How to format your references using the Foundations of Science citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Foundations of 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
Draaisma, D. (2015). Oliver Sacks (1933-2015). Nature, 525(7568), 188.
A journal article with 2 authors
Wright, S. I., & Barrett, S. C. H. (2010). Evolution. The long-term benefits of self-rejection. Science (New York, N.Y.), 330(6003), 459–460.
A journal article with 3 authors
Purohit, P., Mitra, A., & Auerbach, A. (2007). A stepwise mechanism for acetylcholine receptor channel gating. Nature, 446(7138), 930–933.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Lee, T. M. C., Leung, M.-K., Lee, T. M. Y., Raine, A., & Chan, C. C. H. (2013). I want to lie about not knowing you, but my precuneus refuses to cooperate. Scientific reports, 3, 1636.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Cornier, J., Owen, A., Kwade, A., & Van de Voorde, M. (2017). Pharmaceutical Nanotechnology: Innovation and Production. Weinheim, Germany: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.
An edited book
Wang, L., Chen, K., & Ong, Y. S. (Eds.). (2005). Advances in Natural Computation: First International Conference, ICNC 2005, Changsha, China, August 27-29, 2005, Proceedings, Part II (Vol. 3611). Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Beckert, B., Bormer, T., & Wagner, M. (2013). A Metric for Testing Program Verification Systems. In M. Veanes & L. Viganò (Eds.), Tests and Proofs: 7th International Conference, TAP 2013, Budapest, Hungary, June 16-20, 2013. Proceedings (pp. 56–75). Berlin, Heidelberg: 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 Foundations of Science.

Blog post
Luntz, S. (2016, September 16). Contraceptive Pill Could Help Recovery From Flu. IFLScience. IFLScience. Accessed 30 October 2018


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. (1994). Aviation Security (No. RCED-94-307R). 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
Schloesser, K. (2010). Improving services for persons with developmental disabilities through the utilization of person-centered thinking: A grant-writing project (Doctoral dissertation). California State University, Long Beach, Long Beach, CA.

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
Barron, J. (2017, February 13). A Global Bible Contest Serves as a Testament to Their Relationship. New York Times, p. A24.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Draaisma 2015).
This sentence cites two references (Draaisma 2015; Wright and Barrett 2010).

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

  • Two authors: (Wright and Barrett 2010)
  • Three or more authors: (Lee et al. 2013)

About the journal

Full journal titleFoundations of Science
AbbreviationFound. Sci.
ISSN (print)1233-1821
ISSN (online)1572-8471
History and Philosophy of Science

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