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APA (6th Edition) Referencing Guide

Referencing Guide based on the 6th Edition of APA style

Standard journal article pattern

Journal article:


Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Year). Title of article: Subtitle. Title of Journal, volume number(issue number), page numbers of the whole article. or Retrieved from URL (if available)


Alam, K., & Imran, S. (2015). The digital divide and social inclusion among refugee migrants: A case in regional Australia. Information Technology & People, 28(2), 344-365. doi:10.1108/ITP-04-2014-0083

Kingsley, K., Galbraith, G. M., Herring, M., Stowers, E., Stewart, T., & Kingsley, K. V. (2011). Why not just Google it? An assessment of information literacy skills in a biomedical science curriculum. BMC Medical Education, 11(1), 17-17. doi:10.1186/1472-6920-11-17

Parkes, R. (2011). Rate of respiration: The forgotten vital sign. Emergency Nurse, 19(2), 12-17. Retrieved from

How many authors? Remember, there are rules for how to set out a reference, depending on the number of authors


  • If you have an electronic journal article, it may show an identifier (e.g. e0138430) instead of page numbers in sample citations. APA does not currently use electronic identifiers in the place of page numbers - use the page numbering on the PDF to give a page range (e.g. 1-11). If there are no page numbers and you cannot download a PDF, leave the page number section blank.

How to reference a journal article using APA 7th

Reference journal article using APA 7th animation

A note on DOIs and URLs

APA prefers DOIs to URLs. Only use a URL if you can not find a DOI.

About DOIs:

The DOI starts with the "10". APA accepts two patterns for DOIs:

  1. doi:10.3200/CTCH.56.3.137-139 OR

You can chose either pattern, but you must use the same pattern for every DOI you use. Your lecturers are more familiar with the first pattern, and may be expecting it.

Please note there are no spaces in either pattern, and you do not put a full stop after a DOI.

About URLs:

APA prefers short, reliable URLs. If you do not have a DOI, it is best to use the home page for the journal. Never use a URL like this: NsFnofUp91z6MDZximrjJULvmHuVZsbMJ8xN6FAl950s5TTFwXx9FS33aVsdKWIe65DrVuf5qXs901BjeNUnimliEafWYEVEMqKuDned52mAQZRtSPAHSIwiyuH5E3ZeZKJLc9vbgDHZyY-dg307nE3emSvo-A_r2IT1CqKyzkintmDJ59uw_1A5Ngt2wh4mtZiLHbjs_nwM2LjKrS8u2L3JPSMnis9P2aP5Rh1_ 96fM5I6VfTZQ5Vm3IObVLrz1uq83t82qJUPTIk4QTU14S2WKqzDKNF43TGxdW7cNVyYN2- cms-fSUAUfbdppLCJ8HZ9OeeVQ1DzagzVD1P18UKb4uQNgPHJa6VRnwqUyxYlEppRTkRIG8QiXARzPb01iKCaTvJQebbzPBbBPsk3oSOJibTKRaACN8e7hR-Q7soMioYpBIdVREwHUJ-PV2aVhBC1aCikOF058BKuInOTIF1OH5cH30DeghjrwC61y4bM


  • It doesn't matter if your URLs are live (hyperlinked) or not, but be consistent. Either all of your URLs should be hyperlinked, or none of them.
  • Technically, for journal articles, the most correct URL to use is the homepage for the journal, but your lecturer may prefer stable links directly to the article with the JCU elibrary link embedded (e.g., but this is a matter of personal preference for your lecturer. Check with them before using these URLs.

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