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
Coleman, P. (2010). Physics. The lowdown on heavy fermions. Science (New York, N.Y.), 327(5968), 969–970.
A journal article with 2 authors
Link, C. D., & Saldi, T. K. (2012). Development. Cell death by glutamine repeats? Science (New York, N.Y.), 335(6071), 926–927.
A journal article with 3 authors
Krug, A. Z., Jablonski, D., & Valentine, J. W. (2009). Signature of the end-Cretaceous mass extinction in the modern biota. Science (New York, N.Y.), 323(5915), 767–771.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Perez, F. F., Fontela, M., García-Ibáñez, M. I., Mercier, H., Velo, A., Lherminier, P., et al. (2018). Meridional overturning circulation conveys fast acidification to the deep Atlantic Ocean. Nature, 554(7693), 515–518.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
He, J., Zeng, R., & Zhang, B. (2012). Methodology and Technology for Power System Grounding. Singapore: John Wiley & Sons Singapore Pte. Ltd.
An edited book
Mohapatra, R. N., Chowdhury, D. R., & Giri, D. (Eds.). (2015). Mathematics and Computing: ICMC, Haldia, India, January 2015 (Vol. 139). New Delhi: Springer India.
A chapter in an edited book
Kifer, M., & Smolka, S. A. (2007). Memory: Virtual Memory Management. In S. A. Smolka (Ed.), Introduction to Operating System Design and Implementation: The OSP 2 Approach (pp. 75–101). London: 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
Andrew, E. (2014, February 19). Watch: Amazing Visualization Of Arctic Ice Over The Last 25 Years. 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. (2003). DOD Business Systems Modernization: Continued Investment in Key Accounting Systems Needs to be Justified (No. GAO-03-465). 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
Alexandre, K. M. (2009). Identifying mechanisms regulating Wnt signaling during postembryonic development (Doctoral dissertation). University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC.

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
Greenhouse, L. (2007, May 22). Legal Victory for Families of Disabled Students. New York Times, p. A14.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Coleman 2010).
This sentence cites two references (Coleman 2010; Link and Saldi 2012).

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

  • Two authors: (Link and Saldi 2012)
  • Three or more authors: (Perez et al. 2018)

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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