Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Introduction to "The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation": Authors

Quick References

Author Names
General Rules..........................R15.1
Institutional Abbreviations.............T6
Geographical Terms....................T10

Typeface Conventions

Footnotes: name in small caps typeface

Textual Sentence: name in regular typeface


This guide is currently being updated to reflect the recent changes made in The Bluebook (20th edition). Please be aware that pages containing this notice may contain out-of-date information.

General Rules for Author Names

The author is indicated at the beginning of the citation in small caps typeface. Some general rules are given below:

Individual Author - Give the author's full name as it appears on the publication, including any suffix such as "Jr." but omitting titles such as "Dr." or "Prof."

Two Authors - List the authors' names in the order they appear on the title page, separated by an ampersand

More than Two AuthorsEither use the first author's name followed by "ET AL." or list all of the names.

Institutional Authors - Include the institution's full name, abbreviating according to Table 6 and Table 10 if the result is unambiguous.

Individual on Behalf of Institution - Use the individual's name and then the institution's name, separated by a comma.

Author Abbreviations

What should you abbreviate when naming an author?

  • Words in Table 6 and Rule 10.2.1(c)
  • Geographic regions in Table 10
  • Common acronyms in Rule 6.1(b) (e.g. NAACP, FCC)


Using "et al." to indicate multiple authors is preferred in both full and short form citations to save space. However, all authors may be listed if the names are particularly relevant.