[[This post has been retitled once and edited twice. This is the second edit. The original post had a sample reference that was faulty for purposes of having the question answered. For this edit, I added a "good" example of a reference and explained the difference between the examples. I felt this would be helpful to sustain context for the entire thread.]]

Per APA 7, if an article has an article number, you should use that instead of a page range. The university insists on compliance with APA 7. If an article number is not self-evident in the PDF, on the article's web landing page, or in the citation download, you are expected to dig a bit further.

I have discovered several indicators that an article number is likely (not always, but likely) to exist:

  • a page range that starts with "1", or
  • a single page number of any value instead of a page range, or
  • a paper by a popular seminal author.

I have also found some publishers who make it easier than others to find the article number, if one exists. The easiest ones are published on the web page below or near the article title. Some are more elusive and can only be found such as by

  • comparing a page "range" with only one value to the DOI;
  • inspecting the URL before and after clicking on a DOI;
  • downloading the recommended citation (not to be confused with an APA 7 compliant citation, even if tagged that way);
  • clicking on various links on the DOI landing page, and sometimes following a link; and
  • inspecting manuscript headers, footers, and margin notes.

There are, no doubt, other ways to find elusive article numbers. The fact that an article number cannot be immediately or easily found does not mean the article number does not exist.

Again, the question is: Do Taylor & Francis publications have article numbers that are hidden but can be found if one only knows where to look?

At Taylor & Francis, I am hampered because I do not have access to the full articles. Might article numbers be lurking in the PDFs? If the answer is typically "Yes, and here's where to look for it," then that is helpful. Or maybe article numbers lurk behind a little-noticed button or link on the DOI landing page?

For those who have read this far and want a crack at it, here are two examples of citations in the student paper (the paper has mostly T&F sources). The citations seem to be candidates for a hidden article number for different reasons as noted.

Example 1: This is a reference provided by the student. The page range starts with the number 1 and the article is fairly recent. In my experience, either or both of those factors are often (not always, but often) a clue that the paper has an article number.

=== Bédard-Thom, C., Guay, F., & Trottier, C. (2020). Mental toughness in sport: The Goal Expectancy-Self-Control (GES) model. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 7(3), 1-17. https://doi.org/10.1080/10413200.2020.1808736 ===

Example 2: This is a reference provided by the student. Although the article is very old, the author is seminal and popular. Given that publishers have a backlog of articles that are being encoded for online access, then this seems a good candidate for having an associated article number.

=== Bandura, A. (1990). Perceived self-efficacy in the exercise of personal agency. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 2(3),128-163. https://doi.org/10.1080/10413209008406426 ===

Comment: Note that I am editing a paper and not its author. I strive for accuracy and to decrease the possibility a paper will be returned for noncompliance.

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    The full bibliographic information for this article is not available yet. This journal's most recent issue includes only articles from 2019. Papers "online" in 2020 will get their full information around 2022. Jun 11, 2021 at 1:33
  • Wow. Who knew it could take so long to have an article officially published in a journal. Thank you. Am wondering if I should rewrite the post without any examples at all. It does seem to be diverting people from the essence of the question.
    – RJo
    Jun 11, 2021 at 2:41
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    @RJo, it's a common way to game the JCR impact factor. Articles accumulate citations while they're online, and have more citations when they enter the 2 year period used by the impact factor calculations.
    – Nemo
    Jun 13, 2021 at 8:00

3 Answers 3


As others have mentioned, that particular article is an advance publication, so does not yet have such a number. However, I do have access to the PDFs, so I did a bit of digging. I looked at some older papers, and it appears that on publication, they do (or at least did) acquire page ranges, not article numbers - the page ranges are listed in the journal table of contents, and the PDFs and webpages contain no hint that I can see of any kind of article number.

  • 1
    Sam - Thank you for the extra effort. Based on your answer, my crib sheet now notes that "As of June 2021, T&F does not assign article numbers or if it does, the numbers cannot be found. Check again in 6 months." Your answer inspired another edit to the original post where I have provided a second example. It's a good contrast to the first example.
    – RJo
    Jun 11, 2021 at 18:56
  • Sam, I accepted your reply because it answered the question. The comments from others were very helpful, but were focused only the Bédard example rather than the broader question.
    – RJo
    Jun 11, 2021 at 19:32

The article you gave appears to be an example of advance online publication, prior to the article being assigned a volume and article number. According to this link (you may have a more authoritative source), such articles should be cited in APA 7 as

Canon, C., Effoe, V., Shetty, V., & Shetty, A.K. (2016). Knowledge and attitudes towards human papillomavirus (HPV) among academic and community physicians in Mangalore, India. Journal of Cancer Education. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13187-016-0999-0

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    Bobgom - Thank you for using the term "advance online publication." Strange as it might be, this is the first time I have encountered such a beast. I have a well-used APA 7 manual, but (until) now, no need to refer to Section 8.5, or to 10.8 examples 7 and 8. ~ Your mention, "prior to ... being assigned a volume and article number" led to me to further scrutinize the Bédard-Thom entry the student provided (Example 1 in my post). The entry had a volume and issue number! (but not at the web page or as part of the downloadable citation).
    – RJo
    Jun 11, 2021 at 19:15

I looked at the citation information available for that article and others in the journal, and there are apparently no volume, issue, or article numbers. They want you to cite it by using the DOI as its unique identifier. This is explicit at the bottom of the linking page for downloading citation information:

To cite this article:

Christiana Bédard Thom, Frédéric Guay & Christiane Trottier (2020) Mental toughness in sport: The Goal-Expectancy-Self-Control (GES) model, Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, DOI: 10.1080/10413200.2020.1808736

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    The way T&F wants it cited is of no matter. The university wants it cited per APA 7. Therefore, if there is an article number, then use the article number in lieu of a page range.
    – RJo
    Jun 10, 2021 at 20:14
  • and others - The question is about DOIs that resolve to a T&F page and deciphering article numbers from that DOI. The Bédard example is just that: an example, nothing more. Tangentially related, a few moments ago I found an article number for something else in a URL (the DOI resolved to a URL that showed an article number. The point being that if there is a way to discover article numbers at T&F sans reading the article, then what is the secret? I will edit the title and the text in an attempt to clarify.
    – RJo
    Jun 10, 2021 at 23:32
  • 1
    "and others in the journal" look further back Jun 11, 2021 at 1:29
  • 2
    Anonymous Physicist ~ The student provided (in error) a volume and issue number. I was focused on finding an article number, not on verifying article and issue number. It was only upon reading Bobgom's comment (above) and Sam's comment (below) that I "connected the dots" regarding the Bédard example and why it would hard for anyone to answer the question. ~ The comments from Buzz and all of you have truly led to an improved post, an answer to the specific question, and unexpected tips about clues for spotting errors.
    – RJo
    Jun 11, 2021 at 19:27

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