CIS 661 - Introduction to Health Informatics and Bioinformatics: APA, Citing & Copyright

A guide to library resources relevant to health informatics and bioinformatics methods and techniques involved in the integration of computer systems in medical centers and life science industries.

APA, writing, & citing resources

How to cite stuff you find on the web

What do you do when information is missing from something you found on the web? This easy to follow chart will help you out.

How to cite legal sources

See the APA Publication Manual (6th Ed.) - Chapter 7, Appendix 7.1 (pp. 216-224) This section goes over how to cite legal materials.

Introduction to Basic Legal Citation (2014) by Peter Martin at Cornell University.

Based on the Blue Book (referred to by the APA Publication Manual).

Citeus Legalus: Legal citation generator

Use as a shortcut--you still have to know what it is that you are citing and have some idea of how it is supposed to look to be sure you are getting it right.

Need a DOI or journal website?

A Digital Object Identifier (DOI) is an URN (Uniform Resource Name), a compact string that provides a unique, unchanging, and actionable identifier for the digital object with which it is associated. DOIs are commonly assigned to scientific articles in their electronic form. One of the main benefits of referencing an object by a DOI versus a URL is persistence—when an object moves, its URL changes, but its DOI remains the same.

APA style asks for the DOI when it is available. Usually DOIs are clearly marked and appear in the upper right corner of the first page of an article (sometimes just in the PDF), but if you can't find one, you can check to see if one is available by going to the CrossRef DOI lookup website.

If you are unable to provide a DOI for an article you retrieved, you'll need to provide the journal's website. If you retrieved an article from a GVSU database such as CINAHL, the URL (the internet address that appears in the browser window) is not the journal URL; it's the URL of the article in that database.

To find the journal's actual URL, do an internet search for the journal title with quotation marks around the title. For example, the website for the Journal of Neuroscience Nursing is This was found by searching for "Journal of Neuroscience Nursing" (be sure to place quotation marks).

For more information, see the APA DOI and URL flowchart at

Is is scholarly or not?

How do you tell if a journal is scholarly or peer-reviewed? While most databases allow you to limit your search results to scholarly or peer-reviewed journals, you might still find yourself wondering.

When in doubt, consult Ulrich's Periodicals Directory. It provides detailed, comprehensive, and authoritative information on serials (which includes journals) published throughout the world. This information includes whether a journal is peer reviewed or not.

Keep in mind, however, that just because a journal is listed as being peer-reviewed doesn't mean every article in it is peer-reviewed. For example, book reviews, editorials and other commentary that appear in a peer-reviewed journal are generally not peer-reviewed as they are considered opinion.


Self-plagiarism -- somewhat lengthy but informative article that describes what self-plagiarism is and how to avoid it.

All about copyright

The library has a website chock full of information on copyright, including copyright basics, fair use and a fair use checklist, a template for obtaining permission, and other important information.

Go to

APA How-to

Pagination, issue numbers, and APA

Page 186 of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (2009) addresses journal issue numbers. It states that the journal issue number is to be included only if the journal is paginated separately by issue. Fortunately, most journals employ continuous pagination (that is, the first issue of a volume begins with page 1 and page numbers continue throughout the volume). But how can you tell?

The APA Style Blog addresses this (see, and recommends the following:

Compare the page range and issue number of the article. If you see that the issue number is 2 or more and the page range of your article is low, chances are that the periodical is paginated by issue, as the second and subsequent issues of a volume should contain higher page ranges if the pages of the volume are numbered continuously. If the issue number is 2 or more and the page range of the article is high, chances are that the periodical is not paginated by issue, as a periodical that begins each issue on page 1 should not contain articles that have high page ranges.

In instances in which you still cannot determine whether a periodical is paginated by issue by following this step (e.g., when the article is contained in the first issue of a volume or when the page range is not high or low enough for you to definitively make a decision), then completing the next step will get your answer.

Go to the periodical’s homepage on the Internet and check the table of contents (TOC) of past issues. At a periodical’s homepage, you should be able to compare the TOCs of issues within a volume and determine whether each issue begins at page 1. If you find that each issue of a volume begins on page 1, include the issue number in parentheses after the volume number in your reference. If the page numbers of issues within a volume are numbered continuously, include only the volume number in your reference.

  • Last Updated: May 22, 2024 1:43 PM
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