I am supposed to cite according to APA 7th reference style.

Dictionary entries: https://apastyle.apa.org/style-grammar-guidelines/references/examples/dictionary-entry-references (Number 1)

Book published with new foreword by another author: https://apastyle.apa.org/style-grammar-guidelines/references/examples/book-references (Number 4)

Necessary preamble:



Dictionary entry:

    title = {Semantics},
    url = {https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/semantics},
    booktitle = {Merriam-Webster.com dictionary},
    editor = {Merriam-Webster},
    urldate = {2022-26-05},

The \parencite{merriam-webster} function gives the correct output for the in-text quotation. The problem is in the bibliography list. I tried to use author={{Merriam-Webster}}, but the In text seemed to disappear for some reason. Therefore the "editor" keyword did work, but now I have (Ed.) after the author which is not technically correct.


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Book published with new foreword by another author entry:

    location = {New Brunswick, N.J},
    title = {The theory of economic development: an inquiry into profits, capital, credit, interest, and the business cycle},
    isbn = {978-0-87855-698-4},
    url = {https://books.google.no/books?id=-OZwWcOGeOwC&printsec=frontcover&hl=no#v=onepage&q&f=false},
    pagetotal = {255},
    publisher = {Transaction Books},
    author = {Schumpeter, Joseph A.},
    date = {1983},


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While the in-text citation is "(Schumpeter, 1983)". The book was originally published in 1934, but republished in 1983 with a new introduction by another author. This one is the hardest to manipulate to fit APA7 style as referred to above.

How can i manipulate the entries in order to confirm with the APA7 standards?


I managed to add origyear = {1934} for the book bibliography entry, by adding the following code


The in-text citation now seems to be correct, but not sure how to add the author of the introduction section. I tried introduction = {Elliot, John E.} but it would not show up in the bibliography list.

1 Answer 1


biblatex-apa comes with an extensive example .bib file biblatex-apa-test-references.bib that contains all entries from the printed APA manual (at least as far as I know). So if you know the relevant APA rule, you are very likely to find all you need in there.

For the @inreference you were almost there. You need to use author instead of editor, though. It is not clear to me why this did not work for you in your first attempt, but I can assure you that with a current version of biblatex-apa (2021/12/24 v9.15) and biblatex (2022/02/02 v3.17) the code below produces the output shown. Note that there was a typo in the urldate: 2022-26-05 is not a valid date in YYYY-MM-DD format. You want urldate = {2022-05-26},.

For the @book you can use origdate to give the original year of publication. You use the biblatex-apa-specific field with for the with-authors.

There is no need to redefine any bibmacros. Additionally, you do not need the biblatex options sortcites=true,sorting=nyt, (sortcites is enabled by default if you use style=apa, and sorting=nyt, switches from APA specific sorting to generic name-year-title sorting). \DeclareLanguageMapping{american}{american-apa} has also not been needed for a few years.


\usepackage[backend=biber, style=apa]{biblatex}

  title     = {Semantics},
  url       = {https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/semantics},
  booktitle = {Merriam-Webster.com dictionary},
  author    = {{Merriam-Webster}},
  urldate   = {2022-05-26},
  location  = {New Brunswick, N.J},
  title     = {The Theory of Economic Development:
               An Inquiry into Profits, Capital,
               Credit, Interest, and the Business Cycle},
  isbn      = {978-0-87855-698-4},
  url       = {https://books.google.no/books?id=-OZwWcOGeOwC&printsec=frontcover&hl=no#v=onepage&q&f=false},
  pagetotal = {255},
  publisher = {Transaction Books},
  author    = {Schumpeter, Joseph A.},
  with      = {Elliot, John E.},
  date      = {1983},
  origdate  = {1934},

Lorem \autocite{merriam-webster}
ipsum \autocite{schumpeter_theory_1983}


Lorem (Merriam-Webster, n.d.) ipsum (Schumpeter, 1934/1983)
Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Semantics. In Merriam-webster.com dictionary. Retrieved May 26, 2022, from https://www.merriam- webster.com/dictionary/semantics
Schumpeter, J. A. (with Elliot, J. E.). (1983). The theory of economic development: An inquiry into profits, capital, credit, interest, and the business cycle. Transaction Books. https://books.google.no/books?id=-OZwWcOGeOwC&printsec=frontcover&hl=no#v=onepage&q&f=false (Original work published 1934)

  • Thank you! The book entry seems to work now. The inreference does seem to omit the "In" before the "booktitle" entry field in the bibliography when I add "author" instead of "editor". I am not sure which version of biblatex I use, I added /listfiles and got: biblatex.def 2020/12/31 v3.16 biblatex compatibility (PK/MW). Is there a way to update to the newest version? I did not download anything when I wrote the biblatex code.
    – nso_07
    May 27, 2022 at 9:01
  • @nso_07 The version of biblatex-apa is more important than your biblatex version. What does \listfiles say for apa.bbx? If and how you can update depends on your TeX system and how you installed it. Please tell us more about that. (Which OS? TeX Live or MikTeX? If you use TeX Live, which version (it will say so on the top of the .log file)? Did you install from your OS package manager [apt, yum, ...]? Did you install from TUG.org/MikTeX.org? ...)
    – moewe
    May 27, 2022 at 9:05
  • I get this "2020/08/28 v9.14 APA biblatex references style" for apa.bbx and the same goes for apa.cbx. I use Overleaf. Windows is my computer OS. I did not install anything really, I only wrote the code for biblatex apa style.
    – nso_07
    May 27, 2022 at 9:27
  • Ugh. Overleaf don't update their system that regularly. So for now you are stuck with the outdated version (which arguably has a bug here). If you cannot use an up-to-date local system and must use Overleaf, the only way to get an updated biblatex-apa that I know of is to grab the .zip from CTAN ctan.org/pkg/biblatex-apa (specifically mirrors.ctan.org/macros/latex/contrib/biblatex-contrib/…), unpack it and upload all the files to your Overleaf project. In general this is not guaranteed to work, but currently it does.
    – moewe
    May 27, 2022 at 11:39
  • @nso_07 Sorry, forgot to ping you. See comment above. Here is a link to the example document with an uploaded biblatex-apa: overleaf.com/read/jngdgjvncxbx
    – moewe
    May 27, 2022 at 11:40

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