A DOI (Digital Object Identifier) is a unique alphanumeric string that identifies content and provides a persistent link to its location on the internet.
If a DOI is listed on either a print or an electronic source it should be included in the reference. Because so much scholarship is available or retrievable online, most reference list entries end with either a DOI or a URL.
DOIs should always be displayed as a full URL link in the form https://doi.org/10.xxx/xxx
DOIs are typically found on the top left-hand corner of abstracts, listed in the Table of Contents, or printed at the top or bottom of an article.
If an online work has both a DOI and a URL, include only the DOI.
You can use CrossRef.org to look up an article and find the DOI. Copy the title of the article into the search box on the website, click the Search Metadata option and, if there is a DOI, it will be listed in the results.
Present URLs as hyperlinks - i.e. beginning with http:// or https://
As hyperlinks lead readers directly to the content it is not necessary to include the words "Retrieved from" or "Accessed from" before a URL - this is new in APA 7th edition.
It is acceptable to use either the default display setting for hyperlinks (e.g. usually blue font which is underlined) or plain text which is not underlined.
Copy and paste the URL directly into the reference list to avoid transcription errors. Do not add line breaks manually to the hyperlink.
If a journal article has a URL but not a DOI, include the URL in the reference as follows:
Your reference list contains the full details of the information sources (e.g. books, journals articles, websites, etc.) that you have cited. References cited in-text must appear in the reference list and vice versa. Do not include any sources in the reference list that you have not cited in the text.
Other disciplines use a Bibliography to list work that has been read but not cited in the paper. In APA, a Bibliography is not used at all. The reference list is used and only includes sources that have been cited in the paper.
Where can you find full details of the source?
You can find the information you need for different sources in a variety of locations. Books have a title page and pages with publisher, published dates and edition details. You can find all the details you need for electronic journal articles on electronic databases or on the internet.
A reference list generally has four elements: the author, date, title, and source. Each element answer a question:
Answering these four questions will help you create a reference list for any type of work, even if you do not see a specific example in this guide.
For more information about this, see the APA's guidance at: https://apastyle.apa.org/style-grammar-guidelines/references/basic-principles
In APA referencing, a hanging indent is applied to the whole reference list. This is where the first line of a reference falls on the left hand margin and then any subsequent lines for that reference are indented 5-7 spaces.
This can be formatted in Word using the Layout menu and the Paragraph option. Then, in the Indentation section, use the Special drop-down menu to select Hanging. See the example reference list to see what this looks like.
In titles and subtitles of articles, chapters, and books, capitalise only the first letter of the title and subtitle and proper nouns. Use a colon followed by a space to separate titles and subtitles. E.g. Referencing and plagiarism: A complete guide.
Do capitalise all major words in journal titles - e.g. Journal of Applied Research on Children.
Italicise book titles, journal titles, and volume numbers. Do not italicise issue numbers.
Include the edition number for all editions apart from the first when referencing books. This comes after the book title in brackets but is not italicised. E.g.:
Pinel, J., & Barnes, S. (2017). Biopsychology (10th ed.). Pearson.
In APA 7th, you only need to provide the name of the publisher, you don't need to provide the place of publication. Write the publisher's name as it appears on the work followed by a full-stop. When the author is the same as the publisher, omit the publisher from the reference list entry to avoid repetition.
If a work has multiple publishers, separate these with a semi-colon - for example:
Mental Health Law and Policy Institute; Pacific Psychology Assessment Corporation; The British Colombia Institute Against Family Violence.
Use the abbreviation p. (for page) and pp. (for pages) before page numbers for book chapters, e.g. (pp. 132-134).
Do not use page abbreviations before page numbers for journal articles, e.g. 176-179.
If there is no publication date, write (n.d.) in parenthesis with a full stop after each letter and no space in between - e.g.
Johnson, E. (n.d.).