Wednesday, September 19, 2007

APA provides examples for digital resources

The best feature to the new APA style guide are the numerous examples for uniquely electronic resources. In the past, we were guessing at the way a blog should be listed in our references. Now we have examples for not only blogs but also e-books, gray literature, white papers, raw data, course materials, preprints, and online bibliographies, to name only a few. APA also strives to simplify the electronic reference process. The name of the database where you retrieved an article is no longer necessary, unless it is an unknown or limited location. The retrieval date can be left off articles or books that are in their final form. To save space, home page URLs are favored for online reference sources, over lengthy addresses to the exact article. I guess APA thinks we, as researchers, are intelligent enough to look up a particular article once we get to the home page of a reference resource. Another major change is the use of Digital Object Indentifiers (DOI) over URLs when possible. DOI numbers, as they are commonly called, were created to assign a permanent identifier to an electronic object that may change title, URL, etc. The DOI number should be a constant form of identification. Journals that use DOI numbers will place the number on the first page of the article. An example of a DOI number can be seen below.

To read more about DOI numbers, see

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