APA Citations:Citing an Article With a DOI and Without a DOI

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Welcome to this Information and Library Services tutorial on APA citations. In this tutorial, you will learn how to cite an article that has a DOI number, as well as an article that does not have a DOI.

A DOI number is a unique identifying number for an article. Many article citations in library databases will contain a DOI. When an article has a DOI, use the DOI in your APA citation for the article, like this:

Blair, K., & Hoy, C. (2006). Paying attention to adult learning online: The pedagogy and politics of community. Computers and Composition, 23(1), 32-48. doi:10.1016/j.compcom.2005.12.006

Many articles in library databases will not have a DOI. When an article does not have a DOI, note the journal in which the article was published. You will then do a Web search for the homepage of the journal.

To find the journal homepage, search the Web for the journal title. Put the title inside quotation marks, so that you are searching that exact sequence of words.

Example shown:

"Journal of Interactive Online Learning"

When you have found the journal homepage, you can copy and paste the URL into your citation.

Here is an APA citation for the article from the Journal of Interactive Online Learning —the journal whose homepage we found. Because the article does not have a DOI, the APA citation ends with “Retrieved from” followed by the URL of the journal homepage:

Bai, H. (2009). Facilitating students' critical thinking in online discussion: An instructor's experience. Journal of Interactive Online Learning, 8(2), 156-164. Retrieved from http://www.ncolr.org/jiol/

Sometimes you will not be able to find the homepage of a journal. That may happen, for example, with an old article like this one, from the library database JSTOR: the journal in which the article was published no longer exists.

If you cannot find the journal homepage, do a Web search for the homepage of the database in which you found the article, and use that URL at the end of your citation after the words “Retrieved from.” Here is the APA citation for the article from JSTOR:

Manny, F. A. (1909). A study in adult education. The School Review, 17(3), 174-177. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/

To learn more about APA citations, please visit our library Web site, where you will see a link for Citation Help, as well as a link for Ask a Librarian. You can contact a UMUC librarian for help with APA citation style and any of your research questions.

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