Using DOI in Citations

DOI stands for Digital Object Identifier and is a string of letters, numbers and symbols used for identification of an article or document and link to it on the web. By the help of a DOI your reader will be able to locate a document from your citation. Consider DOI as a Social Security number for the paper you are citing. It only refers to that specific article. Although a web address (URL) may change, the DOI never changes.

Where can I find the DOI?

In the articles that are published recently, the DOI will be printed along with the article, somewhere on the first page, or in the header or footer.

In cases that DOI cannot be found on the article, search it on the website

How to use a DOI for finding the article it refers to?

Since 2011, the format for DOI is an active link. If your DOI starts with http:// or https://, simply paste it into your web browser. Before 2011, DOIs started with number10. It is possible to turn any DOI into a URL by adding before the DOI.

If you want to do it out of campus, you should use this URL prefix in front of the DOI to get access to UIC’ full text journal subscription. or, for example, 

It is better try to check the DOIs in your references list this way to ensure that they bring the right paper.

How to cite a journal article with a DOI in APA format?

In APA format, the DOI will be placed at the end of the reference (Do not put a period at the end).

Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Date of publication). Title of article. Title of Journal, volume number, page range.

If your article is an old one and has no DOI, you should just simply omit this part in the citation.

Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Date of publication). Title of article. Title of Journal, volume number, page range.

AMA/JAMA format?

In AMA format, do not put an “Accessed” date or a URL.  Put the DOI at the end of your citation, beginning with “doi:

Author AA, Author BB. Title of article. Name of Jrnl. Year;vol(issue):inclusive pages. doi:10.0000000/000000000000

MLA format

In its 8th edition, MLA asks researchers to insert the DOI at the end of the citation for online scholarly journal articles. In case there is no DOI available, insert the URL.

Author LastName, FirstName, and FirstName LastName. “Article Title.” Journal Name, vol. #, no. #, date, pp. ##-##. Name of Database, doi: 10.0000/000000000.

Ask your instructor whether it is needed to mention the date you accessed the article, though it is not necessary based on MLA.

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