How to format your references using the English for Specific Purposes citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for English for Specific Purposes. 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
Weeds, A. (2013). Hugh Huxley (1924-2013). Nature, 500(7464), 530.
A journal article with 2 authors
Shedlock, D. J., & Shen, H. (2003). Requirement for CD4 T cell help in generating functional CD8 T cell memory. Science (New York, N.Y.), 300(5617), 337–339.
A journal article with 3 authors
Karnath, H.-O., Borchers, S., & Himmelbach, M. (2010). Comment on “Movement intention after parietal cortex stimulation in humans.” Science (New York, N.Y.), 327(5970), 1200; author reply 1200.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Lim, R. Y. H., Fahrenkrog, B., Köser, J., Schwarz-Herion, K., Deng, J., & Aebi, U. (2007). Nanomechanical basis of selective gating by the nuclear pore complex. Science (New York, N.Y.), 318(5850), 640–643.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Marlet, R. (2012). Program Specialization. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Rüdiger, K., Peris Ortiz, M., & Blanco González, A. (Eds.). (2014). Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Economic Crisis: Lessons for Research, Policy and Practice. Springer International Publishing.
A chapter in an edited book
Shirabe, T. (2011). Information on the Consequence of a Move and Its Use for Route Improvisation Support. In M. Egenhofer, N. Giudice, R. Moratz, & M. Worboys (Eds.), Spatial Information Theory: 10th International Conference, COSIT 2011, Belfast, ME, USA, September 12-16, 2011. Proceedings (pp. 57–72). 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 English for Specific Purposes.

Blog post
Hamilton, K. (2017, May 17). Women Are Better At Understanding Man’s Best Friend. 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. (1993). High Speed Ground Transportation: Funds Need to Be Focused Under Proposed Legislation (T-RCED-93-45). 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
Sanchez, G. (2010). An educational program to support Latina teen mothers: A grant proposal project [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
Hollander, S. (2000, May 30). Banks Scores Six Goals As Syracuse Wins Title. New York Times, D6.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Weeds, 2013).
This sentence cites two references (Shedlock & Shen, 2003; Weeds, 2013).

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

  • Two authors: (Shedlock & Shen, 2003)
  • Three authors: (Karnath et al., 2010)
  • 6 or more authors: (Lim et al., 2007)

About the journal

Full journal titleEnglish for Specific Purposes
ISSN (print)0889-4906

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