How to cite a journal article
To cite an article from an academic journal, you need an in-text citation and a corresponding reference listing the name(s) of the author(s), the publication date, the article title and journal name, the volume and issue numbers, the page range, and the URL or DOI.
You can use the interactive example generator to explore the format for APA and MLA journal article citations.
Citing an article in APA Style
In an APA Style journal article reference, the article title is in plain text and sentence case, while the journal name appears in italics, in title case.
|APA format||Author last name, Initials. (Year). Article title. Journal Name, Volume(Issue), Page range. DOI or URL|
|Reference entry||Pinchot, R. (2020). Calle 13 and Ana Tijoux’s joyous rebellion: Modeling transnational protest through lyric and song. Latin American Music Review, 41(2), 196–225. https://doi.org/10.7560/LAMR41203|
|In-text citation||(Pinchot, 2020, p. 199)|
When citing a journal article in print or from a database, don’t include a URL. You can still include the DOI if available.
You can also cite a journal article using our free APA Citation Generator. Search by title or DOI to automatically generate a correct citation.
Citing an article in MLA Style
|MLA format||Author last name, First name. “Article title.” Journal Name, vol. Volume, no. Issue, Month Year, pp. Page range, DOI or URL.|
|Works Cited entry||Pinchot, Ryan. “Calle 13 and Ana Tijoux’s Joyous Rebellion: Modeling Transnational Protest Through Lyric and Song.” Latin American Music Review, vol. 41, no. 2, Fall/Winter 2020, pp. 196–225, doi:10.7560/LAMR41203.|
|In-text citation||(Pinchot 199)|
A DOI is always included when available; a URL appears if no DOI is available but the article was accessed online. If you accessed the article in print and no DOI is available, you can omit this part.
You can also use our free MLA Citation Generator to create your journal article citations.
Citing an article in Chicago Style
A bibliography entry for a journal article lists the title of the article in quotation marks and the journal name in italics—both in title case. List up to 10 authors in full; use “et al.” for 11 or more.
In the footnote, use “et al.” for four or more authors.
|Chicago format||Author last name, First name. “Article Title.” Journal Name Volume, no. Issue (Month Year): Page range. DOI or URL.|
|Bibliography entry||Pinchot, Ryan. “Calle 13 and Ana Tijoux’s Joyous Rebellion: Modeling Transnational Protest Through Lyric and Song.” Latin American Music Review 41, no. 2 (Fall/Winter 2020): 196–225. https://doi.org/10.7560/LAMR41203.|
|Footnote||1. Pinchot, “Joyous Rebellion,” 199.|
A DOI or URL (preferably a DOI) is included for articles consulted online; for articles consulted in print, omit this part.
If you don’t include a bibliography, the first note for each article includes full publication details.
Frequently asked questions about citations
- What are the main elements of a journal article citation?
The elements included in journal article citations across APA, MLA, and Chicago style are the name(s) of the author(s), the title of the article, the year of publication, the name of the journal, the volume and issue numbers, the page range of the article, and, when accessed online, the DOI or URL.
In MLA and Chicago style, you also include the specific month or season of publication alongside the year, when this information is available.
- 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.
- When should I use “et al.” in citations?
- Which citation style should I use?
Check if your university or course guidelines specify which citation style to use. If the choice is left up to you, consider which style is most commonly used in your field.
- APA Style is the most popular citation style, widely used in the social and behavioral sciences.
- MLA style is the second most popular, used mainly in the humanities.
- Chicago notes and bibliography style is also popular in the humanities, especially history.
- Chicago author-date style tends to be used in the sciences.
Other more specialized styles exist for certain fields, such as Bluebook and OSCOLA for law.
The most important thing is to choose one style and use it consistently throughout your text.