24 Three Surnames & The Same Year

How to Avoid Ambiguity

If you find you have two studies like these to cite, start by writing them as part of your narrative:

Kosslyn, Koenig, Barrett, Cave, Tang, and Gabrieli (1996)
Kosslyn, Koenig, Gabrieli, Tang, Marsolek, and Daly (1996)

Normally, as there are six authors we would cite them as Kosslyn et al. (1996) however this would be confusing to our readers. Start with the first surname and then keep on until the surnames are different. So, you would subsequently cite these two studies as follows:

Kosslyn, Koenig, Barrett, et al. (1996) and Kosslyn, Koenig, Gabrieli, et al. (1996) both imply that…

(American Psychological Association,  2020, p. 267)

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