APA journal citation

Journals serve as one of your most important sources of information when writing a paper, as this is the medium where the majority of academic research is published.

There are strict rules as to how to cite a journal article in APA style. Below, we provide an example of APA journal citation, as well as instructions on where to find the information you need in order to cite correctly.

Automatically retrieve all information using the DOI

You can also use the APA Citation Generator to create your APA journal article citations. All you need to do so is the URL or DOI of the journal. With the click of a button, the generator retrieves all other field!

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APA journal citation example

FormatAuthorLastName, FirstInitial., & Author LastName, FirstInitial. (Year). Title of article. Title of Journal, Volume(Issue), Page Number(s). https://doi.org/number
Reference listAndreff, W., & Staudohar, P. D. (2000). The evolving European model of professional sports finance. Journal of Sports Economics, 1(3), 257-276. https://doi.org/10.1177/152700250000100304
In-text citation
  • Recent research suggests that … (Andreff & Staudohar, 2000).
  • In a recent study Andreff and Staudohar (2000) found that … .
Open example in the APA Citation Generator

The standard format for APA journal article citation can be applied to both online and printed works. For printed works, simply finish the reference list entry after the page numbers. If you used a printed work found online, you should include the URL or DOI.

For all APA journal citations, you will need the:

  • name of the author(s). Most important are the surname and first initial.
  • title of the journal article.
  • name of the journal itself.
  • volume number.
  • issue number.
  • page number(s).
  • URL or DOI, if you found the source online.

All of this information should be displayed on the page where you find the journal article. Some journal publishers now even include the citation ready for APA with the click of a button.

apa journal citation

What is a DOI?

A DOI, or Digital Object Identifier, is a permanent URL that ensures anyone following the link will always be able to access the article. DOIs were implemented with journal articles due to the possibility for URLs to change, thereby always ensuring there is a reliable link.

When including a DOI in an APA journal article citation, include the version formatted like a standard internet URL as in the example above (i.e., https://doi.org/10.1177/0038038511435061).

Not all journals or journal databases will provide a DOI link, but where one is available, the APA journal article citation format recommends that you use this link rather than the URL.

Note that some databases provide their own version of a permanent URL, for example, JSTOR features a “stable URL.” If any version of a stable URL or DOI is available, this should always be your preference rather than the standard URL that appears in the browser.

Credible sources for journal articles

It is crucial that you use credible primary sources, when writing your paper, as doing so ensures the credibility and accuracy of your own research. Peer-reviewed academic journals are the most reliable sources available, but there are many journals that are not peer reviewed or refereed.

Therefore, you should carefully assess the credibility of each journal article you consider using.

What is peer review?

Peer reviewed articles have been assessed and approved by academic experts in the relevant field. The best academic journals will always follow the peer review (also called “referee”) process prior to publication, so you can trust that the information they publish is credible and accurate.

For journal articles, you can refer to the Journal Quality List, which provides a ranking of credible journals. In addition, you can check our list of credible sources for journal articles or learn how to apply the CRAAP Test.

Avoid plagiarism by citing correctly

Remember to ensure all of your sources, whether they are journals or not, are correctly cited in text every time you quote, paraphrase or summarize information from other researchers’ work.

To help make sure you have cited everything correctly, you can run use a plagiarism checker to put your mind at ease before you submit your paper. To help you find the most suitable plagiarism checker we compared the best plagiarism checkers available.

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Koen Driessen

Koen has written multiple theses and founded, together with Bas and Richard, the thesis editing company Scribbr in 2012.

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