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Citing Internet-based Information

Basic Structure

Author, A.A., & Author B.B. (year published). Title of article. Title of Periodcal, Vol #, pp-pp. doi: xx.xxxxxxxxxxx (no period at end when reference ends in DOI or URL)


Dowshen, S. (2007). Kids and smoking. Journal of Public Health, 35, pp. 350-

361. doi: 10.1024/0388-6422.

General tip: Include the same elements, in the same order, as you would for a reference to a printed source, and then add as much electronic information as needed for others to locate the source you cite. In general this will be a DOI (digital object identifier) or a URL (uniform resource locator).

The DOI is typically located on the first page of the electronic journal article, near the copyright notice.

If no DOI has been assigned, provide the URL of the journal or the book/report publisher, not the URL of the database you are using.

Typical  example of Internet-based reference with DOI: 

Schwartz, S. (2009). Relationships of social context and identity

to problem behavior among high-risk Hispanic adolescents.

Youth & Society, 40, 541-570. doi: 10.1177/0044118


Typical  example of Internet-based reference without DOI: 

Garcia, J., & Weisz, J. (2002). When youth mental health care stops:

Therapeutic relationship problems and other reasons for

ending youth outpatient treatment. Journal of Consulting &

Clinical Psychology, 70, 439-444. Retrieved from


NOTE:  The Internet changes rapidly, and formatting practices and guidelines change rapidly as well.  The best place to go for up-to-date examples of  electronic references is the APA website at