How to cite an online journal article in APA

APA online-journal-article- citation

To cite an online journal article in a reference entry in APA style 6th edition include the following elements:

  1. Author(s) of the article: Give the last name and initials (e. g. Watson, J. D.) of up to seven authors with the last name preceded by an ampersand (&). For eight or more authors include the first six names followed by an ellipsis (…) and add the last author's name.
  2. Year of publication: Give the year in brackets followed by a full stop.
  3. Title of the research article: Only the first letter of the first word and proper nouns are capitalized.
  4. Title of periodical: Give the full, non-abbreviated title of the periodical in title case. It should also be italicized.
  5. Volume number: The volume number is also italicized.
  6. Issue number: For journals that are paginated by issue give the issue number in brackets.
  7. Page numbers: Give the full page range.
  8. DOI or URL: Include the digital object identifier (DOI) if one is assigned or start with 'Retrieved from' followed by the URL.

Here is the basic format for a reference list entry of an online journal article in APA style 6th edition:

Author(s) of the article. (Year of publication). Title of the research article. Title of periodical, Volume number (Issue number) Page numbers. DOI or URL

APA reference list examples

Take a look at our reference list examples that demonstrate the APA style guidelines for an online journal article citation in action:


An online journal article with two authors and a DOI

Langner, M., & Imbach, R. (2000). The University of Freiburg: A model for a bilingual university. Higher Education in Europe, 25(4), 461–468.

An online journal article with two authors and a DOI

Hofman, C. A., & Rick, T. C. (2018). Ancient biological invasions and island ecosystems: Tracking translocations of wild plants and animals. Journal of Archeological Research, 26(1), 65–115.
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This citation style guide is based on the official Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th edition).

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