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Citing sources in APA style 6th ed.

Crediting sources and formatting references according to the style of the American Psychological Association (APA). Based on the 6th edition of the Publication Manual of the APA.

Journal article references: general form

The general form of a journal article reference is:

Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. (year). Title of article. Title of Periodical, Volume number, pages.

Most journals have both volume numbers and issue numbers for the issues within a volume. You include the volume number. Only include the issue number if each issue starts again at page number 1.

If the author is not known, the title of the article moves to the author position.

Finish with the DOI if there is one. Also when you have consulted the printed version of the article.

Journal articles: printed and electronic form

Journal article published in printed form only

Hemels, J. (1987). Abonneeverzekering en oplagemarketing. Massacommunicatie, 15, 207-220.

You only include the issue number if the journal is paginated by issue. If that is the case, include it in parentheses after the volume number, f.i.15(6), 2-12. This is not common practice in scholarly journals. Most are paginated by volume: issue 2 begins where issue 1 ended etc.


Journal article with DOI

Koopmans, R., & Muis, J. (2009). The rise of right-wing populist Pim Fortuyn in the Netherlands: A discursive opportunity approach. European Journal of Political Research, 48, 642-664.

Brookshire, G., & Da Silva, D. (2012). Motivation and motor control: Hemispheric specialization for approach motivation reverses with handedness. PLoS One, 7, 1-5.

  • If an article has page numbers, include these preceding the DOI.
  • If an article has an article number, the article number should be omitted, but page numbers should be included. You can find the page numbers after opening the PDF version of the article.
  • If page numbers are missing (article is only available as web text), just leave off this part of the reference and place the DOI directly after the volume number.


Journal article with DOI, more than seven authors

Berry, T. R., Spence, J. C., Plotnikoff, R. C., Bauman, A., McCargar, L., Witcher, C., . . . Stolp, S. (2009). A mixed methods evaluation of televised health promotion advertisements targeted at older adults. Evaluation and Program Planning, 32, 278-288.

  • If an article has more than seven authors, include the first six, then three periods (with spaces) and then the last author.
  • In text the citation is: (Berry et al., 2009)
  • If an article has seven authors or less, include all authors in the reference list.


Journal article without DOI (for which no DOI is available)

Middelkamp, J., Wolfhagen, P., & Steenbergen, B. (2015). The transtheoretical model and strategies of European fitness professionals to support clients in changing health-related behaviour: A survey study. Journal of Fitness Research, 4(3), 3-12. Retrieved from

Duijkers, J. C. L. M., Vissers, C. T. W. M., Verbeeck, W., Arntz, A., & Egger, J. I. M. (2014). Social cognition in the differential diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders and personality disorders. Clinical Neuropsychiatry, 11, 118-129. Retrieved from

  • Include the URL of the journal if the article has no DOI but is accessible on the Internet.
  • It is not necessary to include a date on which the article is retrieved.
  • Include an issue number if the journal is paginated by issue.


Journal article with DOI, advance online publication

Kember, H., Choi, J., Yu, J., & Cutler, A. (2019). The processing of linguistic prominence. Language and Speech. Advance online publication.

  • This is an advance online publication. After a period of time it is replaced by a final version.
  • The advance online article has a DOI, but not yet a volume number, issue number and page numbers.
  • If there is no DOI, include the URL of the journal.
  • Before publishing your own work or handing in your paper, check if there is a final version that you can use for referencing,


Article that is difficult to access via the journal: reference via a database

Jennings, B. (1913). Lessons learned in the trenches: The experience of an urban middle principal. Leadership, 4, 12. Retrieved from

  • Sometimes you have to deal with older articles from journals that no longer exist and which have been digitalized but are only accessible through databases such as JSTOR or ERIC. Then you can reference via the database.

Magazine article

A magazine is a special kind of journal: a popular or professional journal with illustrations and advertisements. Most of the scholarly journals are not magazines and can be seen as proper journals (see the examples above).

Magazine article

Ieperen, A. van. (1989, October). Gregory Peck: Held zonder legende. Skoop, 25(10), 8-13.

  • Include the date as you find it in the magazine. If you deal with a monthly magazine, include the month, if you deal with a weekly magazine also mention the day.. 

Newspaper articles

Newspaper article with author

Freriks, P. (1988, July 9). Zadkine-museum als redding tegen het verval. De Volkskrant, p. 9.


Newspaper article, no author

Lokale radio in Weesp lokt proefproces uit. (1988, July 9). NRC Handelsblad, p. 2.

  • In text cite as follows: (“Lokale radio in Weesp”, 1988).


Online newspaper article

Brody, J. E. (2007, November 11). Mental reserves keep brain agile. New York Times. Retrieved from

Special issue of a journal

Collins, R. (Ed.). (1987). Nationalism [Special issue]. Media, Culture and Society, 9(2).

  • Ed. is the abbreviation of Editor.


Review of a book: review has a title of its own

Schatz, B. R. (2000, November 17). Learning by text or context? [Review of the book The social life of information, by J. S. Brown & P. Duguid]. Science, 290, 1304.

  • Identify the type of medium being reviewed between brackets: [Review of the book . . .].
  • Science is a magazine, for that reason the date is included.

Untitled review of a book

If the review in the example was untitled, it would be as follows:

Schatz, B. R. (2000, November 17). [Review of the book  The social life of information, by J. S. Brown & P. Duguid].  Science, 290, 1304. /10.1126/science.290.5495.1304

Reviews of films, DVDs etc.

For reviews of other type of media, use the examples of book reviews given above. Then change the type of medium, for example: [Review of the motion picture . . .]