APA Basics (Download the Printer Friendly PDF)
Sources Published Directly Online
Website names: Sources published directly online have no in print originals, and therefore, it is important to include online publication information. With APA 6, this means primarily the URL. The new APA guidelines suggest that a website name is not always needed, given that it can be deduced from the URL or by visiting the site. Generally include the website name if the content is published by the website.
URLs: Unlike APA 5, where you would often include the exact URL, APA 6 recommends to only cite the homepage URL, and only the exact URL if the page is not properly indexed or easy to find from the homepage. For blog posts, user contributed content, and discussion forums, APA 6 recommends including the exact URL.
Date retrieved: Unlike APA 5 where the date of retrieval is included in every online citation, APA 6 recommends including it only if the source material may change over time. Also keep in mind that you can use “Available from” instead of “Retrieved from” when the URL leads to information on how to obtain the cited material rather than to the material itself.
DOIs: If an article has a digital object identifier (DOI) number, you need only the DOI number, and no URL or retrieval date.
Citing an article from an online only resource
Citing an entire website with no identifiable electronic publication date
Citing an article from an online only news source
Citing an article from an online newspaper
Note that when citing online sources in APA, generally follow the same structure of its in print equivalent, and then follow this information with the date of access and the URL.
Citing an online only journal
Citing a journal article with a digital object identifier
If you are citing an online only book, the electronic information replaces the publication information.
Citing an online-only book
Sources Published Indirectly Online
As opposed to some sources published directly online (by a website), other sources may be originally in print, or in another medium, and found online. Cite these sources as you would in their original form, and then add the relevant web information (date accessed and URL).
Citing a book originally in print found online
Citing a newsletter found online with no page information
Citing a video found online
Citing a painting viewed online
Citing a blog post
Sources found in online databases typically have been published elsewhere. Include as much as the original publication information as possible. The new APA rules explain that database names are not necessary, but can be included as supplementary information.
Citing an originally in print journal article found in a database