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APA Style: When to Include DOIs and URLs

"Include a DOI for all works that have a DOI, regardless of whether you used the online version or the print version."

"The preferred format of the DOI has changed over time; although older works use previous formats (e.g., "" or "doi:" or "DOI:" before the DOI number), in your reference list, standardize DOIs into the current preferred format for all entries":<DOI number>.


Convert DOI: 10.1017/S0008423910000983 into

Convert into

"If an online work has both a DOI and a URL, include only the DOI."


Bushnik, T., Tjepkema, M., & Martel, L. (2020). Socioeconomic disparities in life and health expectancy among the household population in Canada. Health Reports, 31(1), Jan. 2020, pp. 3–14.

Narrative citation: Bushnik et al. (2020)

Parenthetical citation: (Bushnik et al., 2020)

"For works without DOIs from websites . . . provide a URL in the reference (as long as the URL will work for readers)."


Health Canada. (2020). The health impacts of air pollution in Canada.

Narrative citation: Health Canada (2020)

Parenthetical citation: (Health Canada, 2020)

"For works without DOIs from most academic research databases, do not include a URL or database information."


Claxton, N. X., & Price, J. (2019). Whose land is it? Rethinking sovereignty in British Columbia. BC Studies, 204, 115–138.

Narrative citation: Claxton and Price (2019)

Parenthetical citation: (Claxton & Price, 2019)

Include the URL for a work from a database that includes works of limited circulation or original, proprietary content. If the URL requires a login, provide the URL of the home page or login page of the database instead of the URL for the work.


Palser, S., Smith, S., Nash, E. F., Agarwal, A., & Smyth, A. R. (2019). Treatments for preventing recurrence of infection with Pseudomonas aeruginosa in people with cystic fibrosis. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.

Narrative citation: Palser et al. (2019)

Parenthetical citation: (Palser et al., 2019)

(Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 2020, pp. 299–300)