Alphabetizing “In Press” and “No Date” References
by Tyler Krupa
You may already know that references with the same authors in the same order are arranged by year of publication, the earliest first (see the sixth edition of the Publication Manual, p. 182):
Meints, K., Plunkett, K., & Harris, P. L. (2002).
Meints, K., Plunkett, K., & Harris, P. L. (2008).
But do you know what to do when a group of references with the same author(s) in the same author order contain “in press” and “no date” publication dates? Alphabetizing these references is easy as long as you remember the following two points:
1. An “in press” work has yet to be published, so if you have one or more references that contain a publication year, these references will always come before an “in press” reference because they’ve already been published.
2. When dealing with “no date” references, simply follow the same “nothing precedes something” guidance that the Publication Manual gives regarding alphabetizing author surnames in the reference list (see p. 181). Using this guideline, “no date” references should always precede references with “some date.” Also remember that “no date” is abbreviated as “n.d.” in both the reference list and the in-text citations (see p. 185).
Here are some examples that show the correct ways to alphabetize these types of references in the reference list:
Johnson, K., & Jones, B. B. (2012).
Johnson, K., & Jones, B. B. (in press).
Taylor, H., Carter, N., & Beckett, S. (n.d.).
Taylor, H., Carter, N., & Beckett, S. (2010).
Taylor, H., Carter, N., & Beckett, S. (in press).
University of Florida. (n.d.).
University of Florida. (2012).
Also remember that if you have two or more “in press” or “no date” references with the same authors in the same order, you should use lowercase letters—a, b, c, and so forth—after the publication date and alphabetize the references by their titles (excluding A, An, and The; see p. 182 in the Publication Manual). The only difference between these types of references and references with publication years is that “in press” and “no date” references contain a hyphen before the a, b, and so forth:
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. (n.d.-a). The knowledge . . .
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. (n.d.-b). A strategy to . . .
Schafer, G., & Plunkett, K. (2011a). The power . . .
Schafer, G., & Plunkett, K. (2011b). Task complexity . . .
Schafer, G., & Plunkett, K. (in press-a). The rapid learning . . .
Schafer, G., & Plunkett, K. (in press-b). Sometimes a child . . .
We hope that these examples clear up this point of possible confusion.