How to Cite Journal Articles | Editor World

How to Cite Journal Articles

In academic research and some nonfiction writing, citing journal articles serves several important purposes. First, citing journal articles acknowledges the original authors and researchers who conducted a study or provided information and results on a certain topic. Citing another researcher’s work published in a journal recognizes their intellectual contribution and gives them proper credit.

Second, citing previous research published in peer-reviewed journals helps you establish credibility and can help you support your own research. By citing journal articles, you demonstrate that your arguments and statements are supported by reputable sources. Peer-reviewed journals undergo rigorous evaluation by experts in the field, ensuring the quality and validity of the information presented.

Third, citing published journal articles provides evidence and support for a new research study. Journal articles often contain data, scholarly analysis, and research results that can strengthen your own arguments or provide evidence for statements you make. Citing previous research articles allows readers to verify and examine the evidence you’re presenting.

Fourth, citing previous published research shows that you’ve conducted a thorough literature review and engaged with the existing body of knowledge on your topic of interest. This demonstrates academic integrity and shows that you understand the relevant literature.

Fifth, citing previously published articles gives future researchers on the topic an understanding of the relevant research on the topic. Readers can refer to the sources you cite to gather more information and read studies that relate to the topic.

Sixth, knowing how to cite journal articles properly helps you avoid any issues with plagiarism. Plagiarism involves using someone else’s work or ideas without giving them proper credit. This is a serious academic offense that can have negative consequences. When you cite sources, you acknowledge and respect the intellectual property (IP) of others.

Overall, citing journal articles is essential for: (a) maintaining academic integrity, (b) supporting your arguments, and (c) contributing to scholarly discussions in your field. Thus, knowing how to cite these articles properly is important.

To cite a journal article, the following information is typically included: author names, publication date, article title, journal name, the volume and issue of the journal publication, and page range. In some cases, the digital object identifier (DOI) or URL is also included.

Citing a Journal Article in APA Style

To cite a journal article in APA format, you generally use the following structure:

AuthorLastName, AuthorFirstNameInitial. (Year). Title of the article. Title of the Journal, Volume(Issue), Page numbers. DOI or URL (if available)

Of course, remember to replace the example information with the actual details of the article you’re citing.


Here’s an example of how to cite a journal article using the APA format:

Fisher, P. J., & Yao, R. (2017). Gender differences in financial risk tolerance. Journal of Economic Psychology, 61, 191-202. doi:10.1016/j.joep.2017.03.006

In the example above, “Fisher, P. J., & Yao, R.” represents the authors’ last names and initials; “2017” represents the year of publication; “Gender differences in financial risk tolerance” is the title of the article; “Journal of Economic Psychology” is the title of the journal; “61” refers to the volume and issue number of the journal; and “191-202” indicates the page range of the article. If this journal volume had an issue number, the volume and issue number would be written as 61(1). The “doi:10.1016/j.joep.2017.03.006” statement is the Digital Object Identifier (DOI) of the article.

If an article does not have a DOI, you can include the URL of the journal's homepage instead, or exclude this information.

Citing a Journal Article in MLA Style

Here’s an example of how to cite a journal article following MLA style:

Author name(s). “Title of the Article.” Title of the Journal, vol. #, no. #, Publication Date, page range, doi.

For example, the article titled “Gender Differences in Financial Risk Tolerance” written by Patti J. Fisher and Rui Yao that was published in the Journal of Economic Psychology would be cited in MLA style as:

Fisher, Patti J., and Rui Yao. “Gender Differences in Financial Risk Tolerance.” Journal of Economic Psychology, vol. 61, 2017, pp. 191–202, doi:10.1016/j.joep.2017.03.006.


Here’s another an example of journal article citations in APA and MLA styles, respectively:


Smith, J. R., Johnson, A., & Lee, B. (2022). Trends in science. Top Science Review, 27(3), 245-259.


Smith, John R., Alex Johnson, and Bo Lee. “Trends in science.” Top Science Review, vol. 27, 2022, pp. 245-259.

As you can see from the formatting of these two citations, how you cite a journal article publication varies depending on the specific formatting guidelines required by your institution or publication (e.g., APA, MLA, Chicago).

Citing articles properly following the required style guide is necessary in academic writing. If you need help rewriting or editing and proofreading academic research, choose one of our expert writers or editors and get started today. We guarantee that you will be satisfied with our professional services.