How to Cite Online Sources in APA

Citing online sources APA is still a challenge for you?

Do you hate all those URLs and access dates?

No worries here.

We’ve got you covered.

As always — just choose the exact type of source you need and cite it in the same way your professor wants.

In our citation examples we use the following color coding:

  • Red – Author
  • Blue – Title of book/article/charter/webpage
  • Pink – Date
  • Orange – Website/Publisher
  • Turquoise – Place of publication
  • Green – Title of journal
  • Black – Volume/Issue
  • Sienna – Pages
  • Gray – URL/database/website where the source is retrieved
  • Gold – Book, a part/chapter of which is being cited
  • Peach – Additional information about the source (i.e. its type, specific features etc.)
Article in an online journal (DOI) Article in an online journal (without DOI) Abstract Newspaper article Electronic book Chapter in an online book or web document Book review Dissertation/thesis from a database Graphic Data Online lecture notes/presentation slides Blog Entire website Page from website Page from website with unknown author Email Video or film Podcast/YouTube Government publication Dissertation

Article in an online journal (DOI)


The big question is:

What is DOI?

DOI is a special number or code given to the article when it is registered.

What’s the point of it?

It is used for identification. In other words, this number identifies such information as authors, title etc.

Why are we writing about it?

Because according to the 6th edition of the APA Style Guide, it is advisable to provide a DOI of an article if it is available. Yes, that’s not great but the fact is fact.

Here’s how you should do it:

Baldwin, D. S., Anderson, I. M., Nutt, D. J., Allgulander, C., Bandelow, B., den Boer, J. A.,...Malizia, A. (2014). Evidence-based pharmacological treatment of anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder: A revision of the 2005 guidelines from the British Association for Psychopharmacology. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 28(5), 403-439.

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Article in an online journal (without DOI)

Round, J. (2015). Apocatastasis: Redefining tropes of the Apocalypse in Neil Gaiman and Dave Mckean's Signal to Noise. International Journal of Comic Art, 15(2), 453-464. Retrieved from

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Schürch, R., Ratnieks, F. L., Samuelson, E. E., & Couvillon, M. J. (2016). Dancing to her own beat: Honey bee foragers communicate via individually calibrated waggle dances [Abstract]. Journal of Experimental Biology, 219(9), 1287-1289.

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Newspaper article

Tuchman, P. (2017, January 27). How do you sell a work of art built into the earth? The New York Times. Retrieved from

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Electronic book

When citing an electronic book, keep in mind that it may be retrieved from a personal website, a self-publishing website, or provided in an audio form. If it must be purchased, write "Available from."

Kopf, R. (2013). Low blood pressure - Hypotension treated with Homeopathy and Schuessler salts (homeopathic cell salts). Available from

Haggard, H. (2014). The brethren. Retrieved from

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Chapter in an online book or web document

National Research Center. (1997). How teachers teach: Specific methods. In Science teaching reconsidered: A handbook (Chapter 2). Retrieved from

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Book review

Ascher, M. (2011). But I thought the earth belonged to the living [Review of the book Dead hands: A social history of wills, trusts, and inheritance law]. Texas Law Review, 89(2), 1149-1177. Retrieved from

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Dissertation/thesis from a database

Patel, B. (2016). A computational pipeline to uncover genomic regulatory regions that modulate the Wnt signaling pathway. Retrieved from

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Graphic Data

National Geographic. (2017). [An interactive map of continents and countries]. MapMaker interactive. Retrieved from

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Online lecture notes/presentation slides

Arnold, D. (2010). Functional analysis [PDF document]. Retrieved from

Pomije, B. (2011). Online shopping. [Slideshare presentation]. Retrieved from

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Cush, A. (2016, August 17). You'll never guess who's angry about CNN "deceptively" editing a video of Sylville Smith's sister [Blog entry]. Retrieved from

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Entire website

Cite the name of the website and provide a link.

Congressional Budget Office. (2016). Retrieved from

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Page from website

If a document has more than one page, provide a URL that will be linked to the entry page of this document.

Preston, J. (n.d.). John Preston on the Thorpe affair. Retrieved from

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Page from website with unknown author

How sibling rivalry made Anne the 'neglected' Brontë. (n.d.). In Penguin Books. Retrieved Jan. 30, 2017, from

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Personal communication is not included in the reference list. Instead, when citing information from an email, cite the source of information in parentheses.

(K. Dawson, personal communication, April 24, 2010).

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Video or film

You may include Producer, Director, Sponsor, etc.

Glass, T. (Director). (n.d.). A Todd Glass Halloween. Animashups. Retrieved from

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Veritasium. (2017, January 30). Electromagnetic levitation quadcopter [Video file]. Retrieved from

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Government publication

United States Congress House Committee on Energy and Commerce (2017). DOE for the 21st century: Science, environment, and national security missions: Hearing before the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, House of Representatives, One Hundred Fourteenth Congress, second session, February 24, 2016. Washington, DC: Committee on Energy and Commerce.

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Field, C.C. (2013). The coptic orthodox church: Challenges and opportunities following the Arab spring. Retrieved from

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