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APA Style: Electronic Documents

A guide to APA referencing style for Khalifa University students and staff


References for electronic documents begin with the same information that would be provided for a printed source.

Additional information must be provided (depending on the type of electronic publication) to correctly identify that you accessed the document in an electronic format.

An electronic publication could be an internet site, an email, a journal article published on the internet, or a journal article retrieved from a full text database.

Some documents are published in both paper and electronic formats. Please cite according to the format you accessed.

Be aware that pagination may not be specified for many online publications. The number of the starting page can be included in your citation if it is given, and/or the number of pages in the document. For example: p. 7+ or (5 pp.).


  • A digital object identifier (DOI) is a unique alpha-numeric string used to identify electronic documents and provides a persistent link to its loction on the internet.

  • A DOI is assigned to a document when it is published.

  • All DOI numbers begin with 10 and contain a prefix of four or more digits and a suffix separated by a slash: 10.1037/0278-6133.27.3.379.

  • A DOI is usually located with the author and title information or on the first page of an electronic article. You may need to open the abstract or full text of an article to find it.

  • When referencing an electronic document:

    include the DOI if one is assigned.

    If no DOI is assigned, include the name of the database or the internet address as appropriate

Information required

The elements listed below may be a useful guide to what you need to record when citing an electronic document:

    • name of author(s) if given

  • year or date of publication (or date site was created or updated)

  • title of document

  • title of web site or database

  • pages, sections or paragraphs (if given)

  • date you accessed the site

  • digital object identifier (DOI) (if given)

  • database name (if appropriate)

  • internet address (if appropriate)