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APA Guide: Articles in Periodicals

A guide to writing papers and citing sources in American Psychological Association style.


For a References page, your citations need to be double spaced and have a hanging indent. A hanging indent just means that every line after the first in your citation is indented 0.5". 

In Microsoft Word (PC or Mac), highlight your citation and right click on it. Select "Paragraph" in the menu that appears, then under "Indentation" click on the Special drop down and select "Hanging". Make sure the "By" field is set to 0.5".


A Digital Object Identifier (DOI) is a set of letters, numbers, and symbols used to permanently identify an item. The DOI can be used to retrieve an article from the web. In academia, DOIs are found attached to most digital articles. They provide a stable link back to the article, and are preferable to URLs as a source location.

General Citation Format

Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. (Year). Title of article. Title of Periodical, volume number(issue number), pages. DOI

Articles in Journals with Page Numbers

Paginated by Volume: These journals start their page numbers at page one of issue one and continue numbering through all of the issues of the volume, only starting at page one again when a new volume begins. Since the page numbers run continuously, an issue number is not required in the citation.

Harlow, H. F. (1983). Fundamentals for preparing psychology journal articles. Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology, 55, 893-896.

Paginated by Issue: These journals start at page one in each issue, so you'll need to list the issue number in parentheses after the volume number. Continue to italicize the volume number, but do not italicize the issue number.

Scruton, R. (1996). The eclipse of listening. The New Criterion, 15(3), 5-13.

Online Scholarly Journal Articles

If an article has a DOI (see sidebar), include the DOI in the format that the article provides at the end of the citation.

Bronwlie, D. (2007). Toward effective poster presentations: An annotated bibliography. European Journal of Marketing, 41, 1245-1283.


Wooldridge, M.B., & Shapka, J. (2012). Playing with technology: Mother-toddler interaction scores lower during play with electronic toys. Journal  

of Applied Developmental Psychology, 33(5), 211-218.

If no DOI is available, instead provide the URL at which you accessed the article.

Kenneth, I.A. (2000). A Buddhist response to the nature of human rights. Journal of Buddhist Ethics, 8. Retrieved from


When citing a print article from an online database (such as one from Galileo), use the format for a print article as listed above. You are not required to provide the name of the database.

Articles in Other Periodicals

Magazine: Include the full date, not just the year of publication.

Henry, W.A., III. (1990, April 9). Making the grade in today's schools. Time, 135, 28-31.

Newspaper: Again include the full date of publication. Precede all page numbers with either p. or pp., depending on if you are citing from one or more pages. Include the section letter as well. If citing from the newspaper's website, replace the page number with "Retrieved from X". Replace "X" with the homepage address for the newspaper- not the URL of the article.

Schultz, S. (2005, December 28). Calls made to strengthen state energy policies. The Country Today, pp. 1A, 2A.

Letter to the editor: Indicate that the source is a letter to the editor in brackets at the end of the letter's title.

Moller, G. (2002, August). Ripples versus rumbles [Letter to the editor]. Scientific American, 287(2), 12.

Online Newspaper: Use the same format as a print article, but replace the page numbers with a URL. The APA recommends using the homepage address, rather than the URL of the specific article.

Parker-Pope, T. (2008, May 6). Psychiatry handbook linked to drug industry. The New York Times. Retrieved from


For a review published in a periodical, indicate the source being reviewed in brackets following the title, unless the title indicates that it is a review, e.g. a review titled "Review of the book X".

Baumeister, R. F. (1993). Exposing the self-knowledge myth [Review of the book The self-knower: A hero under control, by R. A. Wicklund & M.

Eckert]. Contemporary Psychology, 38, 466-467.

For an online review, follow the above format but include the URL at the end. Use "Retrieved from" when the review is freely available to anyone and "Available from" if a subscription or access to a database is required.

Zacharek, S. (2008, April 27). Natural women [Review of the book Girls like us]. The New York Times. Retrieved from


All examples on this page taken from Purdue Online Writing Lab (