Skip to main content
Chat

Reference List: Online Journal Articles

Online Journal Articles

  1. The retrieval date and database information are not needed for articles retrieved from online sources. Instead, use a permanent link to the article. The preferred permanent link is the DOI. If there is a DOI, you'll often find it somewhere on the first page of the journal article. It might also appear hidden behind a database button. You may also check this link: http://www.crossref.org/guestquery and APA 7, Sections 9.3, 9.35, and 10.1. (Note that APA 6 and subsequent addenda recommended different formats for the DOI number. In APA 7, follow the https format as shown below.)

    Swann, W. B., Jr., Sellers, J. G., & McClarty, K. L. (2006). Tempting today, troubling tomorrow: The roots of the precarious couple effect. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 32(1), 93–103. https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167205279584

  2. If you retrieved the journal article through a widely available academic research database but there is no DOI, the reference list entry should look like one for a printed version of the journal article. Do not include a URL. (Note that APA 6 recommended including the journal's website homepage URL, but APA 7 simply leaves out the electronic retrieval information.)

    Sanderse, J., de Langren, F., & Perez Salgado, F. (2020). Proposing a business model framework for nonprofit organizations. Journal of Applied Economics and Business Research, 10(1), 40–53.

  3. If you retrieved the article on the open web (not through a database) and there is no DOI, provide the article's URL. (Note that APA 6 included the phrase "Retrieved from" in front of the URL in a reference list entry, but in APA 7, simply include the URL after the last part of the reference list entry.

    Coleman, A.D. (2016). Ethics in photojournalism then and now: The case of Robert Cupa. Media Ethics, 27(2). https://www.mediaethicsmagazine.com/index.php/browse-back-issues/201-spring-2016-vol-27-no-2/3999107-ethics-in-photojournalism-then-and-now-the-case-of-robert-capa

Use our DOI, Other URL, or No Retrieval Information? clickable flowchart to help you understand what to include in your reference list entry.

Also see our Quick Answer FAQ, "Can I use the DOI format provided by library databases?"

For more information about DOI numbers, consult the Library's page:

Article (With DOI)

Alvarez, E., & Tippins, S. (2019). Socialization agents that Puerto Rican college students use to make financial decisions. Journal of Social Change, 11(1), 75–85. https://doi.org/10.5590/JOSC.2019.11.1.07

Laplante, J. P., & Nolin, C. (2014). Consultas and socially responsible investing in Guatemala: A case study examining Maya perspectives on the Indigenous right to free, prior, and informed consent. Society & Natural Resources, 27, 231–248. https://doi.org/10.1080/08941920.2013.861554

Use the DOI number for the source whenever one is available. DOI stands for "digital object identifier," a number specific to the article that can help others locate the source.

In APA 7, format the DOI as a web address. Active hyperlinks for DOIs and URLs should be used for documents meant for screen reading. Present these hyperlinks in blue and underlined text (the default formatting in Microsoft Word), although plain black text is also acceptable. Be consistent in your formatting choice for DOIs and URLs throughout your reference list.

Also see our Quick Answer FAQ, "Can I use the DOI format provided by library databases?"

Jerrentrup, A., Mueller, T., Glowalla, U., Herder, M., Henrichs, N., Neubauer, A., & Schaefer, J. R. (2018). Teaching medicine with the help of “Dr. House.” PLoS ONE, 13(3), Article e0193972. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0193972

For journal articles that are assigned article numbers rather than page ranges, include the article number in place of the page range.

For more on citing electronic resources, see Electronic Sources References.

Article (Without DOI)

Found in a Common Academic Research Database or in Print

Casler, T. (2020). Improving the graduate nursing experience through support on a social media platform. MEDSURG Nursing, 29(2), 83–87.

If an article does not have a DOI and you retrieved it from a common academic research database through the university library, there is no need to include any additional electronic retrieval information. The reference list entry looks like the entry for a print copy of the article. (This format differs from APA 6 guidelines that recommended including the URL of a journal's homepage when the DOI was not available.)

Note that APA 7 has additional guidance on reference list entries for articles found only in specific databases or archives such as Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, UpToDate, ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global, and university archives. See APA 7, Section 9.30 for more information.

 

Found on an Open Access Website

Eaton, T. V., & Akers, M. D. (2007). Whistleblowing and good governance. CPA Journal, 77(6), 66–71. http://archives.cpajournal.com/2007/607/essentials/p58.htm

Provide the direct web address/URL to a journal article found on the open web, often on an open access journal's website.

In APA 7, active hyperlinks for DOIs and URLs should be used for documents meant for screen reading. Present these hyperlinks in blue and underlined text (the default formatting in Microsoft Word), although plain black text is also acceptable. Be consistent in your formatting choice for DOIs and URLs throughout your reference list.

Articles Video Playlist

Knowledge Check: Online Journal Articles