Citation Guides

APA Style Guide for Articles

from Library Databases


APA Update for Library Databases References

The 6th edition ofthe Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association made two major changes in formatting library database articles: no retrieveal date is need and a doi (Digital Object Identifier) or publisher URL is used instead of a database name.


Where do I find the DOI?

To address the problem of changing and nonworking URL’s, scholarly publishers are beginning to assign a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) to journal articles. The DOI is a unique and persistent link to the article.

The DOI is often listed in the article citation or on the first page of the document. Examples with a DOI are listed below:

EBSCO Database Citation



Method for citing:

&Matamoros, V., Arias, C., Brix, H., & Bayona, J. (2007). Removal of pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) from urban wastewater in a pilot vertical flow constructed wetland and a sand filter. Environmental Science & Technology, 41(23), 8171-8177. doi:10.1021/es071594

Publisher Web Site


Method for citing:

&Baicker, K. (2006). The labor market effects of rising health insurance. Journal of Labor Economics, 24(3), 609-634. doi: 10.1086/505049


How Do I List a Reference For an Article That Does Not Have a DOI?

List the URL of the journal home page as the source of the article.

Where do I find the URL of the publisher?
There is no standard format for the listing of the publisher URL. The journal homepage URL can often be found by clicking on the hyperlinked title of the publication in Source field of the article citation.


This will take you to a page with information about the publication, which ofter includes a URL for the publisher.



Method for citing: O'Shea, L. (2002). An economic approach to reducing water pollution: Point and diffuse sources. Science of the Total Environment, 282-283, 49. Retrieved from

If not listed, the publisher URL can be found by searching the title of the publication on Google.

Common APA Errors by Citation Tools

  1. Uppercase is used in article titles. Except for the first word, the first word following a colon, and proper nouns, all words in article titles should be lowercase.

  2. If no DOI is included, a database name or a database url is included in the retrieval statement.  Instead of the database name or url, include the url for the publisher of the journal.

Hints on Following APA Style Guidelines

We are in a transition phase with publishers moving towards a standard uniform method of identifying articles. When in doubt, check with your course instructors about their preference for listing citations on your references page.


Updated: February 16, 2009

Your comments are welcome.

citation guides

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ YouTube RSS Feed Pinterest Instagram tumblr Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ RSS Feed