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Research Guides

Educational Administration

I Have Both a DOI and a URL

URLs stands for uniform resource locator. A URL is usually linked to a cited work retrieved online. DOIs stand for digital object identifiers which provide persistent links to the locations where the digital items can be found such as eJournals. If you have both a URL and its DOI for a work, how do you cite it in the reference list?  APA Publication Manual 7th edition provides guidelines on when to include URLs and DOIs. See the guideline regarding to the scenario in which one has a URL and a DOI:

        " If an online work has both a DOI and a URL, include only the DOI."
   In reference list, follow this format: 
For Example:
        Drop  “Retrieved from” or “Accessed from” before a DOI.


  1. After 2011 - The first set of DOIs was implemented around April of 2011 (see wiki). DOIs are not available for the articles published before that. If that's the case, cite the URL retrieved from a database.
  2. Google Scholar - Google Scholar does not display the DOIs in its search results. But you could click on the full text link of an article to go to the journal where you should be able to find its DOI.
  3. Academic Databases - Use EBSCO, PROQUEST or other academic databases to search for the title.
  4. Go to website, put an article title in the Metadata tab and search for it.