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
Bornens, M. (2012). The centrosome in cells and organisms. Science (New York, N.Y.), 335(6067), 422–426.
A journal article with 2 authors
Affolter, M., & Basler, K. (2011). Cell biology. Cytonemes show their colors. Science (New York, N.Y.), 332(6027), 312–313.
A journal article with 3 authors
Tseng, C.-H., Gobell, J. L., & Sperling, G. (2004). Long-lasting sensitization to a given colour after visual search. Nature, 428(6983), 657–660.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Meshorer, E., Erb, C., Gazit, R., Pavlovsky, L., Kaufer, D., Friedman, A., et al. (2002). Alternative splicing and neuritic mRNA translocation under long-term neuronal hypersensitivity. Science (New York, N.Y.), 295(5554), 508–512.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Duchon, C., & Hale, R. (2012). Time Series Analysis in Meteorology and Climatology. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
An edited book
Rojszczak, A. (2005). From the Act of Judging to the Sentence: The Problem of Truth Bearers from Bolzano to Tarski. (J. Wolenski, Ed.) (Vol. 328). Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands.
A chapter in an edited book
Hassmén, P., Keegan, R., & Piggott, D. (2016). Research Paradigms, Methodologies and Methods. In R. Keegan & D. Piggott (Eds.), Rethinking Sport and Exercise Psychology Research: Past, Present and Future (pp. 105–129). London: Palgrave Macmillan UK.

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. (2016, August 4). This “Temporary Tattoo” Tells You If You Are Too Drunk. 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). Analysis of NASA’s Supplemental FY 1979 Budget Request (No. PSAD-79-59). 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
Molina-Gutierrez, E. (2009). Keys to my home: A grant proposal project (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
Billard, M. (2013, October 31). The Wildness of Clothes, but Not for Fashion. New York Times, p. E6.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Bornens 2012).
This sentence cites two references (Affolter and Basler 2011; Bornens 2012).

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

  • Two authors: (Affolter and Basler 2011)
  • Three or more authors: (Meshorer 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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