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MLA Citation Style 9th Edition: Publisher

Publisher (Works Cited)

Publisher is the seventh core element. The company or organization primarily responsible for producing the source or making it available is the publisher. For example, book publisher (usually listed on the title page), the person, institution or agency responsible for a website, TV or film studio distributor, theater company, and government agency, etc.

  • This element begins with a capital letter because it will almost always be a proper noun.
  • Use shortened forms of publisher names (see a list of common abbreviations in MLA 293-295)
    • For example, "University Press" is shortened to "UP"; Department to Dept. 
    • Omit all business words like "Company", "Corporation", "Incorporated", and "Limited".
    • Omit initial articles such as "The".
  • If more than one party appears to be equally responsible for the source, document both separated by a forward slash "/".
  • If the name of a publisher is not indicated on the source cited, omit this element.  Do not use n.p.
    • Omit the publisher element for sources that do not have a publisher (MLA 5.54). Common examples include articles from ongoing publications (journals, magazines, and newspapers), self-published works, websites with no publisher listed, websites which use the publisher's name as the title, and websites functioning as a container instead of a publisher like YouTube,, JSTOR, etc.
    • But if the information is available in another reliable source, cite the name in square brackets, and add a question mark if uncertain (MLA 5.122);
  • When an organization is both author and publisher of a work, the organization’s name is now given only once, usually as the publisher (MLA 5.19). No author is stated.
  • If the publisher is a government agency with many sub-agencies, list only the primary agency.
  • This element ends with a comma.


Brinkley, Alan, The Unfinished Nation: A Concise History of the American People. 7th ed, McGraw Hill, 2014, p. 525.


Couceiro, Sofia and Jason Hanna. "Kate's Sister, Pippa Middleton, Announces Engagement." CNN, 19 July 2016,

Blog network:

DiFrancesco, Tim. "The 4-Week Fitness Plan to Increase Strength: Day 9." Hello Healthy, My Fitness Pal, 2 June 2016,

Films or television series:

The Big Lebowski. Directed by Joel Coen, performances by Jeff Bridges and Julianne Moore, Polygram Filmed Entertainment, 1998.

Government publication:

Henry, Meghan, et al. The 2020 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress. U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, Jan. 2021, 

Part of the information above is adapted from IRSC Libraries.