Skip to Main Content

Citing Sources: When Information Is Missing

How do I cite...

No Author

If no author or creator is provided, start the citation with the title/name of the item you are citing instead. Follow the title/name of the item with the date of publication, and then continue with other citation details.


If no author or creator is provided, use a shortened version of the title where you would normally put the author's last name. Write these titles in title case, with the first letter of each word capitalized. 

If you are citing something which is part of a bigger work, such as an article from a magazine, newspaper, journal or encyclopedia, or a chapter, essay, or short story from a book, put the shortened title in quotation marks in your in-text citation. 

Example, paraphrasing: ("A Few Words," 2014) 

If you are citing an entire work, such as a book, website, video, etc., italicize the shortened title in your in-text citation.

Example, paraphrasing: (A Few Words, 2014)


If and only if an item is signed as being created by Anonymous, use "Anonymous" where you would normally put the author's name.

Alphabetical Order in References List

When putting works in alphabetical order, ignore initial articles such as "the", "a", or "an". For example the title The best of Canada would be alphabetized as if it started with the word best instead of the word The.

If the title begins with a number, alphabetize it as if the number was spelled out. For example the title 5 ways to succeed in business would be alphabetized under F as if it had started with the word Five.

Examples of citing works with no author:

No Date

If no date is provided, use the initials n.d. (for "no date") where you would normally put the date.

For undated online sources, use an archived version if possible, and cite the archival date as the date of publication. If no archived version is available, use n.d. in place of the date, and include a retrieval date in front of the URL. 

Example - References List

U.S. Census Bureau. (n.d.) U.S. and world population clock. U.S. Department of Commerce. Retrieved March 30, 2020, from

Example - In-Text

(U.S. Census Bureau, n.d.)

No Title

Occasionally an item may not have a title. If you are citing something with no identified title, write a description of the item placed in square brackets. Put this description in brackets where you would normally put the title. When possible, specify the medium in the description of the untitled work (e.g. an image, a graph) rather than including two bracketed descriptions. For example: 

City of Toronto. (2018) [Aerial map showing the city of Toronto as of the year 2018].

For untitled social media or forum posts, include up to the first 20 words of the comment or post, in addition to a bracketed description. For example: 

Tory, J. [@JohnTory]. (2020, January 8). Toronto’s tourism sector is thriving. Each year, Toronto welcomes more than 27 million visitors & that number has been growing [Image Attached] [Tweet]. Twitter.