How to Cite a Database in APA Format

If you are researching a topic in a school database or online library, you may not know how to cite the database in American Psychological Association, or APA, format. APA does not require detailed database information in its references; a book or article found in a database is cited in the same way you would cite a book or article in print. The only addition is a short note of the database address at the end of the citation.

Citing a Local Database

When citing a source found in a database, APA uses the same citation style as a print source, noting the DO, or digital object identifier, of the source. The DOI will be noted on the pdf of your source or in the database itself. For example, the basic APA citation style for a book is as follows:

Author Lastname, First Initial(s). (Year Published). ​Title of work: Subtitle if applicable.​ Publication Location: Publisher.

So a book accessed from a database might be cited as follows:

Gibbons, E. (1962). ​Stalking the wild asparagus: Field guide edition.​ New York, NY: David McKay Company, Inc. doi:15.2034/23BUNT-2789

Your reference page should be ​double-spaced​, and each line of a reference after the first should be ​indented​.

Citing From an Online Database

If you are citing a source from a Web database with a URL, ​Retrieved from​ URL may be used in place of the DOI in your citation. The basic citation style for a journal article in APA is as follows:

Author Lastname, First Initial(s). (Year of Publication). Title of article. ​Title of publication, Volume number​ (Issue number), pages.

So an article taken from an online database can be cited as follows:

Bynum, C.W. (1998). Metamorphosis, or Gerald and the werewolf. ​Speculum, 73​(4), 987-1013. Retrieved from

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