Citing and referencing: Journal articles

A guide to the styles recommended by Monash schools and departments for students and researchers

In academia, scholarly journal articles are usually a source of reliable knowledge based on research and evidence. Peer-reviewed or refereed articles have been through a process of scrutiny by other experts in the field.


Journal articles - author rules

The rules for journal articles with one author and two or more authors are the same as the general rules for presenting authors in reference list entries described on the Reference list page of this guide.


Journal articles - general rules:

References to journal articles include the authors' names and the year, the title of the article, the title of the journal, the volume number, the issue number, the page range, and a DOI or URL if found online. Present the title of the article in single quotation marks and use sentence case. Present the title of the journal in italics, and use title case. 

Rule: Author A (Year) ‘Title of article: subtitle of article’, Name of Journal, volume(issue):page–page, doi:number

Example: Tsetsura K and Valentini C (2016) 'The “holy” triad in media ethics: a conceptual model for understanding global media ethics', Public Relations Review, 42(4):573–581, doi:10.1016/j.pubrev.2016.03.013

Example: Scherer SC, Jennings C, Rule J, Smeaton M, Farrell MJ, Garratt SA, Flicker L, Davis I and Wark JD (2006) 'Promoting evidence-based best practices for hip fracture prevention in residential aged care', Australasian Journal on Ageing,  25(4):185-190, doi: 10.1111/j.1741-6612.2006.00182.x


Journal articles: More than 20 authors

Some journal articles, for example, systematic reviews, can have a very large number of authors.  While the Style Manual states to list all authors in the reference list, for articles with more than 20 authors, another option that we suggest to shorten the reference is to list the first nineteen authors followed by an ellipsis (...) and then the last author. Check with your unit coordinator or supervisor if you are unsure.

Example: Schuetz P, Wirz Y, Sager R, Christ-Crain M, Stolz D, Tamm M, Bouadma L, Luyt CE, Wolff M, Chastre J, Tubach F, Kristoffersen KB, Burkhardt O, Welte T, Schroeder S, Nobre V, Wei L, Bucher HCC, Bhatnagar N, . . . Mueller B (2017) 'Procalcitonin to initiate or discontinue antibiotics in acute respiratory tract infections', Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (10), Article CD007498, doi: 10.1002/14651858.cd007498.pub3


Online journal articles: Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) and URLs 

Many journal articles published online have a Digital Object Identifier (DOI). Include DOIs in your reference list if they exist, as they are more stable than URLs. DOIs sometimes have the form of a URL. If so, you don’t need to include the HTTP, etc., start at (etc). If there is no DOI, include the database or the URL instead, preceded by a full stop.


With a DOI

Tharoor S (1990) ‘The universality of human rights and their relevance to developing countries’, Nordic Journal of International Law, 59(1):139-152, doi:10.1163/157181090X00288 


Without a DOI:

Tharoor S (1990) ‘The universality of human rights and their relevance to developing countries’, Nordic Journal of International Law, 59(1):139-152. (HeinOnline)


Tharoor S (1990) ‘The universality of human rights and their relevance to developing countries’, Nordic Journal of International Law, 59(1:139-152, accessed 17 December 2020.


Published early online: advance online publication 

Increasingly, journals publish articles online before being allocated to a particular issue or volume. Terms you may come across include 'online early', 'online first', or 'advance online publication'. 'In press' or forthcoming usually means the article has been accepted for publication, but the process has not yet begun. 

Occasionally, you may want to cite other versions of articles that you've found, usually via search engines like Google or Google Scholar. Researchers may opt to make their articles openly accessible online via repositories like arXiv, platforms like ResearchGate, or other servers. Pre-prints, post-prints, or author manuscripts are common terms, but always investigate whether a final published version exists and use instead. Otherwise, indicate the version you are citing.

Rule: Author A (Year) ‘Title of article: subtitle of article’, Name of Journal, version, doi:number

Example: Kjellberg I and Jansson B (Advance online publication) 'The capability approach in social work research: a scoping review of research addressing practical social work', International Social Work, accessed 3 February 2022, doi:10.1177/0020872819896849

Example: Awaya N and Ma L (2021) 'Tree boosting for learning probability measures', arXiv, accessed 3 February 2022, doi:arxiv:2101.11083


Journal articles: in print

This only applies if you accessed the article in a printed form, for example in the library's physical collection. In this case, list the volume, issue and page numbers as the last part of the reference. DOIs, URLs, and accessed dates do not apply.

Rule: Author A (year) 'Title of article: subtitle of article’, Name of Journal, volume(issue):page–page

Example: Prentice C (2010) ‘Terms of ambivalence: cultural politics and symbolic exchange’, Australian Literary Studies, 25(4):3354.