I am having trouble finding URLs for two publications I need to cite in APA style. Can you help?


I found online articles from Education and The Education Digest that I'd like to use for my assignment, but I cannot find an appropriate URL for either to use in the citation. The articles are recent, so I know the journals are still in publication. Can you help find the appropriate URL for a correct APA citation?

Answered By: Trustee Library
Last Updated: Dec 12, 2016     Views: 91

Great question – using electronic sources can be tricky! The APA manual states that the first part of the citation for an electronic article should be composed similar to that of a print article. This helps any reader take the citation and find the article whether or not he has access to the same online subscription services. After the page numbers, you’ll include the DOI (if it is available) or the URL from which you retrieved it (if the DOI is not available). Examples and explanations of these kinds of citations are available on pages 187-192 of the APA manual, and more can be found at the Purdue OWL, an excellent online resource for APA citation style.


To find the appropriate information to include, revisit the article in the database. Search for it and click on the title of the article in your list of results, then click on the title of the publication (listed as Source). There you’ll see information about the publication, which sometimes includes the Publisher URL and information about its Peer Reviewed/Peer Refereed status. Copy and paste the given URL into another window or tab in your web browser to go to the publication’s website.


If the publication’s website includes an online archive of articles, it is best practice to use the URL of the archive page in the citation, since URLs for individual articles are more likely to change over time. If it does not include an online archive, use the URL of the home page for that particular title. (Note that the Publisher URL often sends you to the home page of the publishing house, which includes links to several titles they offer. Click on the link to your specific title and use that URL.) If the Publisher URL is unavailable for a title, you may also run a Google search for the item to locate the publication’s web site.


The title’s web site is also a great place to verify peer review status. Check the description or “About Us” section of the web site to see how the item is described. Almost every item that is peer reviewed will include the exact words “Peer Reviewed” or “Peer Refereed” and will describe itself as a scholarly or academic journal. If it does not include those words or if it describes itself as something other than a journal, it is almost certainly not a peer reviewed publication.


These particular titles are not peer reviewed, according to the database’s information about the publications and because of the descriptions of the titles on their web sites. If your assignment requires peer reviewed sources, you’ll need to select articles from a scholarly journal.


If you do need peer reviewed sources, the database can help! For example, when you run a search articles about your topic in Academic Search Complete and retrieve a list of results, look at the tools on the left side of your results. You’ll see options to Refine Your Results, and a check box next to the phrase “Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals”. Click that check box and hit Update, and your results will be narrowed to only those items that are from peer reviewed academic journals.


If you need further assistance finding and selecting appropriate resources, we’ll be happy to help! Use LibAnswers for future questions, or submit our online form to schedule an appointment with a librarian. Additional assistance with writing style, editing, and citations can also be found at the Brenau Writing Center and Brenau Graduate Writing Services.

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