and it deserves much greater attention" (Harris and Clark 2019, 856).


Quotations of sources without pagination:

If your source uses explicit part numbers rather than pages numbers, as some web resources do, give the relevant number or numbers, preceded by the label, e.g.

  • para. or paras. (for paragraph or paragraphs),
  • sec. or secs. (for section or sections),
  • chap. or chaps. (for chapter or chapters).

Separate the author and the part number with a comma, e.g. (Smith 2019, para. 3)

If the source includes headings, but not paragraph or page numbers, you may use the section heading, e.g. James concludes "bullying is at epidemic levels in organizations which do not display strong leadership at the top" (sec. Discussion).

When a source has no page number or any other kind of part number, no number should be given in an in-text citation. Do not count unnumbered paragraph or other parts.

In-text citations for secondary sources


  • Please note: you should always use the original work wherever possible. Use the secondary sources only when it is impossible to obtain the original publication, e.g. it may be published in another language, or out of print.

Sources cited within another source are known as 'secondary sources'. In-text citations to secondary sources must cite both the original source and the secondary source in the format of (original source quoted in secondary source), and list the secondary source only in the reference list entry. 

For example, Grieve and Gear’s work from 1966 is being quoted in Kirtley’s 2006 book on page 23. If you could not access the original Grieve and Gear’s work from 1966, you could reference it as a secondary source:

… the pattern (Grieve and Gear 1966 quoted in Kirtley 2006, 23) ... or ... Grieve and Gear (1966 quoted in Kirtley 2006, 23) suggest a pattern of ...


In the reference list, list the work you have actually consulted, i.e. Kirtley’s 2006 book, not Grieve and Gear’s work from 1966.

By following this pattern we are crediting the original author while being able to reference the source we are actually using.

For more information see the page on Secondary sources.

Repeated use of sources


There may be times when you need to use the same reference multiple times in consecutive sentences (or even a whole paragraph) where there are no other references to break up the in-text citations. To make your citations more concise, you can use one of the following techniques:

  • Give a single parenthetical citation after the last borrowing, e.g. ..."...." (Zender  2019, 138, 141).
  • Provide the full citation the first time, followed by other citations of page cited only, e.g.  ... (Zender 2019, 138). ... (141).
  • Define the source in the text at the start, followed by citations of page cited only, e.g. According to Karl F. Zender (2019), .... (138). ..."..." (141).

No matter which way you cite it, make it clear that the information or quotations are borrowed from the source cited. 

Using citations in multimedia


  • PowerPoint Presentations

In a slide-based presentation using software such as PowerPoint or Keynote, when you borrow material (quotations, paraphrases, images, videos, and whatever else you copy or adapt), you may provide the citations by:

  1. including brief in-text citations on each slide, and
  2. adding a reference list on a slide at the end.


  • Video or Video Clips

In a video, you might overlay text at the bottom of the screen to provide your viewers with brief information about what they are seeing (e.g. the producer and title of a borrowed video clip, or the name of a person being interviewed), and include full documentation in your closing credits.


  • Project on the Web

In a project on the Web, you might link from your citations to the online material you cite, and add a reference list as an appendix to the project.

Date is unknown (no date)


If the source has no date, use n.d. (no date) in the place of the year, preceded by a comma, e.g. 

... (Smith, n.d.) ... or ... Smith (n.d.) notes that ...

See the general rules for in-text citations for more details.