Academic journal article from a database: different from print version [from Electronic source using APA 6th ed.]


List up to seven authors in the reference. For eight or more authors, include the first six authors' names, then insert an ellipsis ( . . . ), and add the last author's name.

This format is much like that for a general webpage, except that you need to use the complete publication date shown in the article and you need to give the title of the journal. You can omit the volume and issue number if it is not given.

Give the web address (or URL) of the article. A URL (Uniform Resource Locator) is the technical term for a webpage address. URLs can change, for example if the material you are viewing is generated 'on-the-fly' using content management software. URLs from these sites may be only viewable at the time of retrieval.

Whenever possible the URL you give should be a stable URL and link directly to the webpage itself. A stable URL, also known as a 'permalink' will not be generated 'on-the-fly' and is more likely to remain accessible. To check if a link to a URL is stable, paste the link into the address bar of an Internet browser to make sure that it works.

The Discovery Service provides a permanent link known as a 'Permalink' for each item in its index, including those in HTML format.  To see the Permalink, click on the title of the item and look under Tools on the right-hand-side of the screen where you will see a Permalink link. Click on this link and the URL will be displayed for you to copy and paste into your reference.

If there is no stable URL for the item, give the URL of the database or journal homepage e.g. for journal articles from the Nexis UK database. Do not include the name of the database.

Although you must give the full web address (or URL) in your reference list, you do not show this in the body of your essay. Your in-text reference must match the start of the reference as it appears in your reference list. Use the author if your reference has one; otherwise use the first few words of the title.

Standard Form

Author, Initials. (year, plus month and day if given). Title of article. Title of Journal, Volume number(Issue number) - if available. Retrieved from web address


Lyttelton, C. (2002, October 1). Estate of the art. ArtReview. Retrieved from

Tyssen, A. K., Wald, A., & Spieth, P. (2013). Leadership in temporary organizations: a review of leadership theories and a research agenda. Project Management Journal, 44(6). Retrieved from


Zlotnick, D. M. (1995). Empowering the battered woman: The use of criminal contempt sanctions to enforce civil protection orders. Ohio State Law Journal. Retrieved from

Citation in Text

Lyttelton (2002, p. 68) describes the revival of the country estate patronage of the arts ...

According to Tyssen, Wald & Spieth (2013) it is essential...

In order to protect women who find themselves in this position (Zlotnick, 1995, pp.1154-1155) ...


  • If no date appears on the item you are trying to reference, insert (n.d.) where you would normally give the year.
  • If there is no identifiable author, begin your reference with the title of the article. Cite the first few words of the article title in the text of your work and use double quotation marks around the title.
  • For the reference in your reference list, include up to seven authors. For eight or more authors, include the first six authors' names, then insert an ellipsis ( . . . ), and add the last author's name.

Citing multiple authors in the text of your work:

  • With two authors both names should be listed in each citation e.g. (Duncan & Goddard, 2003, p. 99).

    With three to five authors, name all authors the first time, then use et al. (and others). For example: the first time it would be (Moore, Estrich, McGillis, & Spelman, 1984, p. 33) and subsequent references to the same publication would use (Moore et al., 1984, p. 33).

    For six or more authors, use et al. after the first author in all occurrences.

    Note that when the citation occurs naturally within the sentence "and" should be used before the final author. But when the citation is enclosed in brackets the ampersand (&) should be used.