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APA Style Guide

APA Blog

The APA Style Blog is the official companion to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Sixth Edition. It's run by a group of experts who work with APA Style every day. You will find answers to specific questions here.

What is DOI?

Many scholarly publishers have been assigning unique identifiers to each published article.

The DOI (Digital Object Identifier) is an alpha-numeric code registered to each scholarly article in order to assign a persistent link to the article. The DOI has replaced the database name and URL in the list of references. Because the link is to the final and archival version, do not include a retrieval date. Since DOI numbers are complex, copy and paste DOI into the reference.

APA recommends that the DOI be included for both print and online citations. Citing electronic sources is similar to citing print sources; citations direct readers to the source or as close as possible.

Where do I find a DOI?

It may be part of a database record citation or abstract. It may be found on the first page of the article, especially in pdf format.

Use DOI Lookup

Cut and paste a citation into CrossRef Simple Text Query 

Verify a known DOI by using CrossRef DOI Resolver

Citing articles



Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. (year). Title of article. Title of Periodical, volume(issue), pages. doi: unique identifier

Examples of electronic references

Full-Text Article with DOI assigned [7.01.1]

Jacobson, J. W., Mulick, J. A., & Schwartz, A. A. (1995). A history of facilitated communication: Science, pseudoscience, and antiscience. American Psychologist, 50, 750-765. doi: 10.1037/0003-066X.50.9.750

Stevenson, W., Maton, K. I., & Teti, D. M. (1999). Social support, relationship quality, and well-being among pregnant adolescents. Journal of Adolescence, 22, 109-121. doi: 10.1006/jado.1998.0204

Full-Text Articles without a DOI [6.32]

Note: If no DOI has been assigned, provide the home page URL of the journal, book or report publisher. If you are accessing through a database, you may need to do a web search to locate the URL. It is not necessary to include the name of the database. There is no period at the end of a reference citation ending with a URL.

Francis-Smythe, J., & Robertson, I. (1999). Time-related individual differences. Time & Society, 8, 273-292. Retrieved from

Senior, B. (1997). Team roles and team performance: Is there really a link? Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 70, 241-258. Retrieved from

Online Newspaper Article [7.01.11]

McHugh, P. (2005, March 17). Feeling down? It might help if you just take it outside. San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved from

Research or Technical Report from a Web Site [7.03]

Note: if no date is available, use (n.d.). [6.28]

NAACP. (n.d.). Juvenile justice fact sheet. Retrieved December 11, 2007, from

Article from Web Site or E-journal [7.01.3]

Takase, A. (2007). Japanese high school students' motivation for extensive L2 reading. Reading in a Foreign Language, 19(1), 1-18. Retrieved from

ACLU. (2007, November 29). FBI improperly using Patriot Act surveillance powers, ACLU charges. Retrieved from

Cochrane Review []

Treat these articles like a journal article using the year as the volume number.

Singh, J, Kour, K, &Jayaram Mahesh, B. (2012). Acetalcholinesterase inhibitors for schizophrenia. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2012(1), 1-101. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD007967.pub2

Webpage []

When citing an entire website, it is sufficient to give the address of the site in just the text. Do not include it on the References page.

Webpage, no date. If the page is unlikely to change, do not use the retrieved from date.

Moses, R. (n.d). Misidentification: The caprices of eyewitness testimony in criminal cases. Retrieved from http://criminaldefense.eyewitnessmisidentification.html

 Note: Use (n.d.) if no date is given.

Webpage with no author, date or page numbers [] such as a

Dictionary or encyclopedia entry [7.02.30]

Heuristic. (n.d.) In Merriam-Webster's online dictionary (11th ed.). Retrieved from

 Electronic Book from Web Site [7.02.19]

O'Keefe, E. (n.d.). Egoism & the crisis in Western values. Retrieved from

Electronic Book from Database [7.02.19]

Gates, J.M. (1999). Consider the Earth: Environmental activities for grades 4-8. Retrieved from 

Dissertation or thesis [7.05]

Format: Author, A. A. (year). Title of dissertation or thesis (Doctoral dissertation or Master’s thesis). Retrieved from Name of database. (Order or accession number)

Lawson, S. (2008). Hospice social workers: The incidence of compassion fatigue (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses. (UMI No. 3331396)

Sacramento State master's thesis [7.05]

Oakes, E.M. (2010). Cooperative play and the autism spectrum: Case study. (Master's thesis, California State University, Sacramento). Retrieved from 

Lecture notes [6.29, 7.09]

Hallam, A. (2011). Duality in consumer theory [PDF document]. Retrieved from Lecture Notes Online Web site:

Wiki [7.11]

Psychometric assessment [Wiki]. (2009, September 9). Retrieved from

Data set [7.08.54]

Pew Hispanic Center. (2004). Changing channels and crisscrossing cultures: A survey of Latinos on the news media [Data file and code book]. Retrieved from

 Blog post [7.11.76]

bfy. (2007, January 22). Re: The unfortunate prerequisites and consequences of partitioning your mind [Web log message]. Retrieved from

YouTube []

Format: Author, A. A. [Screen name]. (year, month day). Title of video [Video file]. Retrieved from http://xxxxx

Television Broadcast [7.07.51]

Crystal, L. (Executive Producer). (1993, October 11). The MacNeil/Lehrer news hour [Television broadcast]. New York, NY and Washington, DC: Public Broadcasting Service. 

Audio podcast [7.07.50]

Van Nuys, D. (Producer). (2006, October 13). Understanding autism [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from 

Video post [7.11.77]

Booth, M. S. (Producer). (2006, September 23) Code Monkey [Music video]. Retrieved May 18, 2007 from

 Court decision, case [A7.03]

Lessard v. Schmidt, 349 F. Supp. 1078 (E.D. Wis. 1972).

Note: For more information on preparing all kinds of legal reference, consult the latest edition of The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation 2North Reference KF 245 .U55 2010.

Statutes [A7.04.9]

Mental Health Systems Act, 42 U.S.C. § 9401 (1988).

Patents [A7.07]

Perez, C. G. (1998). U.S. Patent No. 05,984,753. Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office