In-text citations for resources with unknown author in APA 7

Hi there,

According to APA 7, "If the work does not have an author, cite the source by its title in the signal phrase or use the first word or two in the parentheses. Titles of books and reports are italicized; titles of articles, chapters, and web pages are in quotation marks. APA style calls for capitalizing important words in titles when they are written in the text (but not when they are written in reference lists)." (source:

In Zotero, when I attempt to create in-text citations for resources with unknown authors in APA 7, it seems that the title is always italicized (never in quotation marks), regardless of the "Item Type" I select in the entry to the resource in my Zotero library. The titles are also never shortened, regardless of the length of the titles.

Any insight you could share would be much appreciated!
  • That page doesn't accurately describe the APA rules here. The actual rule is that titles are in quotes if they are part of a larger work (e.g., a chapter in a book, an article in a journal, a track on an album), and in italics if they are not (e.g., a book, a standalone audio recording, a report). The exception to this rule is that website titles are always italicized (their statement that websites are in quotes was the rule in APA 6th edition; that changed in APA 7th edition).

    This is how the rule is implemented in Zotero. If the item has a "container title", the title is in quotes. If it does not have a container title, it is in italics. Website titles are always in italics. You can see this for yourself by making a citation to a journal article with no author, but a title and a journal title in the "Publication" field.
  • Thank you for providing this clarification! It's unfortunate that this information is not listed correctly on the Purdue OWL website, since many researchers rely on this site (as opposed to the APA 7th text itself, which is not freely accessible) for guidance.
  • Yes. I see that the site has numerous errors. I will contact them about it. You can rest assured that Zotero will produce correct citations. The CSL APA style is tested against the manual examples.
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