How to Cite a Journal Article in APA

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Journal articles are one of the most important sources of information for research papers. Often times, they will serve as your main source of information, as journal articles contain information that is specific to a topic. This page will show you how to cite journal articles in APA style, updated for the 7th edition.

Guides Overview

Here’s a run-through of everything this page includes:

APA Journal Article Citation

This guide will help you create journal citations in APA format. Check out this hyperlink if you are looking to create APA books citation.


In-Text APA Citation for Journal Articles

This section will help you create in-text APA citations for journal articles.

In-text citations refer to the crediting of articles within the body of a work, separate from the reference page at the end of a document. An in-text citation comes after a paraphrase or a direct quote. For any APA in-text citation in your own paper, you must include a full citation in your reference page as well.


Reference Page APA Citation for Journal Articles

This section will help you create an APA reference page or an APA bibliography.


How to Cite a Journal Article in APA (Print)

Reference Page
Structure

Author’s last name, Author’s first initial. Author’s middle initial. (Year, Month Date published). Article title. Journal Name, Volume(Issue), page number(s). https://doi.org/—– (if available)

Example

Jacoby, W. G. (1994). Public attitudes toward government spending. American Journal of Political Science, 38(2), 336-361. https://doi.org/10.2307/2111407

 

How to Cite a Journal Article with Multiple Authors in APA

Reference Page
Structure

Author’s last name, Author’s first initial. Author’s middle initial., & Author’s last name, Author’s first initial. Author’s middle initial. (Year published). Article title. Journal Name, Volume(Issue), page number(s).

Example

Fearon, J. D., & Laitin, D. D. (2003). Ethnicity, insurgency, and civil war. American Political Science Review, 97(01), 75. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0003055403000534

How to Cite an Online Journal Article in APA

The following examples show you how to format an online journal citation in APA style.

With URL

Reference Page
Structure

Author’s last name, Author’s first initial. Author’s middle initial. (Year, Month Date published). Article title. Online Journal Name, Volume(Issue). URL

Example

Poiger, U. G. (1996). Rock ‘n’ roll, female sexuality, and the Cold War battle over German identities. The Journal of Modern History, 68(3). https://www.jstor.org/stable/2946768

With DOI 

Reference Page
Structure

Author’s last name, Author’s first initial. Author’s middle initial. (Year, Month Date published). Article title. Online Journal Name, Volume(Issue). https://doi.org/—–

Example

Poiger, U. G. (1996). Rock ‘n’ roll, female sexuality, and the Cold War Battle over German Identities. The Journal of Modern History, 68(3), 577. https://doi.org/10.1086/245343

How to Cite a Journal Article on a Database in APA

For an APA citation journal article from a database, you are not required to include the database information. This is because APA format includes a link to the website or the DOI instead, since database information can change over time. Simply follow the format for an APA citation journal from online as described above.


Here is a video that covers journal article citations in APA style:


Troubleshooting

Solution #1: What to do if you cannot find a journal article’s DOI

The DOI can typically be found on the first page of an article. For an online journal, the DOI is usually at the top of the webpage below the article’s title. It is a unique combination of numbers, letters, periods, which might appear in any of the forms below:

10.1353/shq.2012.0007

doi: 10.1353/shq.2012.0007

https://doi.org/10.1353/shq.2012.0007

Sometimes, an article does not have a DOI, particularly if it is an older resource. Articles found on JSTOR may just have a stable URL instead of a DOI. If it cannot be found, use the URL in its place.

Example:

Corrigan, P.W. (2000) Mental health stigma as social attribution: Implications for research methods and attitude change. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 7(1), 28-67. https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2000-13942-004


Solution #2: How to cite another text cited within a journal article

If you wish to use a quote or information from an article that is cited as coming from another source, use the reference information provided to find the original source. Find the quote within the source and reference its original author and location. If you cannot locate it, you must still cite both sources, identifying the original author and its location within the secondary source.


Solution #3: How to find the volume and issue number of a journal

The volume and issue number can typically be found on the front cover of a journal. Within the pages of an article, they also might be listed in the top or bottom corners of the page. For an online journal, the volume and issue number are listed after the title of a journal. 

Some other formats it might be found in:

18(4)

18 (4)

vol. 18, no. 4

vol. 18, iss. 4

 


Published May 9, 2019. Updated July 16, 2020.

 

 

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What is a journal article?

Journal articles are the content within journals, which are a type of literature and are released periodically, are peer-reviewed, and provide some of the most up-to-date studies — basically, a great source for research. They typically focus on a particular topic and contain peer-reviewed articles written by experts in order to educate and inform other experts on the subject. Journals may contain several articles, similar to chapters in a book or articles in a magazine. Articles usually have an abstract, or a short summary of the article, at the beginning and a list of references at the end.

What is a “scholarly” article?

A “scholarly” article is an article that comes from an academic, peer-reviewed source. Because academic journals and non-academic magazines have a lot of structural similarities, the term “scholarly” differentiates this type of article from magazine articles. A scholarly article is typically written by experts for experts, and is peer-reviewed by other experts in the field.

What does “peer-reviewed” mean?

A “peer-reviewed” article is one that has been reviewed by a board of experts in the field for quality and accuracy of the information before publishing. A “peer-reviewed” article is a more trustworthy source because it has been checked and approved by experts and is not based on opinion, low-quality research, or obsolete data.

Where are journal articles found?

Articles exist both in print and online and can be found at most academic libraries. Online articles can usually be found using academic databases, which contain structured sets of data or information. Many databases charge a fee to use the database and/or to access full articles. Most university library websites will provide information for accessing different academic databases.

Should I include the publisher and place of publication when citing a journal article in APA style?

Do not include the publisher and place of publication when citing a journal article in APA style. Publisher names are used for book-type references, reports, computer software and mobile apps, and data sets. Do not include the publisher’s location in references. Instead, the name of the journal will be included, which will provide the reader with sufficient information for locating the source.

How do I format a reference list entry for a journal article in APA style?

To format a journal article in APA style, you will need the author name, publication year, title of the article, journal title, volume number, issue number, page range, and/or DOI (digital object identifier) or URL (uniform resource locator). The format for a journal article having just one author is given below:

Author Surname, F. M. (Publication Year). Article title: Subtitle. Journal Title, Volume(issue), page range. URL or DOI

Note that the first name and middle name, following the author’s surname, are abbreviated and separated by a space. The title of the article should be set in sentence case. The first word of the subtitle, if present, should be capitalized. The name of the journal should be set in title case. Set the journal title and the volume number in italics, including the comma that separates them. An example is given below:

Rancière, J. (2016). Un-what? Philosophy & Rhetoric, 49(4), 589–606. https://doi:10.5325/philrhet.49.4.0589