How to format your references using the Futures citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Futures. 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
Schilling, G. (2000). ASTRONOMY: Neighborhood Gamma Ray Burst Boosts Theory. Science (New York, N.Y.), 289(5476), 29.
A journal article with 2 authors
Sczepanski, J. T., & Joyce, G. F. (2014). A cross-chiral RNA polymerase ribozyme. Nature, 515(7527), 440–442.
A journal article with 3 authors
Bishop, N. A., Lu, T., & Yankner, B. A. (2010). Neural mechanisms of ageing and cognitive decline. Nature, 464(7288), 529–535.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Ma, L., Kong, F., Ge, H., Liu, J., Gong, F., Xu, L., Hu, B., & Sun, R. (2014). Ventricular hypertrophy blocked delayed anesthetic cardioprotection in rats by alteration of iNOS/COX-2 signaling. Scientific Reports, 4, 7071.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Sharma, Y. C. (2011). A Guide to the Economic Removal of Metals from Aqueous Solutions. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Glaubrecht, M. (Ed.). (2010). Evolution in Action: Case studies in Adaptive Radiation, Speciation and the Origin of Biodiversity. Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Jha, P., Bora, P. S., Sohn, J.-H., Kaplan, H. J., & Bora, N. S. (2006). Complement System and the Eye. In J. D. Lambris (Ed.), Current Topics in Complement (pp. 53–62). Springer US.

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 Futures.

Blog post
Andrews, R. (2017, April 5). Does Torture Actually Work? 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. (1990). Justice ADP Procurement: Contracting and Market Share Information (IMTEC-90-40FS). 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
Berkowitz, E. S. (2013). Some novel phenomena at high density [Doctoral dissertation]. University of Maryland, College Park.

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
Kelly, D. A. (2007, September 17). Tools for Travelers. New York Times, H2.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Schilling, 2000).
This sentence cites two references (Schilling, 2000; Sczepanski & Joyce, 2014).

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

  • Two authors: (Sczepanski & Joyce, 2014)
  • Three authors: (Bishop et al., 2010)
  • 6 or more authors: (Ma et al., 2014)

About the journal

Full journal titleFutures
ISSN (print)0016-3287
ScopeBusiness and International Management
Sociology and Political Science

Other styles