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APA Citation Style (7th edition)


What is a DOI?

DOI is a digital object identifier.  It is a unique set of characters that are attached to a digital object to allow it to be found when you use a DOI resolver (search tool) on the Internet.

Where are they used?

The most common place they are found is on journal articles but they can be attached to books or any digital object.  They were introduced in 2002 so they will often not be assigned to objects created prior to that date.

Where do I find them?

For journal articles, go to the PDF version of the article and look in the top left corner of the first page of the article.  If available, DOIs will also be in the database record for an article.

Format of a correct DOI in APA Style:

  • pre-pend the DOI number with
  • the string “” is a way of presenting a DOI as a link, and “xxxxx” refers to the DOI number.xxxxx
  • thus a link would look like this:   

Shortening a DOI:

  • if the DOI string is too long or complex, you can provide a shortened DOI by using
Free DOI lookup:
  • If you can't locate the DOI in the database or on the article itself, you can try to search for the DOI using the article title and author's last name.

TIP: you can also use a URL shortener for those long, long URLs that wrap around to several lines. TinyURL is one such shortener.

DOI decision pathway

Graphic of a decision tree for when to use a DOI, a URL or a persistent link in an APA citation.

DOIs and permalinks/persistent links

To access an article off campus using a DOI, you will need to add the Camosun Library proxy prefix to the article DOI to allow proper authentication. Authentication requires you to login using your Camosun account.

To create a link using a DOI follow these steps:

  1. Copy the DOI provided for the article into your document. 10.1177/089431849901200401
  2. Add to the front of the DOI.
  3. Then add the following string exactly as is (no spaces!) to the front of the URL:

The completed link should look something like this: