Most of the sources Walden students cite will be electronic because you primarily use an online library. Electronic source reference entries often have additional components (like electronic retrieval information):
Author. (Publication date). Title of document. Publishing information or electronic retrieval information.
See the subpages for detailed information about how to cite each kind of electronic source.
DOI, Other URL, or No Electronic Retrieval Information?
A DOI number, or a "digital object identifier," is a unique alphanumeric string that identifies content and provides a persistent link to its location on the internet. A DOI is a number that is specific to a certain piece and identifies it among other digital sources. Journal articles will commonly have a DOI associated with that specific article. Depending on where an article can be found, you may need to include a URL in place of a DOI. Guidelines for including a DOI or a URL can be found in the APA 7, Section 9.34.
Here are the general guidelines:
Include a DOI for all works that have a DOI, regardless if you use the online version or the print version.
If a print work does not have a DOI, do not include any DOI or URL in the reference.
If a work has both a DOI and a URL, include only the DOI.
If an online work has a URL but no DOI, include the URL in the reference as follows:
For works without DOIs from websites (not included in databases), provide a URL in the reference.
For works without DOIs from academic databases, do not include a URL or database information in the reference because these works are widely available. The reference should be the same as the reference for a print version of the work.
Other alphanumeric identifiers such as the International Standard Book Number (ISBN) and the International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) are not included in APA style references.
Use this click-through flowchart to help you determine whether to use a DOI, another URL, or no electronic retrieval information for your journal article source.
Do you see a DOI on the article?
Often, publishers include the number in the header or footer of the article. It may appear in a slightly different format, starting with an http://dx.doi.org, https://doi.org, DOI:, or some other way of identifying the number as a DOI. Many DOI numbers start with 10.
Include the DOI number at the end of your reference entry. The standard format is:
Park, S., Zo, H., Ciganek, A. P., & Lim, G. G. (2011). Examining success factors in the adoption of digital object identifier systems. Electronic Commerce Research and Applications, 10(6), 626–636. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.elerap.2011.05.004
Most of your sources for scholarly research should come from publications you find in Walden University library's databases or through Google Scholar. Review the library's help page on evaluating resources to help you recognize what is a scholarly journal or not.
Include the URL of the webpage where you found the article.
If your article is from a scholarly journal published on the open web, include the URL of the webpage where you found the article. Note that sources you find on the open web might belong to a number of different reference categories, so you should follow the format for those categories as applicable (such as for technical reports, white papers, or other forms of research that are part of gray literature—research produced and circulated outside of the peer-review process). Review the library's guidance on evaluating resources to make sure your sources are appropriate for your paper or study.
Here is an example of a journal article published on the open web:
Ford, T., Fix, M., Madsen, T., & Stroud, S. (2020). The eyes have it: A low-cost model for corneal foreign body removal training. Journal of Education and Teaching in Emergency Medicine, 5(1). https://escholarship.org/uc/item/99z7d1xv
In APA 7, present both DOIs and URLs as hyperlinks (i.e., beginning with “https://” or “http://”).
Use the default display settings in Microsoft Word for hyperlinks (blue font, underlined, and hyperlinked). It is also acceptable to present the DOI or URL in plain black text that is not underlined. Be consistent in how you format the hyperlinks throughout your reference list.
Links should be live if the work is to be published or read online.
As recommended by APA 7 and the International DOI Foundation, format your DOI as follows: https://doi.org/xxxx
Do not add a period after the DOI or URL because it may interfere with link functionality