To abbreviate in-text citations containing three or more authors, use the acronym "et al." (meaning "and others"). For example, include only the first author's last name, followed by "et al.", a comma, and the year of publication (Taylor et al., 2018). Avoid using all caps for the abbreviation.
Et al. is an acronym for the Latin phrase "et alii," which means "and others." Using et al. indicates that the work was written, edited, or collaborated on by three or more people, even though only one name is included in the citation.
Et al. is used when there are too many authors to list them all individually. In this case, they are listed by alphabetical order instead.
An example of where et al. would be used is in reference to a collection of articles published in a single volume of a journal. The author list would include the names of those who wrote each article, so as not to violate copyright laws. However, since they were all published under the same editor's supervision, it is acceptable to list them all together under the alias "et al."
Another example would be if several students worked on a project but did not want to be identified as such in the publication. They could each write an article about their part in the project and submit them under the et al. format; then, the editor can combine these articles into one coherent piece without violating copyright laws or naming specific contributors.
Using et al. is different from using unnamed collaborators. With unnamed collaborators, you do not know how to refer to them within the text of your paper, therefore, they must be cited separately.
"Et al." is an abbreviation for the Latin phrase "et alia," which means "and others." When referring to a source having numerous writers, it is used in academic citations: Hulme et al. (1990) and Johnson et al. (1958). It may also be used in popular culture when listing many contributors of something trivial, such as a blog post or song: "This post was written by my friend Et Al."
Et al. can be used alone as a short form for "et al." or with a list of authors as a way of indicating that they should be cited individually rather than being included in a single reference list. For example, if several researchers work on a paper, they would normally be listed together under the word "et al." If however, they wish their work to be treated separately from that of other scholars, then they should be cited individually by name.
In academia, et al. is used when citing multiple authors of a single work or article. In this case, et al. is abbreviated from the Latin phrase "et alii," meaning "and others." This usage of et al. is common in articles that cite multiple sources or include sections written by different authors.
Articles with one or two authors contain all names in all in-text citations; articles with three, four, or five authors include all names in the first in-text citation but are truncated to the first author name plus et al. in subsequent in-text citations.
Examples: Joseph E. Stiglitz and Andrew J. Ross wrote a book titled The Free Market Revolution: A History of Economic Thought. As they are scholars who have published many articles on their own, it is reasonable that they would be included on an et al. page with other authors who have also published extensively.
However, if I were to write an article with another person as well, it would not be appropriate to list them both on the same et al. page because they did not contribute equally to the work. In this case, I would need to give credit to the other author later in the text when I mention them by name.