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Citing Sources of Information: Writing for the Health Sciences: APA Style

This LibGuide was designed to provide you with assistance in citing your sources when writing an academic paper.

About APA Style

American Psychological Association (APA) style is commonly used for citing references in student papers in science and social science courses, such as Psychology, Nursing, and Social Work.

 The purpose of documentation is to:

  • Identify (cite) other people’s ideas and information used within your essay or term paper.
  • Indicate the authors or sources of these in aReferences list at the end of your paper.

This guide is based on the APA Manual (6th ed.) that was published in 2009. It is located in the Reference Section of the Smioth Library REF Z253 A512p

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Setting Up A Paper in APA Style

General APA Guidelines

Your essay should be typed, double-spaced on standard-sized paper (8.5" x 11") with 1" margins on all sides.

You should use a clear font that is highly readable. APA recommends using 12 pt. Times New Roman font.

Include a page header(also known as the "running head") at the top of every page. To create a page header/running head, insert page numbers flush right. Then type "TITLE OF YOUR PAPER" in the header flush left using all capital letters.The running head is a shortened version of your paper's title and cannot exceed 50 characters including spacing and punctuation.
Your essay should include four major sections: the Title PageAbstractMain Body, & References.

The References list should be double-spaced. Each entry should be formatted with a hanging indent.

References cited in text must appear in the References list and vice versa. The only exceptions to this rule are personal communications and classical works; they are cited in text only and are not included in the References list.

Use only the initial(s) of the author’s given name, not the full name.

If the References list includes 2 or more entries by the same author(s), list them in chronological order with the earliest first.

 If the author’s name is unavailable, use the first few words of the title of the article, book or Web source, including the appropriate capitalization and italics formatting. E.g. (Scientists Say, 2000).

Arrange References entries in one alphabetical sequence by the surname of the first author or by title or first word if there is no author. Ignore the words A, An, and The when alphabetizing by title.

In titles and subtitles of articles, chapters, and books, capitalize only the first letter of the first word and any proper nouns, except in parenthetical (in text) citations.
Italicize book titles, journal titles, and volume numbers. Do NOT italicize issue numbers.

If a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) is listed on either a print or an electronic source it is included in the reference.  A DOI is a unique alphanumeric string that is used to identify a certain source (typically journal articles).  It is often found on the first page of an article.  Example: doi:10.1080/14622200410001676305

When the References entry includes a URL that must be divided between two lines, break it before a slash or dash or at another logical division point

For a helpful list of some of the abbreviations used in References (such as Vols. for Volumes) check out page 180 of the APA Manual.

How to Use the New "DOI Format" in APA

What is a DOI?

A DOI, or digital object identifier, is like a social security number for a document online. It’s a unique and permanent identifier that will take you straight to a document no matter where it’s located on the Internet. You can read more about DOIs on pp. 188–192 of the 6th edition of the Publication Manual as well as in our FAQ on DOIs. They figure prominently in the 6th edition reference citation style.

How do I get from a DOI to an article?

You can Google a DOI to find an article, although you may still have to sift through search results. To go straight to the source, you can also consult a DOI resolver, such as the one supplied by CrossRef.org. Copy and paste the alphanumeric DOI string (e.g., 10.1037/a0015859) into the DOI resolver and click submit. Or, you can append the DOI string to http://dx.doi.org/ (as inhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0015859) and copy that straight into your browser’s address bar.

 

When do I include DOIs in my references?

If your reference has a DOI, include that DOI.

How do I find DOIs?

In best publishing practices, the DOI should be listed prominently on the first page of an article, whether in print or online. If you’re working online, copy and paste it into your reference list, to avoid transcription errors. Do not alter the alphanumeric DOI string in any way.

To search for DOIs, use CrossRef. The free DOI lookup searches for DOIs using information such as article title, authors, and publisher information. Or cut and paste your entire reference list into the Simple Text Query form and CrossRef will return all available DOIs at once.

What do I do about DOIs if I read something in print?

If you do not find DOIs for the printed materials that you read, then you do not have to include anything further. You’re done! (Note that many books that exist only in print form are not likely to have DOIs at this time.) When you’ve read something in print form and no DOI exists, simply follow the reference format for print materials.

In the sixth edition of the APA Publication Manual, DOIs are formatted according to the initial recommendations from CrossRef

Herbst, D. M., Griffith, N. R.,  & Slama, K. M. (2014). Rodeo 
cowboys: Conforming to masculine norms and help-
seeking behaviors for depression. Journal of Rural
Mental Health, 38,
20–35. doi:10.1037/rmh0000008

The DOI prefix (10.1037, in the case of APA journals) is a unique number of four or more digits assigned to organizations; the suffix (rmh0000008) is assigned by the publisher and identifies the journal and individual article. 

Recently, however, CrossRef changed the format of the DOI to a more user-friendly one in the form of a URL:

Herbst, D. M., Griffith, N. R.,  & Slama, K. M. (2014). Rodeo 
cowboys: Conforming to masculine norms and help-
seeking behaviors for depression. Journal of Rural
Mental Health, 38,
20–35. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037
/rmh0000008

As you can see, the DOI itself is the same (10.1037/rmh0000008), but it is preceded by  http://dx.doi.org/ to insure that it resolves into a working link. Because this change is recent and many publishers are still implementing the new CrossRef guidelines, either the old or the new DOI format is acceptable. But be sure not to mush them together! Here are some examples.


Correct:     

  • doi:10.1037/rmh0000008
  • http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/rmh0000008

Incorrect:     

  • http://doi:10.1037/rmh0000008
  • doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/rmh0000008
  • Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/rmh0000008


You can use the flow chart below to detemine when to include DOI's URL's or database information for your reference citations. Any notations "Ex1,2.." referes to the relevant examples in Chapter 7 of the 6th ed of the APA Publication manual found on page 188-192.

DOI and URL Flowchart_revised 922


http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a01157041f4e3970b0120a5873d7a970b




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