Because most databases are prone to change and modifications over time, the APA style generally does not require including database information in your citations. However, in some instances you may want to take information from database sources, and your instructor will require you to use APA database citations in your reference list.
The same general APA citation rules are observed in citing articles that are found in databases, thus you need to cite these articles by using the prescribed APA database citation. Typically, if you are consulting an article from a database that is available in other web formats, such as an online journal or magazine, you need to include the complete and working website URL. Take note that you do not need provide database information for articles that are well-known and easily located. Additionally, you only need to use dates of retrieval if the database source could change.
Below is the basic APA citation format for citing database sources:
Author’s Last Name, First Initial. Middle Initial. (Date). Title of article. Title of Database, Volume number (Issue number), page numbers.
Here are some examples of APA database citations:
Galen, A. F., Kierulf, A., & Boris, J. (2009). The theory of crime prevention through environmental design. Journal of American Criminology, 19(1), 176-211.
Parker, S. J., Van Peel, A. D., & Sigismondi, D. L. (1999). Metatheory of international criminal procedure. Journal of American Criminology, 6(2), 294-343. Retrieved from http://www.articlehomepage.com/full/url/
If you are consulting a database article in print format taken from an online database, you need to cite the print source by using the appropriate APA citation as you would cite print sources. With this information, you allow your readers to locate the print version if they do not have access to the database from which you took the article. You may also include the item number or accession number or database URL at the end of the citation.