Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

APA Style, 7th edition - Citing Sources

When to Include a DOI or URL

The APA 6th edition requires publication data for electronic sources. The DOI is now the preferred electronic retrieval format because it provides a persistent link to a document’s location on the Internet. If no DOI is available, a URL can be included.

You can use this flowchart to make it easy to determine when to include DOIs, URLs, or database information for your reference citations.

How to Find the DOI

DOI is an abbreviation for digital object identifier. This is simply an ID number assigned to an ‘object’ such as a journal article (or a book).  It allows the ‘object’ to be found across any physical location such as a database.  Publishers assign it to online articles so that an article may be easily identified and found within the many possible databases in which they may reside.

There are several ways to find the DOI:
  • Look for the DOI on the PDF of the article.
  • Look for the DOI on the detailed record for the article in the EBSCO database.
  • Search for the DOI in
  • Use Google Scholar to find the DOI.
  • Locate the DOI using PubMed.

How to Find a DOI- Video

This video explains what a DOI is, and how to locate one for your source from various database platforms, including EBSCOHost, Ovid, and ProQuest.  Regis uses EBSCOHost.  The video uses the database PsycInfo for its examples but the information is applicable to many other databases as well.

DOI Display Guidelines from the APA Style Site

As of March, 2017 the recommended format for the DOI within an APA reference is like this example: