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I am writing an article that requires citations in APA format. As you may know, that format requires page numbers

I am pulling quite a few articles from the journal of Remote Sensing (MDPI), which publishes almost all content as open access articles online. The problem is that they publish the articles online, and do not indicate a page number. For example, an article entitled "Time-Series Multispectral Indices from Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Imagery Reveal Senescence Rate in Bread Wheat" has the following short citation:

Remote Sens. 2018, 10, 809; doi:10.3390/rs10060809

(https://www.mdpi.com/2072-4292/10/6/809)

From further investigating, I think the number 809 is the article in the volume, not the page number. Am I right on this? If so, how do you cite page numbers for a journal where they are not given?

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Often times, it depends on the journal requirements. For instance, looking at the journal of Weed Science, they actually give an outline to how they want these kinds of articles to be cited:

Hassan MA, Yang M, Rasheed A, Jin X, Xia X, Xiao Y, He Z (2018) Time-Series Multispectral Indices from Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Imagery Reveal Senescence Rate in Bread Wheat. Remote Sens. (10), 10.3390/rs10060809

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According to the 6th edition of APA:

When using the exact words or a close paraphrase or summary of a source, a page number must be provided as part of a complete in-text citation. However, some publications (such as websites) have no numbered pages. To help readers locate the words being cited, include one or both of these elements:

  • Paragraph number (counted by yourself or as indicated in the text)
  • Main heading or sub-heading within the text (if available and appropriate)

So, if you are using a direct citation the approach with manually counted paragraph number and sub-heading section is recommended. The link above provides the following example:

According to the 2012 Canadian Survey on Disability, “[o]ver 11% of Canadian adults experienced one of the three most prevalent disability types: pain, mobility or flexibility” (Statistics Canada, 2013, para. 2)


However, if you are referencing for a purpose other than direct quotation or a close paraphrase, you can simply use 1–N, where N is the number of pages in the cited paper:

Simon, S. L., Field, J., Miller, L. E., DiFrancesco, M., & Beebe, D. W. (2015). Sweet/dessert foods are more appealing to adolescents after sleep restriction. PLoS ONE, 10, 1–8. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0115434

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