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Referencing Toolkit


How-To Video

  Victoria University Library. (2017, January 23). APA Referencing: journal articles [video file]. Vimeo.

How to Reference

Basic Format to Reference Journal Articles

A basic reference list entry for a journal article in APA must include:

  • Author or authors. The surname is followed by first initials.
  • Year of publication of the article (in round brackets).
  • Article title.
  • Journal title (in italics).
  • Volume of journal (in italics).
  • Issue number of journal in round brackets (no italics).
  • Page range of article.
  • DOI or URL
  • The first line of each citation is left adjusted. Every subsequent line is indented 1.27cm.


Ruxton, C. (2016). Tea: Hydration and other health benefits. Primary Health Care, 26(8), 34-42. doi:10.7748/phc.2016.e1162

Ruxton, C. (2016). Tea: Hydration and other health benefits. Primary Health Care, 26(8), 34-42.


Printable Handouts

Citation Examples

Material Type

In-text examples

Reference list examples

Journal Article: Single Author

"Black tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world after water” (Ruxton, 2016, p. 34).


Ruxton (2016) suggests "Unsweetened tea can be part of a recommended diet” (p. 40).

Include page numbers for direct quotes.

Ruxton, C. (2016). Tea: Hydration and other health benefits. Primary Health Care26(8), 34-42.

Where a DOI is available it must be included at the end of the reference, in the format
Journal Article: 2 Authors

... connection and optimism (Aspy & Proeve, 2017), but others contend ...


Aspy and Proeve (2017) have found ...

Cite both authors each time the reference occurs.

Aspy, D. J., & Proeve, M. (2017). Mindfulness and loving-kindness meditation: Effects on connectedness to humanity and to the natural world. Psychological Reports120(1), 102-117.

Journal Article: 3 to 20 Authors

... nurses must care as well as be competent (Geraghty et al., 2016). 


Geraghty et al. (2016) suggest ...

Where there are 3 or more authors cite only the first author's surname followed by et al.

Geraghty, S., Lauva, M., & Oliver, K. (2016). Reconstructing compassion: Should it be taught as part of the curriculum? British Journal of Nursing25(15), 836-839.

Provide the names of all authors in the reference list, up to and including 20 authors.
Journal Article: 21 or More Authors

Research indicated that "lost sense of smell is a factor" (Khan et al., 2017, p. 344). 


Khan et al. (2019) used criteria which included "reduced or lost sense of smell" (p. 344).

Cite only the surname of the first author followed by et al. and the year. Include page numbers for direct quotes. 

Khan, A., Huynh, T. M. T., Vandeplas, G., Joish, V. N., Mannent, L. P., Tomassen P., van Zele, T., Cardell, L.O., Arebro, J., Olze, H., Forster-Ruhrmann, U., Kowalski, M. L., Olszewska-Ziaber, A., Fokkens, W., van Drunen, C., Mullol, J., Alobid, I., Hellings, P.W., Hox, V., …Bachert, C. (2019). The GALEN rhinosinusitis cohort: Chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps affects health-related quality of life. Rhinology, 57(5), 343-351.

Provide the names of the first 19 authors, insert an ellipsis […] (but no ampersand [&]), then add the final author's name.
Journal Article From Most Library Databases: No DOI

Nairne and Wilkinson (2018) assert that "our relationship with ourselves is essential to how we each show up professionally" (p. 106).


Perry (2018) promotes the use of...

"Our relationship with ourselves is essential to how we each show up professionally" (Nairne & Wilkinson, 2018, p. 106).

Nairne, D. C., & Wilkinson, H. (2018). What’s love got to do with it? Vermont Connection39(1), 106-112.

An article retrieved from most Library databases that does not have a DOI can be presented as though it were a print article.
Online Journal Article: No DOI 
(With an Article Number)

Marion et al. (2018) explore whether evil characters in film share ...


... including stereotypical depictions of evil characters in film (Marion et al., 2018).

Marion, T., Reese, V., & Wagner, R. F. (2018). Dermatologic features in good film characters who turn evil: The transformation. Dermatology Online Journal24(9), Article 4.

For an online journal article with no DOI (other than those retrieved from a Library database), provide the direct URL for the article.
For journal issues with article numbers (rather than consecutive pagination) replace with page numbers with the word 'Article' followed by the article number or eLocator.
Print Journal Article: No DOI Assigned

… Aussie Rules is the people’s game (Duncan, 2016)…


Duncan (2016) states that a sense of belonging…

Duncan, S. (2016). Voices from the grandstands: The attitudes of Australian football fans towards the concept of creating, developing and binding communities. Sporting Traditions33(2), 19-40.

Note: Where a print journal article has a DOI you must include it, even though you did not access the electronic version.
Online Journal Article: No Page Numbers

 ... in all outcomes (Christensen et al., 2019).


Christensen et al. (2019) examine ...

For direct quotes of online material without pagination, name the sections and paragraph number, e.g.
The authors' "objective was to identify control journals that did not require data posting" (Christensen et al., 2019, Broad Analysis section, para. 4).

Shah, T. H. (2018). Big data analytics in higher education. In S. M. Perry (Ed.), Maximizing social science research through publicly accessible data sets (pp. 38-61). IGI Global.

Note that the editor's name appears with initials first and surname following.
Secondary Sources: When you are referring to the ideas or words of an author who has been cited in another work.
Also called 'secondary citation'.
Only use where the original work cannot be obtained.

Constituting a “global movement toward a more naturalistic approach for childbirth” (Goldbas, 2012, as cited in Sullivan & McGuiness, 2015, p. 20).


Goldbas’s overview (2012, as cited in Sullivan & McGuiness, 2015) indicates…

Provide names of both authors. Where the year is known for the original work, include it as well as the year of the publication you read.

Sullivan, D. H., & McGuiness, C. (2015). Natural labor pain management. International Journal of Childbirth Education30(2), 20-25.

Provide the full reference for the journal article that you actually read.