I have looked everywhere for an answer to this question. I don't often use APA format. In Chicago, when referencing in-text an annual report over a span of years, one simply types: (Smith, multiple years). I'm referencing an economic report, published annually, to analyse performance over a span of six years. Must I create a separate reference for each year, or may I do the same as in Chicago?
Best guess is the reference will look like:
Smith, J. (2002-2016) Annual Report
Smith, J. (Multiple years) Annual Report

  • If it is not in the most updated APA Style Guide, I would consult whoever is reviewing your work, because APA can change so much that sometimes you will get different answers regarding format, depending who you ask. Commented Oct 8, 2018 at 5:18

5 Answers 5


I don't work in APA much, but in the several papers I have had published the journal has had particular requirements for special cases like that. Step one would be to reach out to the editor of your chosen publication. In the mean time I would probably cite them separately.

Smith, J. (2002) Annual Report Smith, J. (2003) Annual Report Smith, J. (2004) Annual Report etc.

with the in text citation (Smith, 2002, 2003, 2004 ... ). I find it preferable to include too much detail and be asked to scale back than vice versa.


I use a lot of citations. I would probably cite and allow for multiple years as long as the citation hasn't dramatically changed over those years (like a climate survey -- the trend would be the same). It may also be useful to pull a specific quote/note from the most recent source (cited specifically by its year) to further illustrate your point, but I don't think it's needed unless that's the basis for your additional work.


I would show the range. I am kind of a nit at trying to follow format. But then there are times when you have something not covered by the book. I find if you are doing all the regular ones perfectly that the editors allow you some freedom to freestyle when you have something not covered. At the end of the day people want to be able to find things from your citation.

Again, don't make the regular ones a mess or freestyle those. But when something is not 100% covered, just decide you are the grownup and write it the way you want.


I would suggest the following touch-ups to your two suggestions. Besides hyphen, an arrow, or a double dot, or a colon may also be used indicate a series without a break.

  • A series of reports without a break (note the plural, "Annual Reports", which is not the exact title. It is a class indicator):

Smith, J. (2002->2016) Annual Reports

  • A series of multiple reports, all have the same title "Annual Report"

Smith, J. (Multiple: 2002..2006) Annual Report

  • If the series is not a continuous sequence, the years may be enumerated in increasing order

Smith, J. (Multiple: 2002, 2004, 2007) Annual Report

  • If there is a mix of continuous series and isolated years, a combination can be used.

Smith, J. (Multiple: 2002..2004, 2007, 2011-2014) Annual Report


If it is a report / essay for your University check with them, if it is a paper for a journal, again, check with them. They may even have information on their site.

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