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
Panksepp, J. (2005). Psychology. Beyond a joke: from animal laughter to human joy? Science (New York, N.Y.), 308(5718), 62–63.
A journal article with 2 authors
Emery, N. J., & Clayton, N. S. (2004). The mentality of crows: convergent evolution of intelligence in corvids and apes. Science (New York, N.Y.), 306(5703), 1903–1907.
A journal article with 3 authors
Alle, H., Roth, A., & Geiger, J. R. P. (2009). Energy-efficient action potentials in hippocampal mossy fibers. Science (New York, N.Y.), 325(5946), 1405–1408.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Xie, Z.-K., Huang, Q.-P., Huang, J., & Xie, Z.-F. (2014). Association between the IL1B, IL1RN polymorphisms and COPD risk: a meta-analysis. Scientific Reports, 4, 6202.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Levy, G., & Levin, B. (2014). The Biostatistics of Aging. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Paias, A., Ruthmair, M., & Voß, S. (Eds.). (2016). Computational Logistics: 7th International Conference, ICCL 2016, Lisbon, Portugal, September 7-9, 2016, Proceedings (Vol. 9855). Springer International Publishing.
A chapter in an edited book
He, Y. (2013). Genome-Based Computational Vaccine Discovery by Reverse Vaccinology. In D. R. Flower & Y. Perrie (Eds.), Immunomic Discovery of Adjuvants and Candidate Subunit Vaccines (pp. 91–104). 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 Futures.

Blog post
Andrew, E. (2014, July 6). Five edible insects you really should try. 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. (2008). Highway Public-Private Partnerships: Securing Potential Benefits and Protecting the Public Interest Could Result from More Rigorous Up-front Analysis (GAO-08-1052T). 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
Bottorff, A. K. (2010). Evaluating summer school programs and the effect on student achievement: The correlation between Stanford-10 standardized test scores and two different summer programs [Doctoral dissertation]. Lindenwood 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
Norton, M. B. (2011, May 22). Finding More Founders. New York Times, BR20.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Panksepp, 2005).
This sentence cites two references (Emery & Clayton, 2004; Panksepp, 2005).

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

  • Two authors: (Emery & Clayton, 2004)
  • Three authors: (Alle et al., 2009)
  • 6 or more authors: (Xie et al., 2014)

About the journal

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

Other styles