How do I reference journal articles?

Example - journal article with one author

(Scroll down for associated examples including different numbers of authors, advance online publication, online-only journal, etc.)


Example, including punctuation

Author(s) of the article

Bandura, A.

Year of publication


Title of the article

Self-efficacy: Toward a unifying theory of behavioral change.

Title of the journal in which the article was published (italics)

Psychological Review

Volume number (italics)


Issue number (optional and is not in italics)

(2) NOTE: Issue number is often omitted in APA format if a journal has continuous pagination (nearly all journals)

Page reference of the article


DOI number of article (optional in student work but required in professional work)

Method 1)


Method 2) doi: 10.1037/0033-295X.84.2.191




The citation in your text will be

(Bandura, 1977)

or, if you have quoted directly,

(Bandura, 1977, p. 200).

If you have used the author's name in your sentence then only the year of publication, with a page reference if necessary, is placed after it in brackets, e.g.

Bandura (1977) suggests that ...

or, if you have quoted directly,

Bandura (1977, p. 200) states that ...

Reference list:

Bandura, A. (1977). Self-efficacy: Toward a unifying theory of behavioral change. Psychological Review, 84 (2), 191-215.

DOI numbers are described here:

More info on giving a DOI number in a reference at this post by the APA at, which updated the style for giving DOI numbers. The previous method of doi: then number (without weblink) is still valid. In student work (e.g. coursework), DOI numbers are usually optional. 


Associated examples

Journal article with 2 authors, omitting issue number as usual:

Nairne, J. S. & Pandeirada, J. N. S. (2008). Adaptive memory: Remembering with a stone-age brain. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 17, 239-243.

(Nairne & Pandeirada, 2008) or Nairne and Pandeirada (2008)…

Journal article with 5 authors, omitting issue number as usual

Gehring, W. J., Goss, B., Coles, M. G., Meyer, D. E. & Donchin, E. (1993). A neural system for error detection and compensation. Psychological Science, 4, 385-390.

First citation in text: (Gehring, Goss, Coles, Meyer & Donchin, 1993) and subsequent citations: (Gehring et al., 1993).

Journal article with more than 7 authors, omitting issue number as usual

Gilbert, D. G., McClernon, J. F., Rabinovich, N. E., Sugai, C., Plath, L. C., Asgaard, G., … Botros, N. (2004). Effects of quitting smoking on EEG activation and attention last for more than 31 days and are more severe with stress, dependence, DRD2 A1 allele and depressive traits. Nicotine and Tobacco Research, 6, 249-267. doi:

…(Gilbert et al., 2004) or Gilbert et al. (2004)…

Journal article in advance online publication (no page numbers yet, they will be assigned later when a future issue is printed)

Hepworth, J., Schofield, T., Leontini, R. & Germov, J. (2018). Alcoholrelated harm minimization practices among university students: Does the type of residence have an impact? British Journal of Health Psychology. Advance online publication.

First citation in text: (Hepworth, Schofield, Leontini & Germov, 2018) and subsequent citations: (Hepworth et al., 2018).

Article in online-only journal

For an online-only journal with no print version (usually open-access journals), reference as for any other journal as far as possible – you will find many still have what look like volume and (sometimes) issue numbers which are given on the article’s page and/or PDF version, but there may be no standard page numbers. Some journals may give an electronic page number such as “e102786”. With an online-only journal, you should give the DOI number at the end, which acts as a link directly to the article. Nearly all online-only journals today give their articles DOI numbers. In the rare case that the article has no DOI number, give a URL to the journal’s homepage at the end of the reference as in “Retrieved from”. Examples follow:

Online-only open-access journal, volume and issue number but no page numbers:

Hoffmann, R., Lagerkvist, C. J., Gustavsson M. H. & Holst, B. S. (2018). An empirical examination of the conceptualization of companion animals. BMC Psychology, 6 (15).

First citation in text: (Hoffmann, Lagerkvist, Gustavsson & Holst, 2018) and subsequent citations (Hoffmann et al., 2018)…

Online-only open-access journal, volume and issue number and electronic page number:

Ertl, V., Pfeiffer, A., Schauer-Kaiser, E., Elbert, T. & Neuner, F. (2014). The challenge of living on: Psychopathology and its mediating influence on the readjustment of former child soldiers. PLoS One, 9 (7), e102786.

First citation in text: (Ertl, Schauer-Kaiser, Elbert & Neuner, 2014) and sunsequent citations: (Ertl et al., 2014)…

Online-only journal, volume and issue but no page numbers, no DOI number on article

Hubbard, R., Regan, K., Strath, A. & Vosper, H. (2015). The Big Issue: ergonomics in healthcare education. Communicare, 1 (2). Retrieved from

First citation in text: (Hubbard, Regan, Strath & Vosper, 2015) and subsequent citations (Hubbard et al., 2015)….