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APA Style Guide for Citations and Student Papers: Periodicals

Changes New to the 7th ed.

  • Up to 20 authors can be listed individually, rather than using et al.
  • Do not include "Retrieved from" before a URL 
  • If including a DOI, include https:// before the DOI
  • In most cases, it is recommended not to include database information. See here for more information.


Article from a print magazine

Squatriglia, C. (2019, Winter). The song of the immortal violin. Popular Science, 291(4), 56-63.

Article from an online periodical

Mearian, L. (2018, April 9). How blockchain could solve the internet privacy problem. Computerworld. Retrieved from https://

Journal article from a library database

Gouveia, S., Villalobos, F., Dobrovolski, R., Beltrao-Mendes, R, & Ferrari, S. F. (2014, April 28). Forest structure drives global diversity of primates. Journal of Animal Ecology, 83(6), 1523-1530.  https://doi: 10.1111/1365-2656.12241

Article with multiple authors (up to 20 authors)

Bowman, N. D., Kowert, R., & Cohen, E. (2015, December). When the ball stops, the fun stops too: The impact of social inclusion on video game enjoyment. Computers in Human Behavior, 53, 131-139. https://doi: 10.1016/j.chb.2015.06.036

Article with unknown author

Are supplements safe? Current regulations don’t protect consumers. (2020, February). Consumer Reports On Health, 32(2), 2.

Should database information be included?

The 7th edition of APA's Publication Manual says that in most cases, it is not necessary to include the name of the database from which you accessed a work. It argues that there are usually numerous ways to access an electronic source. Leave the database information off of the reference, unless it is a database that publishes its own original content or provides access to works that have limited accessibility (e.g. dissertations).


A note about dates

You may have notices that the way dates are listed in citations differs from source to source. Sometimes you may see a citation that includes a year of publication only, and sometimes you may see a date listed out with the year, month, and day. A good rule of thumb is to include the date information as listed on the publication.

  • If you see only a year listed as the date of publication, it is acceptable to include the just the year in your citation. Books usually fit into this category.
  • For a monthly periodical, you may list the month and year of publication.
  • For a seasonal periodical, you may list the year and the season. For example, (2019, Summer).
  • If you see a date of publication that includes the year, month, and day, you may list the full date in your ciation. For example, (2019, April 9).

What is a DOI?

DOI stands for Digital Object Identifier. Many articles that are published electronically are assigned a DOI. The DOI is a unique string of alphanumeric characters that are assigned to to an article and help researchers find articles. APA style dictates that if an article is assigned a DOI, the DOI is included in the citation.


Author - This is the author of the article.

Title - In this case of a citation for a periodical article, title refers to the the title of the article.

Periodical Title - This is the title of the periodical. E.g. Newsweek, Washington Post, Journal of Experimental Psychology

Date of Publication - This is the date that the article was published.

Volume & Issue - Each time a periodical is published, it is assigned a volume number and an issue number. The volume usually refers to the number of years the periodical has been published, while the issue number refers to the number that have been published that year. However, not all periodical publishers supply volume and issue numbers.

Pages - This is the pages of the periodical on which you will find the article being cited.

DOI - The DOI is a unique alphanumeric string that identifies an electronically published document. DOI stands for Digital Object Identfier.

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