Q. If there is no doi available for the reference page of my paper, do I simply write 'Retrieved from XXX database'?


Please note that according to the APA format style - 6th edition – you must include the DOI (Digital Object Identifier) number if the article has been assigned a DOI number.  If the article has not been assigned a DOI number, give the URL of the journal home page not the name of the database from which the article was retrieved.  Please do not assume that the article has not been assigned a DOI number just because the database citation information does not contain a DOI number for the article or the first page of the PDF copy of the article does not list a DOI number.  The easiest and surest way to determine whether or not an article has been assigned a DOI number is to utilize the CROSSREF.ORG website:

1.     Go to the CrossRef web site – www.crossref.org –

2.     Click on  “search metadata" to get to the search crossref page. 

3.      Type author or author/title into the search box and hit enter. 

4.      Usually, if the article has a DOI number, it will be displayed.  Copy and paste the DOI number into the journal article citation at the end

7.     If the article does not have a DOI number, go to Google and type in the title of the journal to find the URL of the home page of the journal.  Copy and paste the URL of the home page of the journal into the citation after "Retrieved from."

8.       Please use the file attached below for additional clarification of this process.



  • Last Updated Apr 09, 2017
  • Views 5542
  • Answered By Lynda Hanley

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