Online retrieval statements

  • If your source has a DOI, use that in place of a URL at the end of your reference.
  • If it has no DOI, then use's DOI Lookup to try to find a DOI for it. (Note that sources that are not academic journal articles are generally less likely to have a DOI assigned to them.)
  • If you are unable to find a DOI, then search for and use a direct URL to the document on the web, or to the publisher's homepage (whichever takes you to the document more reliably).
  • Format DOIs and URLs as hyperlinks by including https://. Links should be live for all online document. (APA, 2020, p. 299)
  • You do not need to include the phrase, "Retrieved from..." unless adding a retrieval date (see below).
  • If there is no date but it is important when you accessed the database or website (for example, if the database forecasts a product and that forecast might change in the future) put the date in a retrieval statement, .... e.g. Retrieved August 31, 2017, from (see p. 290 of the Manual)
  • Note that you should not use the URL of the item within your library database because it will not resolve for users. Provide the URL of the database home page instead. (APA, 2020, p. 299)
  • You should not name or include a link to the database in for common academic databases such as those produced by Ebsco and ProQuest (APA, 2020, p. 297).

For more information on DOIs and URLs, see APA, 2020, pp. 298-299 and the APA Style Blog's DOI & URL Flowchart.