How to format your references using the Information Retrieval Journal citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Information Retrieval Journal. 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
May, R. M. (2004). Uses and abuses of mathematics in biology. Science (New York, N.Y.), 303(5659), 790–793.
A journal article with 2 authors
Mo, F., & Dong, G. (2014). C-H bond activation. Regioselective ketone α-alkylation with simple olefins via dual activation. Science (New York, N.Y.), 345(6192), 68–72.
A journal article with 3 authors
Kuba, H., Ishii, T. M., & Ohmori, H. (2006). Axonal site of spike initiation enhances auditory coincidence detection. Nature, 444(7122), 1069–1072.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Helmuth, B., Harley, C. D. G., Halpin, P. M., O’Donnell, M., Hofmann, G. E., & Blanchette, C. A. (2002). Climate change and latitudinal patterns of intertidal thermal stress. Science (New York, N.Y.), 298(5595), 1015–1017.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Wright, J. R., & Cooper, J. E. (2014). Introduction to Aircraft Aeroelasticity and Loads. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
An edited book
Yoshida, H., Hawkes, D., & Vannier, M. W. (Eds.). (2012). Abdominal Imaging. Computational and Clinical Applications: 4th International Workshop, Held in Conjunction with MICCAI 2012, Nice, France, October 1, 2012. Proceedings (Vol. 7601). Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Weiss, R. A. (2012). Oncogenic Viruses and Cancer Transmission. In E. S. Robertson (Ed.), Cancer Associated Viruses (pp. 101–118). Boston, MA: 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 Information Retrieval Journal.

Blog post
Hale, T. (2017, February 6). Can You Spot The 1.8-Meter Snake Lurking In This Photo? 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. (1979). The Federal Weather Program Must Have Stronger Central Direction (No. LCD-80-10). 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
Kane, B. H. (2017). A Qualitative Exploratory Inquiry of Communicating in a Multigenerational Traditional-Rational Organization (Doctoral dissertation). University of Phoenix, Phoenix, AZ.

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
(nyt), S. K. (2001, November 14). World Briefing | Europe: Ukraine: President Signs Land Reform Law. New York Times, p. A8.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (May 2004).
This sentence cites two references (May 2004; Mo and Dong 2014).

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

  • Two authors: (Mo and Dong 2014)
  • Three or more authors: (Helmuth et al. 2002)

About the journal

Full journal titleInformation Retrieval Journal
AbbreviationInf. Retr. Boston.
ISSN (print)1386-4564
ISSN (online)1573-7659
ScopeInformation Systems
Library and Information Sciences

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