Use Our Free APA 6 Reference Guide To Cite Journals Easily

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APA 6 Journal Citation Guide to Reference Journals Easily

APA 6 is the sixth edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. It’s the style manual with formatting guidelines for professional papers related mostly to social and behavioral sciences.

Here are the key requirements for citing journal articles in APA 6 Style, together with examples.

Key Formatting Principles for Reference Lists in APA 6 Style

When formatting an APA 6 reference list, follow these basic guidelines:

  • Arrange entries in alphabetical order by authors’ last names;
  • When there are 2-6 authors, use “&” before the last one;
  • Double-space each entry and apply a hanging indent;
  • Italicize titles (e.g., titles of journals, magazines, encyclopedias, books, etc.) and volume numbers;
  • Use a sentence case for article titles and a title case for journal titles;
  • Don’t include a space after volume numbers or between a “DOI” and a colon;
  • Include a DOI (Digital Object Identifier) whenever available for citing both print and online journals;
  • When there’s no DOI, include “Retrieved from,” followed by a non-underlined URL.

This is the standard APA 6 format to use when citing both online and print journals:

Author, Initial(s) & Author, Initial(s). (Publication Date). Article title. Journal Title, volume number(issue number if available), page or page range. DOI:xxxx or

Use the same format when citing an online journal, and include a retrieval date if the content is likely to change.


Gordon, L. (1993). Public health is more important than health care. Journal of Public Health Policy, 14(3), 261-264.

Rey, E., & Boulet, L.-P. (2007). Pregnancy plus: Asthma in pregnancy. BMJ: British Medical Journal, 334(7593), 582-585.

Osman, M. (2010). Controlling uncertainty: A review of human behavior in complex dynamic environments. Psychological Bulletin, 136(1), 65-86. doi:10.1037/a0017815

Davis, Z. J., Bramley, N. R., & Rehder, B. (2020). Causal structure learning in continuous systems. Frontiers in Psychology, 11, Article 244. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2020.00244

Kahle, L. R., Lowrey, T. M., & Huber, J. (2022). APA handbook of consumer psychology. American Psychological Association.

Byrom, A. (2018). Sustainability: Everybody’s business. TPM Journal, 21(10). Retrieved from

In-Text Citation Requirements for APA 6 Journal Citations

When writing APA 6 in-text citations, follow these rules:

  • Provide an author’s last name along with a journal’s publication year, placing both or the year only in parentheses;
  • Provide only the publication year when there’s no author;
  • For two-author journal articles, include “and” in narrative and “&” in parenthetical citations. Do the same for 3-5 authors for first in-text citations, while mentioning only the first author followed by “et al.” in all the subsequent citations. Use “et al.” for six or more authors;
  • Include a page number or a page range when citing direct quotes.


Smith (2021)(Williams, 2005)

Kennedy and Johnson (2019)

(Brown & Davis, 1996)

Clarkson, Gonzales, and Jones (2004)

(Clarkson et al., 2004)

Anderson (2018) reports that “…” (p. 214).

This has been reported as “…” (Walker, 2008, pp. 105-106).

Cite Sources in Seconds With Our APA 6 Journal Citation Generator

To give credit to original authors and avoid plagiarism, you must provide accurate citations of all the sources mentioned in your professional paper. This quick guide can help you cite journals properly, but that doesn’t mean the process will be any less arduous or time-consuming. 

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