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
Rocha, B. (2005). Comment on “Thymic origin of intestinal alphabeta T cells revealed by fate mapping of RORgammat+ cells.” Science (New York, N.Y.), 308(5728), 1553; author reply 1553.
A journal article with 2 authors
Madix, R. J., & Friend, C. M. (2011). Interfacial chemistry: gold’s enigmatic surface. Nature, 479(7374), 482–483.
A journal article with 3 authors
Navarro-González, R., McKay, C. P., & Mvondo, D. N. (2001). A possible nitrogen crisis for Archaean life due to reduced nitrogen fixation by lightning. Nature, 412(6842), 61–64.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Caron, J.-B., Scheltema, A., Schander, C., & Rudkin, D. (2006). A soft-bodied mollusc with radula from the Middle Cambrian Burgess Shale. Nature, 442(7099), 159–163.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Celant, G., & Broniatowski, M. (2017). Interpolation and Extrapolation Optimal Designs 2. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Albach, H., Meffert, H., Pinkwart, A., & Reichwald, R. (Eds.). (2015). Management of Permanent Change. Wiesbaden: Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden.
A chapter in an edited book
Shirwany, N. A., & Seidman, M. D. (2015). Antioxidants and Their Effect on Stress-Induced Pathology in the Inner Ear. In J. Miller, C. G. Le Prell, & L. Rybak (Eds.), Free Radicals in ENT Pathology (pp. 57–89). Cham: Springer International Publishing.

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
Andrew, E. (2014, October 28). Cocoa’s Flavanols Reverse Age-Related Memory Decline. 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. (1994). [Comments on EPA Authority to Exempt Clean-Fuel Vehicles from Transportation Control Measures] (No. B-255548). 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
Valencia, G. M. (2015). A Phenomenological Study of Adults Earning a Graduate Degree after Age 60 (Doctoral dissertation). University of California San Diego, La Jolla, 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
Saslow, L. (2007, April 22). After the Storm, a Sigh of Relief. New York Times, p. LI2.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Rocha 2005).
This sentence cites two references (Madix and Friend 2011; Rocha 2005).

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

  • Two authors: (Madix and Friend 2011)
  • Three or more authors: (Caron et al. 2006)

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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