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Citations - APA Style: About the DOI

Resources for APA (American Psychological Association) format, with examples of how to cite material from our electronic databases

A Note on APA 6th Ed.

A DOI, or Digital Object Identifier, is a standardaized string of letters and numbers that represent an online resource. In APA style, articles or other materials found in a database are not generally cited with the name of the database in which it was found. When possible, a DOI, is given. In practice DOIs are mainly available for scholarly journal articles, and not always then. When no DOI is present, the home page of the source publication, not the database, is given.

Where To Find the DOI

As mentioned above, the DOI is available mainly for scholarly journals. That means that a database that includes magazines or reference books as well as scholarly (peer-reviewed) journals may have some articles with DOI and some without.

The DOI is sometimes given as part of the text of an article, above or below the abstract. See also under PDF files, below.

Gale Databases (aka Infotrac)

picture of publication information link from a gale databaseMany, but not all, Gale databases give a DOI where one is available. Click the title of the article to display the abstract/full text page. Click the Publication Information link to expand it; it may include a DOI.  There is some variation; the DOI may be found near the end of the article. If the form is

Remove the and substitute doi:



Click on the title of the article to display the full text. The DOI is shown at the top of the Article tab, above the title of the article.

PDF Files (any database)

Some journals print a DOI for each article, usually at the top or bottom of the first page of the article, or near the abstract.

When There's No DOI

If there is a periodical article without a DOI, the APA style requires you to give the home page of the magazine, journal or newspaper. You will have to look this up using a search engine such as Google.

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