DOI, URL, database name and accession number, or permalink? What on earth do I put in for my APA reference for things from a database?


Citations to articles, chapters, books, and other electronic information from library databases should include electronic access information. APA outlines the guidelines below, but there are caveats you should know about, like using permanent links to the articles instead, so read beyond the guidelines:

  1. DOI
    • First and foremost, APA says, if there is a DOI (digital object identifier) number, then include that. 
    • Begin the DOI number with (according to the latest publication of the APA Style Guide to Electronic Resources).
    • Do NOT include a URL, a permalink, the name of the database, or the URL of the database or of the publisher of the source if you have a DOI.
  2. Permalink
    • If there is no DOI number, and the resource was found in a library database, end the reference with the permalink.
    • Please see the "Exception to the Rules" section below.
      • The permalink is not the URL that appears in the address line when viewing the article in the library database.
      • Instead, you need to click on the Permalink icon and copy and paste the URL provided by the database into the access element of your citation.  (Note: OVID permalinks are called "Jumpstarts")
  3. Internet URL
    • If the resource was found online and does not have a DOI, end the reference with the precise URL needed to access the resource.
  • Last Updated May 05, 2021
  • Views 32246
  • Answered By Kerry Louvier

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