Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Ask Us

APA Style 6th Edition: What is a DOI?

Quick reference guide for APA Style rules

Digital Object Identifier

What is a DOI?

A DOI (digital object identifier) is a unique number assigned by publishers to journal articles, studies and book chapters available online.  When the DOI is included in a citation, it will be easier for a reader to locate the version of the work cited. 

How will I recognize a DOI number?

The DOI is made up of two components, a prefix and a suffix, separated by a forward slash.

 Example:                

10.311057/2511450135253

Prefix      / Suffix

Where do I find a DOI number?

The DOI number for an online article will usually be found on the home page.  It may also be found  at the top or end of the full-text version of an article available in a database.  

 

Where is the DOI placed in a citation?

The DOI should be added to the end of the citation, as follows:

Hobbs, T. (2000).  Physicians should treat alcoholism as a disease.  In J. Torr (Ed.), Current Controversies:  

                   Alcoholism (pp. 219-223).  doi: EJ3010217217

 

What if the article has a different number?

Some databases use their own numbering systems for articles.  For instance, Proquest uses an ID number, and

EBSCO uses an accession number (example: AN2530410). 

These are not the same as a DOI (digital object identifier).  

If you do not find a DOI number for the article or online publication, then use the URL for the database or the web page.   See the following examples…

Database:

Mershon, D.H.  (2005, November-December).  Star Trek on the brain: Alien minds, human minds.  

          American Scientist, 86(2), 585. Retrieved from http://www.galileo.usg.edu

Web site:

Lynch, T. (2007).  DS9 trials and tribble-ations review.  Retrieved from Psi Phi:

            Bradley’s Science Fiction Club Web site: http://www.bradley.edu/campusorg/

            psiphi/DS9/ep/503.html