Skip to main content
Notre Dame 5 Star University
University Library





Main Elements

Overview: Articles are found in 'periodicals', which are materials published regularly, such as journals, magazines and newspapers.

Image: Main Elements for Articles in APA Style

  New to this Guide? Key Questions:


Click on the links below to learn more about:

Author(s) | Date | Article Title | Periodical Title | Volume and Issue | Pages | Locator Information

Reference Examples & Explanations: Author(s)

One author: For in-text citations give only the last name of the author. In the reference list put the last name of the author followed by their initials.

Two authors: Give both names with "and" between them if you use the names in a sentence but put "&" betwen the names if they are enclosed in parentheses. Always use "&" in the reference list.

Three to five authors: Give all names in the first in-text citation but only the first name followed by "et al." for subsequent citations. Give the names of all the authors in the reference list and put “&” before the last author's name.

Six or seven authors: Give the name of the first named author only followed by "et al." for in-text references. Give the names of all the authors in the reference list and put “&” before the last author's name.

Eight or more authors: Give the name of the first named author only followed by "et al." for in-text citations. List the first six authors followed by three ellipsis points (...) and add the last author's name in the reference list.

Organisation or corporate author: If an organisation (i.e. company, institution, government body, religious organisation or other type of organisation) is the author, use the organisation’s name as the author. If the organisation’s name is commonly abbreviated, use the full name in the first reference together with the abbreviation.In subsequent references, only the abbreviated form should be used.

No author: If an author's name is actually shown as "Anonymous", give Anonymous as the author's name both in-text and in the reference list. When no author is given (i.e. neither a personal or organisation name and it is not shown as Anonymous), use the first few words of the title enclosed in double quotation marks for in-text citations, and begin the reference with the title.

Two authors with the same surname: Use the authors' initials in all citations.

More than one work by the same author in the same year: Identify each source with a letter (a, b, c, etc.) after the year in both the in-text reference and your reference list. The letters follow the order in which the references appear in your reference list.


Dates for journal articles: Give the year of journal publication in parentheses in-text and in the reference list.

Dates for magazines and newspapers: Give the year of magazine or newspaper publication in the in-text citation but the full date (year, month date) in the reference list.

No date: If no date is available but it is possible to estimate it, use "ca." (abbreviation of circa) followed by the estimated year of publication. If it is not possible to povide a reasonable estimate, use the abbreviation "n.d." (no date).

Article Title

Article title: Give the title of the article in ordinary type (not italics). Only the first words of the title and subtitle are capitalised – of course, any proper nouns (e.g. place names) in the title are capitalised as usual.

Publication Title

Publication title: The title of a journal, magazine, or newspaper is shown in italics and all significant words are capitalised. Words such as "of", "and", "the", "an" and "a" are not significant words and are not capitalised unless the word is the first word of a publication's title or subtitle.

Volume and Issue

Volume number: The volume number is given in italics.

Issue number: Give the issue number in parentheses (round brackets) in ordinary type. Note that there is no space between the volume number and the issue number.

No volume number or issue number: Magazines and newspapers - and sometimes journals - do not always have volume and/or issue numbers and these can be omitted from the reference if they are not available.


Pages in the text of your paper (in-text references): Always indicate the page number of a direct quote. Page numbers should also be given in the in-text citation when taking a specific bit of information (e.g. a statistic) from a work.

Pages in journal and magazine articles: In the reference list, give the page number without putting "p." or "pp." in front of the number.

Pages in newspaper articles: Put "p." (one page) or "pp." (more than one page) before the page number(s) of a newspaper in your reference list.

Locator Information

The locator information describes where the resource was obtained. It is typically a URL or DOI.

DOI: When citing electronic sources, include the Digital Object Identifier (DOI) if it is available. It may be found in the item's database record, on the journal article's pages, or found through the lookup form ( The DOI is a unique code assigned to an electronic source that permanently identifies and links to it on the web. A DOI will help your reader easily locate a document from your citation. Do not put a full stop or other punctuation after a DOI.

The DOI can appear in any of the following formats:
1.  doi:10.1111/j.0013-2004.2005.00001.x

Any of these formats can be used but the one you have chosen must be consistently applied across all references. Note that in the case of the first option, "doi:" is inserted before the number - this prefix is not needed if the second or third format is used.

No DOI:  Where no DOI is given for an electronic source, give the internet address (also known as the URL) to the home page of the journal, book or report publisher. It is not usually necessary to indicate the name of a database in a citation. Where an article has been found on the internet, give the full URL to the web page where it was found.

Print format: When referencing an article from a periodical in print, there is no need to include locator information.