VCU Libraries

Research Guides


Guide to resources that are useful when it comes to the study and practice of nursing.

DOI (Digital Object Identifier)

DOI (Digital Object Identifier) has only been around since around 2000 and not all articles/publications have a DOI. 


How do I cite an article I found using an iPhone app?

It is irrelevant whether you read it on your iPhone, IPad, Android, Blackberry, MAC, laptop or in the library. Creating references is not about documenting "how" you located the information but providing the reader a direct path to the "original" source of the material.

Remember - the "iPhone app" is not the source of the article - the "journal", "book" , "point of care tool", etc. is your source. Cite it as you would the source if you were to find it on the shelf or in a physical form.  


Much of what is contained in this section on APA 6th edition comes directly or in part from the following research guide at George Washington University. 

APA Citation Style, 6th edition - Research Guides at George Washington University 

APA Citations

Point of Care / Database Resources 

Helpful Tip
  • When citing sources that you find from a Point-of-Care Database (e.g. Dynamed, FirstConsult, Epocrates, UptoDate) treat the record as if it was from an e-book entry. You may need to include a retrieval date if the information you viewed is likely to change over time (p. 203-204).   
    • Authors: If the entry does not list author(s) names, you should use the corporate author (i.e. Dynamed).
    • Dates: Look for the last updated or last revised date usually posted at the top or bottom of the record
    • Retrieved: Include the date you accessed the information

General Format 
       In-Text Citation: 
      (Author Surname, Year/last updated)
      Personal or Corporate Author. (Last update  if not known, put n.d.).
            Title of specific document. Publisher. Retrieved date from URL database homepage

Example: Up to Date  

According to the instruction from UpToDate, Cite the UpToDate® topic as a chapter in a book titled UpToDate, edited by the section editor, published by UpToDate in Waltham, MA. There are no page numbers to cite, and the publication year for any topic should be the current year.

Here is an example:

In-Text Citation: Up to Date 

(File, 2016)

References: Up to Date

File, T.M. (2016). Treatment of hospital-acquired, ventilator-associated, and healthcare-associated pneumonia in               adults. In J.G. Bartlett (Ed.), UpToDate. Retrieved from

In-Text Citation: Up to Date 

(Pauli & Repke, 2015)

References: Up to Date

Pauli, J.M, & Repke, T.M. (2015). Insertion of interuterine pressure catheters. In S.M.Ramin (Ed.), UpToDate.                        Retrieved from

In-Text Citation: Up to Date 

(Marion, 2013)

References: Up to Date

Marion, D.W. (2013). Diaphragmatic pacing. In T. W. Post (Ed.), UpToDate. Retrieved from                                             

Example: FirstConsult        

In-Text Citation: FirstConsult

      (Dietrich & Kreindler, 2015)
References: FirstConsult 
      Dietrich, A., & Kriendler, J.L.  (2015, April 17). Asthma in Children .  St. Louis: Elsevier. 
            Retrieved  January, 15, 2016 from
Example: Epocrates 
       In-Text Citation: Epocrates
      (Shah & Kantharia, 2015)
References: Epocrates
      Shah , A.N., & Kantharia, B.K. (2015, January 7). Acute atrial fibrillation. San Mateo, CA :
Inc.. Retrieved  February, 2, 2016 from

Rule for Subscription Databases

: Since a subscription database item is only available if the reader has access, you should not include the long URL of the item. 
Do:  Do include the homepage URL of the database to show the reader the name of the publisher and how one would be able to access the item if they obtained  a subscription to the database.

Bad Example: 

Tuggy, M.L., & Gilliam, M. (2013, July 28). Knee Injury.St. Louis: Elsevier. 

    Retrieved  July, 8, 2015 from!/content/medical_topic/21-s2.0-1016324?                         scrollTo=%23heading80


Good Example: 

Tuggy, M.L., & Gilliam, M. (2013, July 28). Knee Injury.St. Louis: Elsevier. Retrieved  

        July, 8, 2015 from


See: APA blog What to Use—The Full Document URL or Home Page URL?

Taken Directly from APA Citation Style, 6th edition - Research Guides at George Washington University

The publications/items found in the National Guidelines Clearinghouse are summaries,  Most of the guideline summaries  in the National Guideline Clearinghouse are actually journal articles and it is best to find the original source when possible. 

Practice Guideline Synthesis (accessed from National Guideline Clearinghouse):


Practice Guideline Synthesis (accessed from National Guideline Clearinghouse):


Author. (date of publication). Guideline synthesis: guideline title. In: National Guideline Clearinghouse (NGC) [Web site]. Place of publication: Publisher of the guideline. Available from:


National Guideline Clearinghouse (NGC). (2008). Guideline synthesis: Screening for breast cancer. In: National Guideline Clearinghouse (NGC) [Web site]. Rockville (MD): Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Available from:


Other Guidelines Accessed from Places Aside from the National Guidelines Clearinghouse 

If citing the full guideline, then cite the guideline as it appeared in the journal.


Format: Author, AB; . (Year of publication). Article title. Journal title. Volume(issue), pages.


American College of Obstetrics & Gynecology. (2011). ACOG practice bulletin no. 120: Use of prophylactic antibiotics in labor               and delivery. Obstet Gynecol. 117(6):1472-83.




Links to Directly to APA Citation Style, 6th edition - Research Guides at George Washington University​


Links to Directly to APA Citation Style, 6th edition - Research Guides at George Washington University​

Indirect Quotations (paraphrasing):

Works by one author:

First citation of this source in your manuscript:

  • Walker (2000) compared reaction times… -or-

  • In a recent study of reaction times (Walker, 2000)… -or-

  • In 2000 Walker compared reaction times…

If citing the same source more than once in the same paragraph:

  • First citations in a paragraph: Walker (2000) compared reaction times…

  • Subsequent citations of same source in same paragraph: Walker also found…

Works by three to five authors:

First citation of this source in your manuscript:

  • Wasserstein, Sapula, Rosen, and Gerstman (1994) showed…

After the first citation of your source, use the following rules if using the same source again in the rest of your paper:

  • First citation in a paragraph: Wasserstein et al. (1994) studied conditions…

  • Subsequent citations of same source in same paragraph: Wasserstein et al. also found…

Organization as an Author:

 If the author is an organization or a government agency, mention the organization in the signal phrase or in the parenthetical citation the first time you cite the source.

According to the American Psychological Association (2000),...

If the organization has a well-known abbreviation, include the abbreviation in brackets the first time the source is cited and then use only the abbreviation in later citations.

  • First citation: (Mothers Against Drunk Driving [MADD], 2000)
  • Second citation: (MADD, 2000)

 Direct Quotations: 

When and how to use direct quotes (“ ”)

  • Use when you are reproducing word-for-word information from others’ work or your own previous writings. This should be done sparingly.
  • Also, use them when you are stating test items or participant directions verbatim.

Resource with page numbers:

She stated, “The ‘placebo effect’ disappeared when behaviors were studied in this manner” (Miele, 1993, p. 276).

Direct quotes less than 40 words

Put quotation marks around the quoted material, and incorporate the quote into your sentence. Try not to quote an entire sentence, as it makes the writing very choppy and usually comes off as lazy.

If the quote is in the middle of your own sentence, end the quoted passage with quotation marks and put the parenthetical citation immediately after the passage, followed by any necessary punctuation. Then continue with the sentence as it would be normally.

Since the quote is in “the middle of this sentence” (Zhou et. al, 2013, p. 10), I would format the sentence this way.

If the quote comes at the end of the sentence, put the end quotation marks after the final word, insert the parenthetical citation, and end with the period.

Since the quote is at the end of this sentence, I would “format the quote this way” (Smith, 1992, pp. 10-12).

Direct quotes more than 40 words

Place the quote in a freestanding block of text on a new line, indented ½ inch from the left margin. If there are subsequent paragraphs in your block quote, indent them another ½ inch from the first indent. Place the parenthetical citation at the end of the block, after the end punctuation. Double-space all of the quote.

Since my block quote had 40 words that you can’t see here, I’m going to end the quote this way. (Loving, 2000, pp. 111-115)
If you mentioned the author’s name in the sentence with the quote

Only put the page number in parentheses if you already mentioned the author’s name; always put the year immediately following an author’s name when you refer to them in-text.

Since I’m mentioning Shields (2003) said “something related to psychology,” I only need to put the page number at the end of this sentence (p. 24).

Electronic Resources without Page Numbers:

  • In your parenthetical citation, give the author, year, and page numbers if possible. If there is no pagination, refer to the section and paragraph a quote was taken from. Use the abbreviation “para.”

"The current system of managed care and the current approach to defining empirically supported treatments are shortsighted" (Beutler, 2000, Conclusion section, para. 1).


"The hospital saw a 30% drop in accidental falls in the inpatient setting after intentional rounding was instituted" (Brown, 2015, para. 5).




Taken from the following sources:

University of Washington Libraries APA Style Guide -

Writer's Web: APA Documentation and Formatting -

Online Resources from Others

Authoritative Source - American Psychological Association

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. 6th edition (2nd printing).

LOCATION: Cabell Reference Desk BF76.7 .P83 2010

NOTE: The 1st printing of the 6th edition of the Publication Manual had a number of errors, especially in the sample papers. If you have the 1st printing, be sure to examine the corrections sheets.