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APA Citation Style Guide (6th): Academic (Scholarly) Journals

What is a DOI?

APA uses a Digital Object Identifier (DOI), when it is available.  A DOI is unique to each document and is considered more stable than a URL, which might change. 

A DOI is usually found on the first page of the article or is listed on the database record.  If there is no DOI, use the URL of the journal's website, even if you found the article in a database. (You may have to search for the website on the Internet.)


Journal article found in a database, no DOI

Anderson, W. K. Z., & Buzzanell, P. (2007). Outcasts among outcasts: Identity, gender and leadership in a Mac users group. Women and Language, 30(1), 32-46. Retrieved from


Journal article found in a database, with DOI

Greenfield, P., & Yan, Z. (2006). Children, adolescents, and the Internet: A new field of inquiry in developmental psychology. Developmental Psychology, 42(3), 391-394. doi:10.1037/0012-1649.42.3.391


Journal article from an online journal, no DOI

McDonald, C. (2009). Children and poverty: Why their experience of their lives matter for policy. Australian Journal of Social Issues44(1), 5-21. Retrieved from

Journal article in print

If you are using an article that you found in the hard copy of the journal (which means you are holding the complete journal in your hand), leave off all information about the retrieval. 


Book review in print academic journal

Shoaf, E.C. (2011). On leading and being led. [Review of the book Leading from the middle, by John Lubans.] College and Research Libraries News, 72(2), 102-103. 

Article in print academic journal

Meyerowitz, J. (2009). Transnational sex and U.S. history. The American Historical Review, 114, 1273-1286.