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Author-Date References


Note: See the Quick Guide to Common Types of Referenced Material for additional information.

All factual material that is not original with you must be accompanied by a reference to its source. ASCE books and journals prefer the author–date system of referencing. This system has two parts, the text citation and the reference list.

  • The text citation appears where the material to be cited is presented. The citation refers readers to a source in the reference list by the author’s surname and the year of publication. Often, the author and date appear in parentheses; a comma is not placed between them.

For example: One recent report (Carson 2006) finds evidence that…

Or: …yielded varying results (Jones 2005; Marks and Smith 2004a,b).

  • Use the first author’s surname followed by “et al.” in citations for publications with three or more authors.
  • When the researcher is part of the sentence, the last name does not need to be repeated.

For example: Carson (2006) finds evidence that…

  • The reference list appears at the end of each paper for journal articles, or chapter (when chapters are by different authors) or in a separate section at the end of the book.
  • References begin with the names of the author(s), last name first for all authors, followed by the year of publication in parentheses. See the Quick Guide to Common Types of Referenced Materials for guidance on punctuation and formatting.
  • References by the same author(s) published in the same year are designated with lowercase letters: 2004a, 2004b.
  • Every reference must have a text citation and every text citation must have a corresponding reference. For publications that will be copyedited (ASCE Press titles, manuals of practice, standards, and journal articles), unmatched references will be queried or deleted by the copy editor.
  • For camera-ready books, reference lists should be prepared single-spaced. For typeset books and for journal articles, reference lists should be prepared double-spaced and submitted as word-processed files.