Don’t Let DOIs Leave You DOA

With the publication of the sixth edition of the American Psychological Association’s Publication Manual, authors are required, if possible, to include a DOI with each journal article citation in their lists of references.  This chanage has prompted a series of questions with many Rice Library users:
1.  What’s a DOI?  DOI stands for digital object identifier and is a permanent, unique alpha-numeric string assigned by the publisher and used to locate a document online.
2.  Where can DOIs be found?  Users may sometimes find DOIs included in the information given in a database’s citation/abstract for the article.  At other times DOIs may be located either at the top or bottom on the first page of a journal article (print or online).  Sometimes the DOI is preceded by the letters DOI; at other times it is not.
3.  How are journal articles cited if there is no DOI?  According to the Publication Manual, if no DOI can be found, the author should cite the journal’s web page, preceded by the phrase “Retrieved from”.

A journal article that includes a DOI might look like this (with double-spacing and hanging indention, of course):

Borman, W. C. (2005).  Role of early supervisory experience in supervisor performance.  Journal of Applied Pschology, 78, 443-449.  doi:  10.1037/0021-9010.78.3.443

Whereas, one without a DOI might look like this (also with double-spacing and hanging indention):

Hamilton, C.  (1992).  A way of seeing:  Culture as political expression in the works of C.L.R. James.  Journal of Black Studies, 22, 429-443.  Retrieved from

Students wanting to investigate the use of DOIs more thoroughly may find this tutorial available on the Database Tutorials / PsycINFO LibGuide helpful:  DOIs and How To Find Them in a Record.

For additional help in citing sources according to the APA Publication Manual, see the How To Cite Your Sources LibGuide.


This entry was posted in American Psychological Association, APA, digitial object identifier, DOI, journal citation, LibGuides, Publication Manual. Bookmark the permalink.

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