How to Cite a Journal Article in APA Style | Format & Example
An APA Style citation for a journal article includes the author name(s), publication year, article title, journal name, volume and issue number, page range of the article, and a DOI (if available). Use the buttons below to explore the format.
Basic format for an APA journal citation
The article title appears in plain text and sentence case, while the journal name is italicized and in title case (all major words capitalized).
|Format||Last name, Initials. (Year). Article title. Journal Name, Volume(Issue), Page range. DOI or URL|
|Reference entry||Mounier-Kuhn, P. (2012). Computer science in French universities: Early entrants and latecomers. Information & Culture: A Journal of History, 47(4), 414–456. https://doi.org/10.7560/IC47402|
|In-text citation||(Mounier-Kuhn, 2012)|
When viewing a journal article online, the required information can usually be found on the access page.
Articles published only in PDF form sometimes provide an e-locator instead of a page range; in this case, include the e-locator in your citation.
Linking to online journal articles
A DOI should always be used where available. Some databases do not list one, but you may still find one by looking for the same article on another database. You don’t need to include the name of the database in your citation.
If no DOI is available and the article was accessed through a database, do not include a URL.
If the article is not from a database, but from another website (e.g. the journal’s own website), you should ideally use a stable URL: this is often provided under a “share” button. Otherwise, copy the URL from your browser’s address bar.
Citing unpublished journal articles
When citing from an article that has not yet been formally published, the format varies depending on whether or not it has already been submitted to a journal. Note that different formats are used for unpublished dissertations and raw data.
The text of an article which has not yet appeared online or in publication (i.e. which is only available directly from the author) should be cited as an “Unpublished manuscript.” The title is italicized and information about the author’s university is included if available:
|Format||Last name, Initials. (Year). Article title [Unpublished manuscript]. Department Name, University Name.|
|Reference entry||Smith, J. M., & Davis, H. (2019). Language acquisition among autistic children [Unpublished manuscript]. Department of Psychology, University of Notre Dame.|
|In-text citation||(Smith & Davis, 2019)|
Article submitted for publication
An article that has been submitted to a journal but not yet accepted is cited as a “Manuscript submitted for publication.” The title is italicized, and the name of the journal to which it was submitted is not included:
|Format||Last name, Initials. (Year). Article title [Manuscript submitted for publication]. Department Name, University Name.|
|Reference entry||Smith, J. M., & Davis, H. (2019). Language acquisition among autistic children [Manuscript submitted for publication]. Department of Psychology, University of Notre Dame.|
|In-text citation||(Smith & Davis, 2019)|
Article in press
An article that has been submitted and accepted for publication in a journal is cited as “in press.” Here, the name of the journal is included, university information is omitted, and “in press” is written in place of the year (both in the reference list and the in-text citation):
|Format||Last name, Initials. (in press). Article title. Journal Name.|
|Reference entry||Smith, J. M., & Davis, H. (in press). Language acquisition among autistic children. Journal of Developmental Psychology.|
|In-text citation||(Smith & Davis, in press)|
Special issue of a journal
If you want to cite a special issue of a journal rather than a regular article, the name(s) of the editor(s) and the title of the issue appear in place of the author’s name and article title:
|Format||Last name, Initials. (Ed. or Eds.). (Year). Title of issue [Special issue]. Journal Name, Volume(Issue).|
|Reference entry||Pollak, S. D., Camras, L. A., & Cole, P. M. (Eds.). (2019). New perspectives on the development of human emotion [Special issue]. Developmental Psychology, 55(9).|
|In-text citation||(Pollak et al., 2019)|
Note that if you want to cite an individual article from the special issue, it can just be cited in the basic format for journal articles.
Frequently asked questions about APA Style citations
- When should I include a DOI or URL in an APA journal citation?
If an article has no DOI, and you accessed it through a database or in print, just omit the DOI.
If an article has no DOI, and you accessed it through a website other than a database (for example, the journal’s own website), include a URL linking to the article.
- How do I format a DOI in APA Style?
Include the DOI at the very end of the APA reference entry. If you’re using the 6th edition APA guidelines, the DOI is preceded by the label “doi:”. In the 7th edition, the DOI is preceded by ‘https://doi.org/’.
- 6th edition: doi:10.1177/0894439316660340
- 7th edition: https://doi.org/10.1177/0894439316660340
APA citation example (7th edition)
Hawi, N. S., & Samaha, M. (2016). The relations among social media addiction, self-esteem, and life satisfaction in university students. Social Science Computer Review, 35(5), 576–586. https://doi.org/10.1177/0894439316660340
- When should I use “et al.” in APA in-text citations?
- Should I include the exact publication date or just the year in an APA journal citation?