How to format your references using the Family Science citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Family Science. 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.
EndNoteFind the style here: output styles overview
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
Harte, J. (2008). An ecologist notes that important details are missing from climate-change models. Nature, 454(7208), 1033.
A journal article with 2 authors
Wang, K., & Mittleman, D. M. (2004). Metal wires for terahertz wave guiding. Nature, 432(7015), 376–379.
A journal article with 3 authors
Lambert, J. B., Gurusamy-Thangavelu, S. A., & Ma, K. (2010). The silicate-mediated formose reaction: bottom-up synthesis of sugar silicates. Science (New York, N.Y.), 327(5968), 984–986.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Carroll, K. S., Hanna, J., Simon, I., Krise, J., Barbero, P., & Pfeffer, S. R. (2001). Role of Rab9 GTPase in facilitating receptor recruitment by TIP47. Science (New York, N.Y.), 292(5520), 1373–1376.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Matthews, C. (1998). A Practical Guide to Engineering Failure Investigation. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
An edited book
Zakian, V. (Ed.). (2005). Control Systems Design: A New Framework. Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Halmenschlager, C. M., de Andrade, M. J., Tarragó, D. P., & de Fraga Malfatti, C. (2011). Nanostructured Materials for Energy Applications. In C. P. Bergmann & M. J. de Andrade (Eds.), Nanostructured Materials for Engineering Applications (pp. 57–73). 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 Family Science.

Blog post
Andrew, E. (2015, June 8). Desert Farms Could Power Flight With Sunshine And Seawater. 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. (1988). Medical ADP Systems: Composite Health Care System Acquisition--Fair, Reasonable, Supported (IMTEC-88-26). 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
Alajmi, H. (2012). Pre-Islamic Poetry and Speech Act Theory: Al-A`shá, Bishr ibn Abī Khāzim, and al-Hujayjah [Doctoral dissertation]. Indiana 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
Poniewozik, J. (2017, February 1). Where the Rogue Cop Rules. New York Times, C1.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Harte, 2008).
This sentence cites two references (Harte, 2008; Wang & Mittleman, 2004).

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

  • Two authors: (Wang & Mittleman, 2004)
  • Three authors: (Lambert et al., 2010)
  • 6 or more authors: (Carroll et al., 2001)

About the journal

Full journal titleFamily Science
AbbreviationFam. Sci.
ISSN (print)1942-4620
ISSN (online)1942-4639
ScopeSocial Psychology
Sociology and Political Science

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