How to format your references using the Computers & Education citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Computers & Education. For a complete guide how to prepare your manuscript refer to the journal's instructions to authors.

Using reference management software

Typically you don't format your citations and bibliography by hand. The easiest way is to use a reference manager:

PaperpileThe citation style is built in and you can choose it in Settings > Citation Style or Paperpile > Citation Style in Google Docs.
EndNoteDownload the output style file
Mendeley, Zotero, Papers, and othersThe style is either built in or you can download a CSL file that is supported by most references management programs.
BibTeXBibTeX syles are usually part of a LaTeX template. Check the instructions to authors if the publisher offers a LaTeX template for this journal.

Journal articles

Those examples are references to articles in scholarly journals and how they are supposed to appear in your bibliography.

Not all journals organize their published articles in volumes and issues, so these fields are optional. Some electronic journals do not provide a page range, but instead list an article identifier. In a case like this it's safe to use the article identifier instead of the page range.

A journal article with 1 author
Smaglik, P. (2003). Science rocks. Nature, 424(6945), 233.
A journal article with 2 authors
Lansbury, P. T., & Lashuel, H. A. (2006). A century-old debate on protein aggregation and neurodegeneration enters the clinic. Nature, 443(7113), 774–779.
A journal article with 3 authors
Ta, V. D., Chen, R., & Sun, H. D. (2013). Tuning whispering gallery mode lasing from self-assembled polymer droplets. Scientific Reports, 3, 1362.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Birnbaum, S. G., Yuan, P. X., Wang, M., Vijayraghavan, S., Bloom, A. K., Davis, D. J., Gobeske, K. T., Sweatt, J. D., Manji, H. K., & Arnsten, A. F. T. (2004). Protein kinase C overactivity impairs prefrontal cortical regulation of working memory. Science (New York, N.Y.), 306(5697), 882–884.

Books and book chapters

Here are examples of references for authored and edited books as well as book chapters.

An authored book
Ndjountche, T. (2016). Digital Electronics 1. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Chen, J. (2015). Research Report on Corporate Social Responsibility of China (Q. Huang, H. Peng, & H. Zhong, Eds.). Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Lanchon, H. (2011). Torsion Elastoplastique D’Arbres Cylindriques Problemes Ouverts. In G. Capriz & G. Stampacchia (Eds.), New Variational Techniques in Mathematical Physics (pp. 121–148). Springer.

Web sites

Sometimes references to web sites should appear directly in the text rather than in the bibliography. Refer to the Instructions to authors for Computers & Education.

Blog post
Davis, J. (2017, May 31). Humans Might Have A Sense Of Taste For Water. IFLScience; IFLScience.


This example shows the general structure used for government reports, technical reports, and scientific reports. If you can't locate the report number then it might be better to cite the report as a book. For reports it is usually not individual people that are credited as authors, but a governmental department or agency like "U. S. Food and Drug Administration" or "National Cancer Institute".

Government report
Government Accountability Office. (2007). Information Technology: Further Improvements Needed to identify and Oversee Poorly Planned and Performing Projects (GAO-07-1211T). U.S. Government Printing Office.

Theses and dissertations

Theses including Ph.D. dissertations, Master's theses or Bachelor theses follow the basic format outlined below.

Doctoral dissertation
Julian, A. (2017). Guided Autobiography Themes for Older Adult United States War Veterans [Doctoral dissertation]. California State University, Long Beach.

News paper articles

Unlike scholarly journals, news papers do not usually have a volume and issue number. Instead, the full date and page number is required for a correct reference.

New York Times article
Wagner, J. (2017, April 2). Mets’ Syndergaard Keeps Hitting the Gas. Just How Fast Can He Go? New York Times, D3.

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by name and year in parentheses:

This sentence cites one reference (Smaglik, 2003).
This sentence cites two references (Lansbury & Lashuel, 2006; Smaglik, 2003).

Here are examples of in-text citations with multiple authors:

  • Two authors: (Lansbury & Lashuel, 2006)
  • Three authors: (Ta et al., 2013)
  • 6 or more authors: (Birnbaum et al., 2004)

About the journal

Full journal titleComputers & Education
AbbreviationComput. Educ.
ISSN (print)0360-1315
ScopeGeneral Computer Science

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