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APA 6 Style Guide

What is a DOI?

The 6th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association requires a DOI at the end of a citation if one is available. A digital object identifier (DOI) is a series of numbers and characters assigned permanently to any entity - for instance, a journal article - for use on digital networks, and it generally appears somewhere toward the end of an item record in a database. The DOI is used to provide current information about an item, including where the item (or information about it) can be found on the Internet. Here is an example of a doi:

To find a DOI for an item, you can copy and paste the article title into the search box at


The format for DOIs has recently changed to preserve security (https) and simplicity ( as opposed to the previous For more information, see the post on the APA Style Blog at


Note: Before paying a publisher for electronic access to an article, always consult with your librarian to see if your library already has access.

Including a DOI in References

When adding the DOI to a reference, you must include the prefix followed by the DOI (starting with 10. and everything that follows). See the example below:


Dills, A. K., Morgan, H. N., & Rotthoff, K. W. (2011). Recess, physical education,

      and elementary school student outcomes. Economics of Education Review30(5),