How to cite a journal article in Chicago style

To cite a journal article in a Chicago footnote or bibliography entry, the format looks like this:

Full note format Author first name last name, “Article Title,” Journal Name Volume, no. Issue (Year): page number(s), DOI/URL.
Short note format Author last name, “Shortened Article Title“, page number(s).
Bibliography format Author last name, first name.Article Title.” Journal Name Volume, no. Issue (Month Year): Page range. DOI/URL.

If you’re using author-date style, a slightly different format applies.

Journal article citation examples

When you cite a journal article that you accessed online, for example via a research database, it’s important to include either a DOI or a URL.

Full note 1. Hanna Pickard, “What Is Personality Disorder?” Philosophy, Psychiatry, & Psychology 18, no. 3 (September 2011): 182. https://doi.org/10.1353/ppp.2011.0040.
Short note 2. Pickard, “What Is Personality Disorder?” 182.
Bibliography Pickard, Hanna. “What Is Personality Disorder?” Philosophy, Psychiatry, & Psychology 18, no. 3 (September 2011): 181–84. https://doi.org/10.1353/ppp.2011.0040.

A DOI (digital object identifier) is a link designed to permanently and reliably link to the article. It is usually listed in the online database where the article was found. Always include the DOI if one is available.

Full note 1. Gabriel Oak Rabin and Brian Rabern, “Well Founding Grounding Grounding,” Journal of Philosophical Logic 45, no. 4 (August 2016): 357. https://www.jstor.org/stable/43895445.
Short note 2. Rabin and Rabern, “Well Founding Grounding Grounding,” 357.
Bibliography Rabin, Gabriel Oak, and Brian Rabern. “Well Founding Grounding Grounding.” Journal of Philosophical Logic 45, no. 4 (August 2016): 349–79. https://www.jstor.org/stable/43895445.

When no DOI is available, use a URL instead. Avoid just copying the URL from your browser’s address bar, as this link may only work with your login. Journals sometimes list a stable URL in place of a DOI; if so, use this in your citation.

Full note 1. Jack A. Goldstone, “Climate Lessons from History,” Historically Speaking 14, no. 5 (November 2013): 35. Project MUSE.
Short note 2. Goldstone, “Climate Lessons,” 35.
Bibliography Goldstone, Jack A. “Climate Lessons from History.” Historically Speaking 14, no. 5 (November 2013): 35–37. Project MUSE.

If no reliable link whatsoever is available, you can instead list the name of the database where you accessed the journal (e.g. JSTOR, Project MUSE)

Full note 1. Joseph Barker, “Against ‘Vital Materialism’: The Passive Creation of Life in Deleuze,” Mosaic 48, no. 4 (December 2015): 55.
Short note 2. Barker, “Against ‘Vital Materialism,’” 55.
Bibliography Barker, Joseph. “Against ‘Vital Materialism’: The Passive Creation of Life in Deleuze.” Mosaic 48, no. 4 (December 2015): 49–62.

If you accessed the article in print, you don’t have to include a URL or DOI.

Journal articles with multiple authors

Journal articles frequently have multiple authors. Author names should be listed in the order they appear at the head of the article (not in alphabetical order).

In your notes, list up to three authors in full. When there are four or more authors, list only the first, followed by “et al.” (Latin for “and others”).

Multiple authors in Chicago notes
Number of authors Full note example Short note example
2 authors John Smith and Paul J. Jones Smith and Jones
3 authors John Smith, Paul J. Jones, and Sheila McDonnell Smith, Jones, and McDonnell
4+ authors John Smith et al. Smith et al.

In your bibliography, list up to 10 authors in full.

Multiple authors in a Chicago bibliography
Arieff, Zainunisha, Mandeep Kaur, Hajirah Gameeldien, Lize van der Merwe, and Vladimir B. Bajic. “5-HTTLPR Polymorphism: Analysis in South African Autistic Individuals.” Human Biology 82, no. 3 (2010): 291–300. https://www.muse.jhu.edu/article/389562.

If there are eleven or more authors, list the first seven in the bibliography, followed by “et al.”

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Citing journal articles in author-date style

In Chicago author-date style, an in-text citation consists of the author’s last name, the year of publication, and a page number.

Each in-text citation must correspond to an entry in your reference list. This is almost identical to a bibliography entry, except the year comes after the author’s name, and only the month appears in brackets.

Author-date journal citation examples

In-text citation (Pickard 2011, 182)
Reference list Pickard, Hanna. 2011. “What Is Personality Disorder?” Philosophy, Psychiatry, & Psychology 18, no. 3 (September): 181–84. https://doi.org/10.1353/ppp.2011.0040.
In-text citation (Rabin and Rabern 2016, 357)
Reference list Rabin, Gabriel Oak, and Brian Rabern. 2016. “Well Founding Grounding Grounding.” Journal of Philosophical Logic 45, no. 4 (August): 349–79. https://www.jstor.org/stable/43895445.
In-text citation (Goldstone 2013, 36)
Reference list Goldstone, Jack A. 2013. “Climate Lessons from History.” Historically Speaking 14, no. 5 (November): 35–37. Project MUSE.
In-text citation (Barker 2015, 60)
Reference list Barker, Joseph. 2015. “Against ‘Vital Materialism’: The Passive Creation of Life in Deleuze.” Mosaic 48, no. 4 (December): 49–62.

Finding citation information for a journal article

The information you need for your citations is usually listed above the article in the database where you found it. The image below shows where to find the relevant information on Project MUSE, for example.

Where to find information for an APA journal citation

With this information, we can construct our bibliography entry.

Mounier-Kuhn, Pierre. “Computer Science in French Universities: Early Entrants and Latecomers.” Information & Culture: A Journal of History 47, no. 4 (2012): 414–56. https://doi.org/10.7560/IC47402.

Frequently asked questions about Chicago style citations

When should I include page numbers in Chicago style citations?

Page numbers should be included in your Chicago in-text citations when:

  • You’re quoting from the text.
  • You’re paraphrasing a particular passage.
  • You’re referring to information from a specific section.

When you’re referring to the overall argument or general content of a source, it’s unnecessary to include page numbers.

When should I use “et al.” in Chicago citations?

When a source has four or more authors, your in-text citation or footnote should give only the first author’s name followed by “et al.” (Latin for “and others”). This makes your citations more concise.

In your bibliography or reference list, when a source has more than 10 authors, list the first seven followed by “et al.”

Should I use short notes or full notes?

If your text includes a Chicago style bibliography, you only ever need to use short notes. Each short note must correspond to a bibliography entry.

If you do not include a bibliography, your first citation of each source should be a full note, while all subsequent citations should be short notes.

How do I find the DOI of an article?

The DOI is usually clearly visible when you open a journal article on an academic database. It is often listed near the publication date, and includes “doi.org” or “DOI:”. If the database has a “cite this article” button, this should also produce a citation with the DOI included.

If you can’t find the DOI, you can search on Crossref using information like the author, the article title, and the journal name.

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Jack Caulfield

Jack is a Brit based in Amsterdam, with an MA in comparative literature. He writes and edits for Scribbr, and reads a lot of books in his spare time.

1 comment

Jack Caulfield
Jack Caulfield (Scribbr-team)
October 25, 2019 at 1:36 PM

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