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
Check, E. (2003). Biologists wary that cash up front could mean cuts later. Nature, 421(6924), 677.
A journal article with 2 authors
Zhang, S. C., & Hu, J. (2001). A four-dimensional generalization of the quantum Hall effect. Science (New York, N.Y.), 294(5543), 823–828.
A journal article with 3 authors
Berken, A., Thomas, C., & Wittinghofer, A. (2005). A new family of RhoGEFs activates the Rop molecular switch in plants. Nature, 436(7054), 1176–1180.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Bulmer, J. S., Martens, J., Kurzepa, L., Gizewski, T., Egilmez, M., Blamire, M. G., et al. (2014). Microwave conductivity of sorted CNT assemblies. Scientific reports, 4, 3762.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Wren, C. (2011). Concise Guide to Pediatric Arrhythmias. Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.
An edited book
Liu, X. (Ed.). (2015). Dao Companion to Daoist Philosophy (Vol. 6). Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands.
A chapter in an edited book
Both, F., Gerritsen, C., Hoogendoorn, M., & Treur, J. (2008). Model-Based Default Refinement of Partial Information within an Ambient Agent. In M. Mühlhäuser, A. Ferscha, & E. Aitenbichler (Eds.), Constructing Ambient Intelligence: AmI 2007 Workshops Darmstadt, Germany, November 7-10, 2007 Revised Papers (pp. 34–43). 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
Hale, T. (2015, November 4). Questions No One Knows The Answers To. 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. (2011). Initial Pilot Training: Better Management Controls Are Needed to Improve FAA Oversight (No. GAO-12-117). 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
Norris, C. (2014). What is Lost Along the Way (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
Clarke, J. (2016, November 5). What’s the Circuit’s Most Fearsome Bull Afraid Of? You Name It. New York Times, p. D3.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Check 2003).
This sentence cites two references (Check 2003; Zhang and Hu 2001).

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

  • Two authors: (Zhang and Hu 2001)
  • Three or more authors: (Bulmer et al. 2014)

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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