Answered By: Gopal Dutta
Last Updated: Jan 11, 2019     Views: 1195

If the abbreviation et al. in the citation leads to a confusion between two different groups of authors (with the same lead author) who have published in the same year, include as many authors in the citation as necessary in order to distinguish between the two groups of authors.

For example, if you have used the following two sources of information:

Stanley, N., Miller, P., Richardson Foster, H. and Thompson, G. (2010) ‘Children’s experiences of domestic violence: developing an integrated response from police and child protection services.’ Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 26(12) pp. 2372-2391.

Stanley, N., Penhale, B., Riordan, D., Barbour, R. and Holden, S. (2010) Children and families experiencing domestic violence: police and children’s social services’ responses. London: NSPCC.

You would cite these two sources as follows respectively:

(Stanley, Miller et al., 2010)

(Stanley, Penhale et al., 2010)

The above instruction should not be confused with how you present a citation for the same author/s who has published more than one piece of work in the same year – please see the Citations section of the MMU Harvard referencing guide for instruction on this.

Related FAQ: How and why do I use et al.?