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Citation Styles: DOI

This guide gives an overview of the most common Citation styles along with information on parts of sources and DOIs

What is the DOI?

Digital Object Identifers are a string of numbers and/or letters used to identify articles, books and more.  An overview article about the DOI system will provide an explanation.  If someone gives you a DOI then you can easily obtain the complete citation by typying the DOI string into the search box on  

Where is the DOI?

Some citation manuals have you give the DOI in the citation.  For example, the sixth edition of the APA manual uses DOI when citing online articles. You may be able to find the DOI in the first step.  If the DOI is unavailable then use a url instead.  You will need to follow step two to find the url of the periodical (magazine, journal, newspaper).  The last resort would be to use the url of the library database which is step three.  

  1. DOI may be listed on the document or listed at
  2. Periodical url may be found on the web via a search engine such as Google or may be found inside the library database Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory
  3. Database url may be found on library's list of databases

What is an example with and without a DOI?

Citations Manuals differ how to handle digital object identifiers.  Below is an example from APA, 2010, sec. 6.31

  • If doi available:  Use number in journal citations: database name or URL not needed 

Hopwood, C.J. & Morey, L.C. (2007). Emotional problems suppress disorder/performance in adult ADHD assessment.  Journal of 

      Psychopathology and Behavior Assessment, 30, 204-210.  doi: 10.1007/s10862-007-9067-8

  •  If doi Not Available:  Cite the URL for the journal homepage (even though journal articles may be available only by subscription).  A quick Google or Ask search using the journal title will help you locate this link.

 Antai-Otong, D.  (2008). The art of prescribing: Pharmacological management of adult ADHD: Implications for psychiatric care.    

      Perspectives in Psychiatric Care, 44(3), 196-201.  Retrieved from