How to format your references using the Digital Journalism citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Digital Journalism. 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
Brown, J. R. 2000. “ESSAYS ON SCIENCE AND SOCIETY: Privatizing the University--the New Tragedy of the Commons.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 290 (5497): 1701–1702.
A journal article with 2 authors
Bonadonna, Francesco, and Gabrielle A. Nevitt. 2004. “Partner-Specific Odor Recognition in an Antarctic Seabird.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 306 (5697): 835.
A journal article with 3 authors
Liu, Jinting, Pingyuan Gong, and Xiaolin Zhou. 2014. “The Association between Romantic Relationship Status and 5-HT1A Gene in Young Adults.” Scientific Reports 4 (November): 7049.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Cowley, M. A., J. L. Smart, M. Rubinstein, M. G. Cerdán, S. Diano, T. L. Horvath, R. D. Cone, and M. J. Low. 2001. “Leptin Activates Anorexigenic POMC Neurons through a Neural Network in the Arcuate Nucleus.” Nature 411 (6836): 480–484.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Chitty, John, and Aidan Raftery. 2013. Essentials of Tortoise Medicine and Surgery. Oxford: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
An edited book
Ohtsu, Motoichi, ed. 2013. Handbook of Nano-Optics and Nanophotonics. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Hamby, Sherry, and John Grych. 2013. “A Developmental Perspective on Interconnection.” In The Web of Violence: Exploring Connections Among Different Forms of Interpersonal Violence and Abuse, edited by John Grych, 51–66. SpringerBriefs in Sociology. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands.

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 Digital Journalism.

Blog post
Andrew, Elise. 2014. “Parasitic Wasp Turns Roaches into Zombie Slaves Using Neurotoxic Cocktail.” 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. 1997. Proprietary Schools: Analysis of Comments Received From an Association of Schools. HEHS-98-12R. Washington, DC: 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
Boyer, Michael D. 2009. “Organizational Improvisation within an Episodic Planning Model: A Systems Perspective.” Doctoral dissertation, Minneapolis, MN: Capella University.

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
McKINLEY, James C., Jr. 2017. “Not Guilty, at Least Here, Lawyer Says.” New York Times, March 8.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Brown 2000).
This sentence cites two references (Brown 2000; Bonadonna and Nevitt 2004).

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

  • Two authors: (Bonadonna and Nevitt 2004)
  • Three authors: (Liu, Gong, and Zhou 2014)
  • 4 or more authors: (Cowley et al. 2001)

About the journal

Full journal titleDigital Journalism
ISSN (print)2167-0811
ISSN (online)2167-082X

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