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Apa Bibliography Or Reference List


DOI = digital object identifier

  • A DOI commonly identifies a journal articlebut it can also be found on other publication types including books.
  • All DOIs start with 10. and includes numbers and letters. Example: doi:10.1016/j.addbeh.2009.08.001
  • The DOI provides a permanent internet address for the item making it easy to locate.
  • You may search by DOI numbers in Library Search or to locate articles.

Doi in your reference list entry:

  • Always use the DOI if available (for print or online articles and books). 
  • No full stop at the end of a DOI. 


A new citing format for DOI was introduced by APA in March 2017. The new format includes https and the prefix


Oppenheimer, D., Zaromb, F., Pomerantz, J. R., Williams, J. C., & Park, Y. S. (2017). Improvement of writing skills during college: A multi-year cross-sectional and longitudinal study of undergraduate writing performance. Assessing Writing, 32, 12–27.

Notes: the following old DOI styles are still acceptable:



If there is no DOI for a online journal article or an e-book, include a URL in your reference.

Use the URL of a journal home page for journal articles without DOI

  • Use the URL of the journal homepage, NOT the full URL of the article, in your reference.

Finding a journal homepage URL:

  • You could do a Google search for the journal title (within double quotation marks), e.g. "new zealand management magazine" to find the journal's homepage

  • Or, go to the Library database Ulrichsweb, search by the journal title or the journal's ISSN to find the journal record. On the journal record page, find the journal URL for your reference.

Journals without a home page and no DOI:

This can happen to some discontinued journals, or journals archived in an archival database only. 

  • Use the database home page URL in your reference. See the example in the following section.  


Use a URL of a library database:

Resources retrieved from a library database, without a DOI:

If you use electronic resources without DOI, such as an ebook or a data set or a journal without a website, from a library database, You are required to include the URL of the database homepage in your reference.

  • Do not use the full URL of the source that you retrieved from a database.



An ebook "Small town sustainability: economic, social,and environmental innovation".

The URL on the ebook page is: 

APA reference list

This page describes reference lists in APA:

New to referencing? See the introduction to referencing.

The reference list appears at the end of the assignment, under the heading “References”. It lists detailed information about each source that has been cited in the assignment. Every source mentioned in an in-text citation should be listed in the reference list. If a source doesn't have an in-text citation, it should not be listed here.

Example reference list:


Bowker, N., & Tuffin, K. (2002). Users with disabilities' social and economic development through online access. In M. Boumedine (Ed.), Proceedings of the IASTED International Conference on Information and Knowledge Sharing (pp. 122–127). Anaheim, CA: ACTA Press.

Durie, M. (2003). Ngā kāhui pou: Launching Māori futures. Wellington, New Zealand: Huia Publishers.

Hazledine, T., & Quiggan, J. (2006). Public policy in Australia and New Zealand: The new global context. Australian Journal of Political Science, 41(2), 131–143.

Ministry for Primary Industries. (2012). Rural communities. Retrieved from

Every entry in an APA reference list has a hanging indent. This means that every line after the first is moved a few spaces to the right.

The entries are in alphabetical order according to the first author listed. See order of entries below for details.

Different types of source have different formats, and everything about each entry (from the punctuation to the capitalisation of words) is strictly prescribed. Getting it exactly right takes some practice, but these pages should highlight some common pitfalls.

Punctuation is important in the reference list. Look at the examples and use the same punctuation (commas, full stops, and brackets). The year of publication, for example, always appears in brackets.

Each entry has four basic parts:

  • The name of the author
  • The year of publication
  • The title
  • Further publication information

In the reference list, the surname (family name) of an author comes first, followed by the first initials.

If there are several authors, each is separated from the others with a comma, and there is an ‘&’ before the final author:

Cunningham, B. M., Nikolai, L. A., & Bazley, J. D.

See 2+ authors for details.

If there is no author, see no author.

The year of publication appears in brackets after the author(s), with a full stop after the closing bracket.

If there is no year, see no year for details.

Some magazine and newspaper articles also include a date here:

Months and dates should always appear after the year of publication. In the in-text citation, however, only the year is given.

Sometimes there is more than one reference with the same author and the same year. In these cases, a letter is added after the year to differentiate the entries. See entries with identical authors and years of publication for details.

The main titles of printed material and web pages are written in italics.

Sometimes a reference will have two titles: the name of an article or entry, and the name of the whole work. For example, journals have a name, but each individual article also has a title. Edited books have both a book title and a chapter title. In these cases, the main title is written in italics, but the section (article or chapter) title is not written in italics:

Most titles (e.g. the titles of books) only have upper-case letters for the first word of the title, the first word of any subtitle, and any proper nouns (the names of places, people, organisations, etc.):

Organisational behaviour on the Pacific Rim

Upper-case letters are used for all the words in the name of a journal, newspaper, or magazine, however:

Australian Journal of Political Science

The publication information depends on the type of source. For a book, it is the place of publication and the name of the publisher. For a journal article, it is the name of the journal, the volume and/or issue number, and the page range of the article. For a website, it is the URL address.

Formatting details for each type of source are given on these pages:

If you're not sure which source type to use, see what type of source is this?

See referencing elements for a more detailed discussion of the different types of publication information, including solutions to common problems.

Entries are alphabetised according to the first author's surname, or whatever else appears first in the entry.

If two authors have the same surname, alphabetise them according to their first initial.

If there are two entries with identical authors, order them chronologically, earliest first.

If two different entries begin with the same author, entries that have only that one author come before entries with 2+ authors. If two different 2+ author entries begin with the same author, alphabetise by the second author. If the second author is the same, use the third, and so forth.

Durie, M. (2003)…

Johnson, I. (2002)…

Johnson, I. (2004)…

Johnson, I., & Chen, C. (2006)…

Johnson, I., Nguyen, T., & Chen, C. (2004)…

Statistics New Zealand. (2000)…

If two entries have the same author(s) and the same year of publication, see same year, same author.

Entries with the same author(s) and year of publication

In some rare cases, you may need to reference two different sources that have the same author and the same year of publication.

The entries should be ordered alphabetically, according to the first word of the title (aside from “a”, “an”, or “the”). In addition, a lower-case letter is added after the year to distinguish them. The letters follow the same order as the entries' appearance in the reference list:

Johnson, I. (2002a). Publishing

Johnson, I. (2002b). United

This letter also appears in the in-text citation:

According to Johnson (2002a), the …

References and further reading

American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: Author. [Massey Library link]


These pages are provided as a guide to proper referencing. Your course, department, school, or institute may prescribe specific conventions, and their recommendations supersede these instructions. If you have questions not covered here, check in the style guide listed above, ask your course coordinator, or ask at Academic Q+A.

Page authorised by Director, CTL
Last updated on 7 February, 2018

Howe, J. (2007, November 16). Manawatu worth $8.1b. Manawatu Standard, p. 1.

Hazledine, T., & Quiggan, J. (2006). Public policy in Australia and New Zealand: The new global context. Australian Journal of Political Science, 41(2), 131–143.