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APA Format: Electronic References 

This information is based on the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Sixth Edition, 2010.


General Guidelines:

  • Electronic references have unique citation formats that may change over time. If you have a question about citations, consult your instructor.
  • According to the APA Publication Manual, “include the same elements, in the same order, as you would for a reference to a fixed-media source, and add as much electronic retrieval information as needed for others to locate the sources you cited” (p. 187).
  • Citations for articles from databases will vary depending on whether the article has a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) or not. If a DOI is available, no additional retrieval information is needed.
  • If the source has a print equivalent, but was retrieved from a website or database, include all relevant publication information including original page numbers, if indicated.
  • Do not include personal communication (e.g., e-mail or interviews) on your References list; cite these in-text only. 


  • APA uses a hanging indent. The first line of each reference aligns with the margin; subsequent lines are indented.
  • No period should appear at the end of a URL or DOI; otherwise, include an ending period after each citation. If you need to break a URL between lines, break before most punctuation (e.g., before a period or a slash).
  • It is not necessary to include the name of a database from which you retrieved an article. If no DOI is available, include the homepage URL of the journal/publisher.
  • Include retrieval dates only if the source material may change over time (e.g., wikis).
  • Cite each web page or new document within a website separately.
  • Do not create a hyperlink for a URL. (Right click on the URL, then click Remove Hyperlink.)
  • Maintain double-spacing. 

To identify author and title on a typical website: 

  • Author: Look for author’s name at the beginning or end of articles, or on other pages in the website. Do not use the website manager (often appears at very bottom of page) as the author. If the author is an agency or organization, that full name should be used in the author position. If no author is identified, cite by the title.
  • Title: When confronted with several titles on a single web page, choose the one that best describes the content you are citing. This title may not always be the “top” title on the page. 

Microsoft Office 2007 notes:

  • The basic APA template in Office 2007 does not include a field for journal volume and issue number; add these manually or click the box for “Show All Bibliography Fields” for a complete template. Volume and issue number are included when citing journal articles.
  • Change the default title of the page that lists sources to References. (It should not be Bibliography.)


Online Journal Articles:

With Digital Object Identifier (DOI):

Gulicovski, J., Cerovic, L., Milonjic, S., & Popovic, I. (2008). Adsorption of itaconic acid from aqueous solutions onto alumina. Journal of the Serbian Chemistry Society, 73(8-9), 835-843. doi: 10.2298/JSC0809835P


Without DOI and from a database:

Thurlow, C., & McKay, S. (2003). Profiling "new" communication technologies in adolescence. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 22(1), 94-103. Retrieved from  


Without DOI and from a web location:

Pachter, W. S., Fox, R. E., Zimbardo, P., & Antonuccio, D. O. (2007). Corporate funding and conflicts of interest: A primer for psychologists. American Psychologist, 62(9), 1005-1015. Retrieved from



Web documents:

Note: Include retrieval date for content that may be changed or updated

Amnesty International USA. (2008). Putting human rights at the center of the UN’s Millennium Development Goals. Retrieved November 2, 2011, from /millennium-


Mims, F.  (2009). Scientific research, books, articles, columns, lectures and photographs.  Retrieved from

New device spots melanoma. (2011). Retrieved November 1, 2011, from


Article in an online newspaper:

Note: Use the webpage URL when the article is permanently archived and can be accessed through the URL. If the article cannot be accessed via that URL, provide the URL for the newspaper’s main website:

McGary, M. L. (2008, January 8). On balance: Soccer mom. The Washington Post. Retrieved from


Online government document:

Note: except the Congressional Record

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2009). H1N1Flu (Swine Flu) (Report No. 0504-W-13). Retrieved from


Online report from nongovernmental organization (NGO):

America’s Development Foundation. (2007). Community revitalization through democratic action: Final report(Researched Report No. 169-A-00-01-00124-00). Retrieved from


Online reference work:

Lowe, E. (2009). Ontological dependence. In E. N. Zalta (Ed.), The Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy (Spring 2010 ed.). Retrieved from


Post to a newsgroup or blog:

Hauser, R. (2011, August 9). Why nurses need professional liability insurance [Web log post]. Retrieved from


Map retrieved online:

Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (Cartographer). (2005). The world: Population density, 2000 [Demographic map]. Retrieved from


Electronic version of print book without DOI:

Austin, J. (1917). Pride and prejudice [HTML version]. Retrieved from