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Nursing: Parts of a citation

This guide is designed for nursing students and faculty. The resources provided by the PGCC Library have been listed here under the following categories: books, databases, e-books, multimedia resources, and online resources.

APA Handbook

Publication manual of the American Psychological Association
Call Number: BF 76.7 .P83 2010
ISBN: 9781433805592
Publication Date: 2010
Item can be found at: 
Ready Reference (Research Information Desk - 1st floor)


In APA citations, only the first initial or initials of each author are used.  For example, if your paper was written by Pierre John Upenieks, your citation should read: 

Upenieks, P. J.

For multiple authors, separate their names with commas and use an ampersand (&) between the last and second to last name.  For example:

UpenieksP. J., Alleyne, R. L., & Wright, K. 

Include up to seven authors in this format: 

UpenieksP. J., Alleyne, R. L., Wright, K., Bulatao, E., Winford, C. A.,  Cabading, J. R., & Boockvar, K. S. 

If there are eight or more authors (some scientific papers have had dozens of authors!), include the first seven authors, add three ellipsis points (...), then add the name of the last author.  Example: 

UpenieksP. J., Alleyne, R. L., Wright, K., Bulatao, E., Winford, C. A.,  Cabading, J. R.,...Obama, B. H.

It is rare to have an article in a peer-reviewed journal with no author indicated, but it does happen.  In that case, put the title of the article before the date, and all other parts of the citation should remain the same. 

Title of article (date). Title of Journal, volume number (issue number), page numbers.  doi:10.xxxxxxxxxxx

Date published

Include the year of publication in parentheses.  For a journal article, also include the rest of the publication date such as month and/or day.  If no date is provided, include (n.d.) for "no date".



(2008, May/June)

(2015, April 14)


Title of article

Capitalize only the first letter of the title of the article, the rest of the words should be lowercase, except for proper nouns like names and places, and the first word if the title is more than one sentence, separated with appropriate punctuation like colons, question marks, and periods. 

Don't capitalize any other words and do not use italics.


Occupational health psychologists convene to share their research on work, stress, and health.

Capital punishment in the United States.

Science vs. ideology: Psychologists fight back about the misuse of research.

Computer addiction? A study of computer dependency. 

Title of journal

Include the title of the journal in italics and capitalize each letter in the title, except for words like "and" and "of".


Journal of Abnormal Psychology

Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management

Monitor on Psychology

Volume, issue, and page numbers

Most academic journals, even ones that are never printed, are separated into volumes and issues just like print magazines.  It's not enough to just include the title of the journal and the page numbers, you should include the volume number and the issue number as well.  Most journals start again with page 1 for each issue or volume.  Sometimes there is no issue number, so just include the volume number.  Italicize the volume number just like the title of the journal, and put the issue number in parenthesis, but don't italicize it.  After this, add a comma and then the page numbers of the article.  If the article is only a single page, just include that single number.  If there are no page numbers, just end with a period. 


Journal of Applied Psychology, 2(2), 38-48.

Health Psychology, 24, 225-229.

Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 10(4). 


A DOI is a digital object identifier.  It is a unique string of characters, mostly numbers, that distinguishes the article from all other academic articles.  No two articles will have the same DOI, and all of them will begin with 10.  You don't have to remember what DOI stands for, just remember what it is and that most current academic articles will have them.  Include them at the end of your citation with the prefix doi:


Sometimes you will see a DOI turned into a URL (more on URLs below), like this example.  If you see that, remember that the DOI is just the part that begins with 10. so drop everything in front of that. should be doi:10.1037/0022-351‚Äč4.94.4.631 in your paper

If you don't see the DOI while looking at your article in a library database, try clicking on "full text" or "download PDF" and looking at the first page of the article.  You can often find it there, such as in this article below, where you can see the DOI in the upper right hand corner. 

Most newer academic journal articles will have DOIs, so be persistent and try to find it.  But what if there really is no DOI?  Not every journal uses them yet.  In that case, if you found the article online or in a library database, find the URL of the article and use that instead.  URL stands for uniform resource locator, basically the address of a particular webpage.  A URL should start with http:// or https://  Add the URL to your citation in the format "Retrived from http://xxxx"


Retrieved from