In this section, you will find extra information and answers to frequently asked questions.
If these FAQs do not answer your question, see the Further Support tab to find out where you can go for additional help.
DOI stands for Digital Object Identifier. It is a number given to most newer e-books and journal articles to make them easy to find. In APA style, you should always provide the DOI whenever it is available.
The DOI is a string of numbers and letters beginning with the number 10. Sometimes an e-book or article will only give you the string of numbers and letters, but sometimes it will format the DOI as a clickable link. In APA, you should always give the clickable link.
If you have only been given the string of numbers and letters, you can turn this into a clickable link by copying the DOI onto the end of the following address:
If you have accessed a source online, and it does not have a DOI, you should provide a web address. This should normally be the full web address to the exact page you have used. There are two exceptions to this:
The APA guide says that it doesn't matter whether your links are blue and underlined, or match the font of the rest of your reference list. You should have a consistent style throughout your reference list.
If you have read something which references something else, and you want to include this reference in your work, this is called a secondary citation. For example, if you have read a book by Khan, who quotes from a journal article by Li, and you want to use the information from Li's article.
If possible, you should try to find the original source, read it yourself, and reference that. Sometimes this might not be possible because the original source is out of print or in another language, for example. In this case, you can do a secondary citation.
Secondary citations are done in the in-text citation.
In your list of references, only include a reference for the source you read (i.e. Khan).
First, check the Authors tab to make sure there is definitely not a person or organisation you could list as the author.
Sometimes a source will have no clear author at all though (e.g. religious works). In this case, use the title as the author in in-text citations, and move the title to the front of the list of references entry:
If a source does not have a date, replace the year with n.d. - this stands for 'no date'
Sometimes certain information about a source might not exist. You might be referencing a journal article without an issue number, or a song that was not released on an album. In this case, just leave that part of the reference out. Make sure the reader would still be able to find the source with the information you have provided.
This guide contains examples of the most common sources you will need to reference. If you need to reference something more unusual, check the following resources:
The Library runs regular Spotlight workshops for APA referencing. These are open to all students and staff, and can be booked on the online workshops calendar.
If you have questions about referencing, your Librarian will be happy to help. You can ask questions by email, or book an appointment for more support with referencing.
If you have questions not answered in this guide: