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Answered By: Sara Fillbrandt, Digital Services Librarian
Last Updated: Nov 10, 2017     Views: 648

A DOI number (Digital Object Identifier) is a unique URL used to quickly locate a specific resource online.  According to APA rules, if an article, ebook, or other resource has a DOI number, it must appear in the Access segment of the reference.

However, many articles do not have DOI numbers.  There are two options for creating the access segment of the reference for journal articles without DOI numbers:

Option 1: Using the URL for the publication's home page:

  • Do a Google search for the journal to locate the publication's home page.  Use the homepage URL in the Access segment of the reference.  For example:

Option 2: Using the library database Permalink in the access segment of the reference:

  • When viewing the full text of an article in a library database, click on the Permalink (paper clip icon in EBSCO databases) to view the permanent link for the article.  Use this URL in the Access segment of the citation.  For example:

TIP:  Many instructors have a preference about using the journal home page URL and the "Permalink" for articles without DOI numbers. Connect with your instructor to find out which version they prefer.

For more examples of how to cite journal articles both with and without a DOI, see our APA guide here:

View our answer on How do I Create a Reference for a Journal Article from a Library Database for additional information and a helpful video.

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