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Reference List: Electronic Source References

Basics of Citing Electronic Sources

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.


Once you have cited a journal article that you found online, you will need to include the article in your references. Do you include a DOI or journal home page URL? Answer the questions below to help you determine which format to use!

Before you begin, verify that your document is a journal article rather than a dissertation, chapter in an edited book, or web page. These other types of resources follow different formats. You can consult the library's resources for help on identifying different publication types online.


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,, DOI:, or some other way of identifying the number as a DOI. Many DOI numbers start with 10.

Yes      No

APA Style Guide to Electronic Sources

In May 2012, the American Psychological Association digitally released the APA Style Guide to Electronic Resources, a PDF adaptation of Chapter 6 of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Sixth Edition. Although this guide clarifies some citation and reference formats for new media and technologies, Walden will not be enforcing the alterations the guide makes to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Sixth Edition--including its new rules for addressing digital object identifiers (DOIs)—until these changes are included in a full seventh edition of the APA style publication. Students who have the guide and prefer to use the new DOI formatting method may do so, but it will not be required. For some helpful resources on electronic citation, explore this page and the other resources in this area of the site.