Skip to main content

APA Citation Guide (6th edition): Journal Articles

This guide shows you how to cite using APA 6th edition

What is a DOI?

DOI Numbers in Library Databases

Some electronic content is assigned a unique number called a Digital Object Identifier (DOI). If a DOI is provided for a journal article, include it after the page numbers of the article as "doi:doi number".

You do not need to put a period after a DOI number.

Formatting

Note: All citations should be double spaced and have a hanging indent in a Reference List.

A "hanging indent" means that each subsequent line after the first line of your citation should be indented by 0.5 inches.

How Do I Know If It's a Journal?

Journals on a shelf - photo from Flickr by the.Firebottle

Photo from Flickr under Creative Commons license, created by the.Firebottle

Not sure whether your article is from a journal? Look for these characteristics:

  • Main purpose is often to report results of original search
  • Articles usually have a very specific subject focus
  • May see sections such as abtract, discussion, results, and conclusion
  • Author of the article is an expert or specialist in the field and often their credentials are listed
  • Article is intended for students, scientists, researchers and/or professionals instead of the general public
  • Usually includes a References list at the end

Articles may also come from magazines or newspapers.

Tips

Author

If an item has no author, start the citation with the article title.

When an article has one to seven authors, all authors' names are cited in the References List entry. When an article has eight or more authors  list the first six authors followed by three spaced ellipse points (. . .) , and then the last author's name. Rules are different for in-text citations; please see the examples provided.

Titles

Italicize titles of journals, magazines and newspapers. Do not italicize the titles of articles.

Capitalize only the first letter of the first word of the article title. If there is a colon in the article title, also capitalize the first letter of the first word after the colon.

Dates

If an item has no date, use the short form n.d. where you would normally put the date.

Volume and Issue Numbers

Italicize volume numbers but not issue numbers

Retrieval Dates

Most articles will not need these in the citation. Only use them for online articles from places where content may change often, like a free website or a wiki.

Page Numbers

If an article doesn't appear on continuous pages, list all the page numbers the article is on, separated by commas. For example (4, 6, 12-14)

Journal Article From Library Database with DOI - One Author

Author's Last Name, First Initial. Second Initial if Given. (Year of Publication). Title of article: Subtitle if any. Name of Journal, Volume Number(Issue Number), first page number-last page number. doi: doi number

Example

Bailey, N.W. (2012). Evolutionary models of extended phenotypes. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 27(3), 561-569. doi: 10.1016/j.tree.2012.05.011

In-Text Paraphrase

(Author's Last Name, Year)

Example: (Bailey, 2012)

In-Text Quote

(Author's Last Name, Year, p. Page Number)

(Bailey, 2012, p. 562)

Journal Article From Library Database with DOI - Two to Seven Authors

Author's Last Name, First Initial. Second Initial if Given., & Last Name of Second Author, First Initial. Second Initial if Given. (Year of Publication). Title of article: Subtitle if any. Name of Journal, Volume Number(Issue Number), first page number-last page number. doi: doi number

Note: Separate the authors' names by putting a comma between them. For the final author listed add an ampersand (&) after the comma and before the final author's last name.

Example

Pempek, T.A., Yermolayeva, Y.A., & Calvert, S.L. (2009). College students' social networking experiences on Facebook. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 3(2), 227-238. doi: 10.1016/j.appdev.2008.12.010t

In-Text See chart

Journal Article From Library Database no DOI - One Author

Author's Last Name, First Initial. Second Initial if Given. (Year of Publication). Title of article: Subtitle if any. Name of Journal, Volume Number(Issue Number), first page number-last page number. Retrieved from Name of Database.

Note: The APA Manual (6th ed.) recommends using the URL of the journal home page for online articles without a DOI. However, we recommend using the name of the database where you found the article for articles without a DOI.

Example

Carlisle, D. (2012). In the line of fire. Nursing Standard, 26(39), 18-19. Retrieved from Academic Search Complete.

In-Text Paraphrase

(Author's Last Name, Year)

Example: (Carlisle, 2012)

In-Text Quote

(Author's Last Name, Year, p. Page Number)

Example: (Carlisle, 2012, p. 18)

Journal Article From Library Database no DOI - Two to Seven Authors

Author's Last Name, First Initial. Second Initial if Given., & Last Name of Second Author, First Initial. Second Initial if Given. (Year of Publication). Title of article: Subtitle if any. Name of Journal, Volume Number(Issue Number), first page number-last page number if given. Retrieved from Name of Database.

Note: In the reference list invert all authors' names; give last names and initials for only up to and including seven authors. When a source has eight or more authors, include the first six authors’ names, then three ellipses (…), and add the last author’s name. 

Note: The APA Manual (6th ed.) recommends using the URL of the journal home page for online articles without a DOI. However, we recommend using the name of the database where you found the article for articles without a DOI.

Example

Bogan, E., & Paun, E. (2011). The assimilation of immigrants into the British labor market. Geopolitics, History, and International Relations, 3(2), 272. Retrieved from Academic Search Complete.

In-Text See chart

Journal Article From a Website - One Author

Author's Last Name, First Initial. Second Initial if Given. (Year of Publication). Title of article: Subtitle if any. Name of Journal, Volume Number(Issue Number if given). Retrieved from URL

Example

Flachs, A. (2010). Food for thought: The social impact of community gardens in the Greater Cleveland Area. Electronic Green Journal, 1(30). Retrieved from http://escholarship.org/uc/item/6bh7j4z4

In-Text Paraphrase

(Author's Last Name, Year)

(Flachs, 2010)

In-Text Quote

(Author's Last Name, Year, p. Page Number)

Example: (Flachs, 2010, Conclusion section, para. 3)

Note: In this example there were no visible page numbers or paragraph numbers, in this case you can cite the section heading and the number of the paragraph in that section to identify where your quote came from. If there are no page or paragraph numbers and no marked section, leave this information out.

Journal Article In Print - One Author

Author's Last Name, First Initial. Second Initial if Given. (Year of Publication). Title of article: Subtitle if any. Name of Journal, Volume Number(Issue Number), first page number-last page number.

Example

Jungers, W.L. (2010). Biomechanics: Barefoot running strikes back. Nature, 463(2), 433-434.

In-Text Paraphrase

(Author's Last Name, Year)

Example: (Jungers, 2010)

In-Text Quote

(Author's Last Name, Year, p. Page number)

Example: (Jungers, 2010, p. 433)

When You Have Eight or More Authors

When a journal article has eight or more authors:

References List

List the first six authors followed by three spaced ellipse points (. . .) , and then the last author's name.

Example

Chan, S. S., Chan, W., Cheng, Y., Fung, O. M., Lai, T. H., Leung, A. K., & ... Pang, S. C. (2010). Development and evaluation of an undergraduate training course for developing international council of nurses disaster nursing competencies in China. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 42(4), 405-413. doi:10.1111/j.1547-5069.2010.01363.x

In-Text Paraphrase

(First author's last name et al., Year)

Example: (Nilsson et al., 2016)

In-Text Quote

(First author's last name et al., Year, p. Page number quote is from)

Example: (Nilsson et al., 2016, p. 103)

 

In-Text Citation For Two or More Authors/Editors

Number of Authors/Editors First Time Paraphrased Second and Subsequent Times Paraphrased First Time Quoting Second and Subsequent Times Quoting
Two

(Case & Daristotle, 2011)

(Case & Daristotle, 2011)

(Case & Daristotle, 2011, p. 57) (Case & Daristotle, 2011, p. 57)
Three to Five (Case, Daristotle, Hayek, Smith, & Raash, 2011) (Case et al., 2011) (Case, Daristotle, Hayekm, Smith, & Raash, 2011, p. 57) (Case et al., 2011, p. 57)
Six or More

(Case et al., 2011)

(Case et al., 2011) (Case et al., 2011, p. 57) (Case et al., 2011, p. 57)

Works by the Same Author with the Same Year

When you are citing two different sources that share the same author and year of publication, assign lowercase letters after the year of publication (a, b, c, etc.). Assign these letters according to which title comes first alphabetically. Use these letters in both in-text citations and the Reference list.

Example In-Text:

Paraphrasing content from first source by this author (Daristotle, 2015a). "Now I am quoting from the second source by the same author" (Daristotle, 2015b, p. 50).

Example Reference List entries:

Daristotle, J. (2015a). Name of first articleMade Up Journal, 26(39), 18-19. Retrieved from Pretend Library database.

Daristotle, J. (2015b). Title of second article. Another Made Up Journal, 35(1), 48-55. Retrieved from Another Pretend Library database.

In-Text Citation for Group or Corporate Authors

Type of Group First Time Paraphrased Second and Subsequent Times Paraphrased First Time Quoting Second and Subsequent Times Quoting
Groups readily identified through abbreviations

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH, 2003)

(NIMH, 2003)

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH, 2003, p. 5) (NIMH, 2003, p. 5)
Groups with no abbreviations (University of Pittsburgh, 2005) (University of Pittsburgh, 2005) (University of Pittsburgh, 2005, p. 2) (University of Pittsburgh, 2005, p. 2)