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9.5: Creating a References Page (Part 2)

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    Electronic Sources

    Citing Articles from Online Periodicals: URLs and Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs)

    Whenever you cite online sources, it is important to provide the most up-to-date information available to help readers locate the source. In some cases, this means providing an article’s URL, or web address. (The letters URL stand for uniform resource locator.) Always provide the most complete URL possible. Provide a link to the specific article used, rather than a link to the publication’s homepage.

    As you likely know, web addresses are not always stable. If a website is updated or reorganized, the article you accessed in April may move to a different location in May. The URL you provided may become a dead link. For this reason, many online periodicals, especially scholarly publications, now rely on DOIs rather than URLs to keep track of articles.

    A DOI is a digital object identifier—an identification code provided for some online documents, typically articles in scholarly journals. Like a URL, its purpose is to help readers locate an article. However, a DOI is more stable than a URL, so it makes sense to include it in your reference entry when possible. Follow these guidelines:

    If you are citing an online article with a DOI, list the DOI at the end of the reference entry.

    If the article appears in print as well as online, you do not need to provide the URL. However, include the words electronic version after the title in brackets.

    In all other respects, treat the article as you would a print article. Include the volume number and issue number if available. (Note, however, that these may not be available for some online periodicals.)

    An Article from an Online Periodical with a DOI

    List the DOI if one is provided. There is no need to include the URL if you have listed the DOI.

    Bell, J. R. (2006). Low-carb beats low-fat diet for early losses but not long term. OBGYN News, 41(12), 32. doi:10.1016/S0029-7437(06)71905-X

    An Article from an Online Periodical with No DOI

    List the URL. Include the volume and issue number for the periodical if this information is available. (For some online periodicals, it may not be.)

    Laufer-Cahana, A. (2010, March 15). Lactose-intolerance do's and don'ts. Salon. Retrieved from: web address.

    Note that if the article appears in a print version of the publication, you do not need to list the URL, but do indicate that you accessed the electronic version.

    Robbins, K. (2010, March/April). Nature’s bounty: A heady feast [Electronic version]. Psychology Today, 43(2), 58.

    A Newspaper Article

    Provide the URL of the article.

    McNeil, D. G. (2010, May 3). Maternal health: A new study challenges benefits of vitamin A for women and babies. The New York Times. Retrieved from

    An Article Accessed through a Database

    Cite articles accessed through a database the same way you would normally cite a print article. Provide database information only if the article is difficult to locate.


    APA style does not require the item number or accession number for articles retrieved from databases. You may choose to include it if the article is difficult to locate or the database is an obscure one. Check with your instructor for specific requirements for your course.

    An Abstract of an Article

    Format article abstracts as you would an article citation, but add the word Abstract in brackets after the title.

    Bradley, U., Spence, M., Courtney, C. H., McKinley, M. C., Ennis, C. N., McCance, D. R.…Hunter, S. J. (2009). Low-fat versus low-carbohydrate weight reduction diets: Effects on weight loss, insulin resistance, and cardiovascular risk: A randomized control trial [Abstract]. Diabetes,58(12), 2741–2748.

    A Nonperiodical Web Document

    The ways you cite different nonperiodical web documents may vary slightly from source to source, depending on the information available. In your citation, include as much of the following information as you can:

    Name of the author(s), whether an individual or organization

    Date of publication (Use n.d. if no date is available.)

    Title of the document

    Address where you retrieved the document

    If the document consists of more than one web page within the site, link to the homepage or the entry page for the document.

    American Heart Association. (2010). Heart attack, stroke, and cardiac arrest warning signs.Retrieved from

    An Entry from an Online Encyclopedia or Dictionary

    Because these sources often do not include authors’ names, you may list the title of the entry at the beginning of the citation. Provide the URL for the specific entry.

    Addiction. (n.d.) In Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary. Retrieved from

    Graphic Data

    When citing graphic data—such as maps, pie charts, bar graphs, and so on—include the name of the organization that compiled the information, along with the publication date. Briefly describe the contents in brackets. Provide the URL where you retrieved the information. (If the graphic is associated with a specific project or document, list it after your bracketed description of the contents.)

    US Food and Drug Administration. (2009). [Pie charts showing the percentage breakdown of the FDA’s budget for fiscal year 2005]. 2005 FDA budget summary. Retrieved from m

    An Electronic Book

    Electronic books may include books available as text files online or audiobooks. If an electronic book is easily available in print, cite it as you would a print source. If it is unavailable in print (or extremely difficult to find), use the format in the example. (Use the words Available from in your citation if the book must be purchased or is not available directly.)

    Chisholm, L. (n.d.). Celtic tales. Retrieved from
    false&pnum1=1&lang= English&ilang=English

    A Chapter from an Online Book or a Chapter or Section of a Web Document

    Chapters and sections from online books or web documents are treated similarly to their print counterparts with the addition of retrieval information. Include the chapter or section number in parentheses after the book title.

    Hart, A. M. (1895). Restoratives—Coffee, cocoa, chocolate. In Diet in sickness and in health (VI). Retrieved from

    A Dissertation or Thesis from a Database

    Provide the author, date of publication, title, and retrieval information. If the work is numbered within the database, include the number in parentheses at the end of the citation.

    Coleman, M.D. (2004). Effect of a low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet on bone mineral density, biomarkets of bone turnover, and calcium metabolism in healthy pre-menopausal females. Retrieved from Virginia Tech Digital Library and Archives: Electronic Theses and Dissertions. (etd-07282004-174858)

    Computer Software

    For commonly used office software and programming languages, it is not necessary to provide a citation. Cite software only when you are using a specialized program, such as the nutrition tracking software in the following example. If you download software from a website, provide the version and the year if available.

    Internet Brands, Inc. (2009). FitDay PC (Version 2) [Software]. Available from

    A Post on a Blog or Video Blog

    Citation guidelines for blogs are similar to those used for discussion forum postings. Briefly describe the type of source in brackets after the title.

    Fazio, M. (2010, April 5). Exercising in my eighth month of pregnancy [Web log comment]. Retrieved from web address.

    Writing at Work

    Because the content may not be carefully reviewed for accuracy, discussion forums and blogs should not be relied upon as a major source of information. However, it may be appropriate to cite these sources for some types of research. You may also participate in discussion forums or comment on blogs that address topics of personal or professional interest. Always keep in mind that when you post, you are making your thoughts public—and in many cases, available through search engines. Make sure any posts that can easily be associated with your name are appropriately professional, because a potential employer could view them.

    A Television or Radio Broadcast

    Include the name of the producer or executive producer; the date, title, and type of broadcast; and the associated company and location.

    West, Ty. (Executive producer). (2009, September 24). PBS special report: Health care reform [Television broadcast]. New York, NY, and Washington, DC: Public Broadcasting Service.

    A Television or Radio Series or Episode

    Include the producer and the type of series if you are citing an entire television or radio series.

    Couture, D., Nabors, S., Pinkard, S., Robertson, N., & Smith, J. (Producers). (1979). The Diane Rehm show [Radio series]. Washington, DC: National Public Radio.

    To cite a specific episode of a radio or television series, list the name of the writer or writers (if available), the date the episode aired, its title, and the type of series, along with general information about the series.

    Bernanke, J., & Wade, C. (2010, January 10). Hummingbirds: Magic in the air [Television series episode]. In F. Kaufman (Executive producer), Nature. New York, NY: WNET.

    A Motion Picture

    Name the director or producer (or both), year of release, title, country of origin, and studio.

    Spurlock, M. (Director/producer), Morley, J. (Executive producer), & Winters. H. M. (Executive producer). (2004). Super size me. United States: Kathbur Pictures in association with Studio on Hudson.

    A Recording

    Name the primary contributors and list their role. Include the recording medium in brackets after the title. Then list the location and the label.

    Smith, L. W. (Speaker). (1999). Meditation and relaxation [CD]. New York, NY: Earth, Wind, & Sky Productions.

    Székely, I. (Pianist), Budapest Symphony Orchestra (Performers), & Németh, G. (Conductor). (1988). Chopin piano concertos no. 1 and 2 [CD]. Hong Kong: Naxos.

    A Podcast

    Provide as much information as possible about the writer, director, and producer; the date the podcast aired; its title; any organization or series with which it is associated; and where you retrieved the podcast.

    Kelsey, A. R. (Writer), Garcia, J. (Director), & Kim, S. C. (Producer). (2010, May 7). Lies food labels tell us. Savvy consumer podcast [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from

    Exercise 9.4

    Using the guidelines above and your JIBC APA Reference Guide, identify what each of these types of sources are based on their identifying characteristics and under which categories you would find them in the reference guide. Choose the answer that best describes each example.

    Baudrillard, Jean. For a Critique of the Political Economy of the Sign. Trans. Charles Levin. Saint Louis: Telos, 1981.

    1. A book with two authors
    2. A multi-volume work
    3. An article in a journal
    4. A book with one author

    United States Drug Enforcement Administration. (2014). The Dangers and consequences of marijuana abuse. Retrieved from

    1. Online government document
    2. Online task force report, corporate author
    3. Online codes and standards
    4. A blog

    Watson, S. (2003). Antigone. In R. Sullivan & M. Levene (Eds.), Short Fiction: An Anthology (pp. 323-329). Don Mills, Ont.: Oxford University Press. (Original work published 1979)

    1. A short story reprinted in an anthology
    2. A chapter in a book
    3. A multi-volume book
    4. A book with three authors

    Gilbert, Elliot. “The Ceremony of Innocence: Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol.PMLA 90 (1975): 22-31.

    1. An online journal article
    2. An academic article
    3. A chapter in a book
    4. A newspaper article

    Ogborne, A.C., Smart, R.G., & Adlaf, E.M. (2000). Self-reported medical use of marijuana: A survey of the general population. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 162(12), 1685. Retrieved from

    1. An online academic journal article
    2. An online authored report, non-governmental organization
    3. An online academic journal article by multiple authors
    4. An e-version of a print book

    David, L. (Producer) & Guggenheim, D. (Director). (2006). An Inconvenient Truth [Motion Picture]. United States: Lawrence Bender Productions.

    1. A CD-ROM
    2. A television series
    3. A video/DVD
    4. A blog

    Jaynes, J. 1986 Consciousness of the voices of the mind. Canadian Psychology 27. 128-137.

    1. An online journal article
    2. An academic journal article
    3. A book
    4. A magazine article

    Spiro, M.D. (1983). Introduction: Thirty years of kibbutz research. In E. Krause (Ed.), The sociology of the kibbutz: Studies in Israeli society II. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Books.

    1. A book
    2. A chapter
    3. An edited book
    4. All of the above

    Kamel, F., Tanner, C., Umbach, D., Hoppin, J., Alavanja, M., Blair, A.,… Sandler, D. (2007). Pesticide exposure and self-reported Parkinson’s disease in the agricultural health study. Am J Epidemiol, 165: 364-374.

    1. An online academic article with eight or more authors
    2. A book with eight or more authors
    3. A print journal article with eight or more authors
    4. A chapter in an edited book

    McPartland, J.M., & Pruitt, P.L. (1997). Medical marijuana and its use by the immunocompromised. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, 3(3), 39-45. doi: 10.1080/102825

    1. An online newspaper article
    2. An online article with DOI
    3. A chapter of a book from an online library
    4. All of the above

    Some examples taken from:

    Writing Commons. (2014, September). Open Text. Retrieved from


    D. Although two names are given, only the first is the author; the second is a translator. It is a book because it has a city and publisher.

    A. Starts with “United States” = good chance it is a government-produced document

    A. The title of the book contains “anthology,” which means collection of stories, and “fiction” refers to stories. We know it is a book because of the city and publisher.

    B. There are actually three titles given here: the article, a book within the title of the article, the journal name PMLA (Publications of the Modern Language Association). There are also a volume number after PMLA and page numbers.

    C. There are three authors, URL, and title of journal, identifying it as an online article with multiple authors.

    C. The keywords identifying it as a video/DVD are director, producer, and motion picture

    B. The title of journal and article, and the page numbers identify it as a journal article, but there is no URL so we know it is not online.

    D. There are two titles, one italicized and one not, so it is part of a bigger source; the second name followed by “Ed.” shows this was an edited book; we know it is a book because of the city and publisher.

    C. The title of journal and article, with page numbers, identifies it as a journal article, but not online as there is no URL. More than eight authors are listed.

    B. It is identified as a journal article because the journal title is given, and the name of the article. There is no URL but there is a DOI, identifying it as being online.

    Sample Reference Page

    Review the following example from Jorge’s paper on evaluating low-carbohydrate diets. This is an example of how to piece all of your referencing information into one section.

    Reference list

    Reference list

    Assignment 3 (2.5%)

    Using the JIBC APA Reference Guide, compile a reference page consisting of the six sources given below. You will need to apply the required formatting for each of the references as well as the page as a whole. You will have to look at each of the sources and the information that is given for each: there may be some extra information you will need to omit from the references.

    1. Identify what type of source this is from the information given.

    2. Find the example of that type of source in the reference guide.

    3. Decide what information you need and do not need for each.

    4. Compose each individual source’s reference.

    5. On a separate page, combine the references you created for the six sources into a correctly formatted reference page.

    Submit this assignment to your instructor for grading. (2.5%)

    Referencing information for Assignment 3

    1. American Music Teacher, August-Sept 1999 v49 (1) p34(5) 1998 National Survey of High School Pianists. Harold Kafer; Richard Kennel

    2. The Economist (US), June 1, 1996 v339 n7968 p79(1) The food of the gods.

    3. Current Directions in Psychological Science, Dec 2005 v14 i6 p317(4) Music and Cognitive Abilities. Glenn E. Schellenberg

    4. Nursing interventions: effective nursing treatments / [edited by] Gloria M. Bulechek, Joanne C. McCloskey. Philadelphia: Saunders, c1999. 3rd ed Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN: 072167724X Fenwick Stacks Call Number: RT48 .N8833 1999

    5. Kok, S.C. (2005). Music and learning. In Hoffman, B. (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Educational Technology.Retrieved: March 28, 2008, from

    6. Tuning up young minds: music lessons give kids a small IQ advantage.B. Bower. Science News165.25 (June 19, 2004): p389(1). (446 words)

    Checklist 7.1 Reference Page Reminder

    Just to review, your final reference page needs to:

    Start on an fresh page after your last page of writing

    Be titled “Reference Page” or “References”

    Be in alphabetical order based on the author’s last name

    Be double spaced

    Have hanging indents


    In APA style, book and article titles are formatted in sentence case, not title case. Sentence case means that only the first word is capitalized, along with any proper nouns.

    key takeaways
    • In APA papers, in-text citations usually include the name(s) of the author(s) and the year of publication.
    • In-text citations correspond to entries in the references section, which provide detailed referencing information about a source.
    • Entries in the references section include as much of the following information as possible:
    • Print Resources: Author(s), date of publication, title, publisher, page numbers (for shorter works), editors (if applicable), and periodical title (if applicable).
    • Online resources (text based). Author(s), date of publication, title, publisher or sponsoring organization, and DOI or URL (if applicable).
    • Electronic resources (non text based).Details about the creator(s) of the work, title, associated company or series, and date the work was produced or broadcast. The specific details provided will vary depending on the medium and the information that is available.
    • Electronic resources (text based). If widely available in print form, it is sometimes unnecessary to provide details about how to access the electronic version. Check the guidelines for the specific source type.
    Journal entry #9

    Write a paragraph or two responding to the following.

    What did you find the most straightforward/easy about citations?

    What did you find more difficult about citations?

    What did you find the most straightforward/easy about composing references?

    What did you find more difficult about composing references?

    What concerns you most about referencing citations? What will you do to address this?

    Remember as mentioned in the Assessment Descriptions in your syllabus:

    You will be expected to respond to the questions by reflecting on and discussing your experiences with the week’s material.

    When writing your journals, you should focus on freewriting—writing without (overly) considering formal writing structures—but remember that it will be read by the instructor, who needs to be able to understand your ideas.

    Your instructor will be able to see if you have completed this entry by the end of the week but will not read all of the journals until week 11.

    9.5: Creating a References Page (Part 2) is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

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