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Harvard Referencing Guide: Journal Article - Online

Journal Article - Online

Journal Article - Online

Journal Article - Online

Journal Article - Online 


You may obtain online journal articles from two main type of sources:

  • Individual journals that are published online. For example, The British Journal of Healthcare Assistants.
  • Online databases that contain thousands of articles from many different journal titles, such as the CINAHL database.




Digital Object Identifiers  (DOIs)

Many online articles have been allocated special identifiers known as Digital Object Identifiers.

In this example the allocated DOI is  10.1002/cind.812_9.x.








A DOI is a unique and permanent identifier that links the article to the internet. If an article has been allocated a DOI, then we may use this when we reference the article.  Including a DOI in a reference is preferable to including a URL because an article may not always be available at its original URL.

When we do include a  DOI in a reference,  we omit the URL and the date at which we access the article.


An online journal article generally requires the following elements:


  • Author of the article                                (surname followed by initials)

  • Year of publication                                  (in round brackets)

  • Title of the article                                    (in single quotation marks)

  • Title of the journal                                   (in italics - capitalise the first letter of each word except linking words such

                                                                          as;   and, of, the, for)

  • Issue information                                    volume (without brackets), and, where applicable, part number,month or

                                                                          season (all in round brackets)

  • Page reference                                       (if available)

  • Available at: URL (if required)   (Accessed: date)   OR    doi (if available)


Example : an online article without a DOI.












In-text citation

There is ample evidence to support the view that asthmatic children who engage in regular swimming will have a reduction in asthmatic symptoms, and may actually be able to reduce the dosage of their medication (Wardell, Huang and  Isbister, 2006).

Full reference for the Reference List / Bibliography

Wardell, C., Huang, S. and Isbister, C. (2006) ‘When children with asthma go swimming, the benefits can be many and long-lasting’, Contemporary Pediatrics, 23(10), pp. 89–96. Available at:,shib&custid=s3714963 (Accessed: 31 January 2019).


Example : An online article with a DOI.




In-text citation

In 2008, Uganda started work on a four year project that has helped the country to deal with future outbreaks of avian and human flu (Oirere, 2017).



Full reference for the Reference List / Bibliography

Oirere, S. (2017) ‘Bird flu has flown’, Chemistry & Industry, 81(2), p. 38, doi: 10.1002/cind.812_9.x.


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