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 (Inf Retrieval). 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
Agarwal, V. K. (2000). “Diamond ceiling” for asian americans. Science (New York, N.Y.), 290(5499), 2075a.
A journal article with 2 authors
Langer, R., & Tirrell, D. A. (2004). Designing materials for biology and medicine. Nature, 428(6982), 487–492.
A journal article with 3 authors
Babaev, E., Sudbø, A., & Ashcroft, N. W. (2004). A superconductor to superfluid phase transition in liquid metallic hydrogen. Nature, 431(7009), 666–668.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Merchant, R. R., Edwards, J. T., Qin, T., Kruszyk, M. M., Bi, C., Che, G., et al. (2018). Modular radical cross-coupling with sulfones enables access to sp3-rich (fluoro)alkylated scaffolds. Science (New York, N.Y.), 360(6384), 75–80.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Kääriäinen, T., Cameron, D., Kääriäinen, M.-L., & Sherman, A. (2013). Atomic Layer Deposition. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Madhavan, G., Oakley, B., & Kun, L. (Eds.). (2008). Career Development in Bioengineering and Biotechnology: Roads Well Laid and Paths Less Traveled. New York, NY: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Humphreys, H., Winter, B., & Paul, M. (2013). Microbiology Laboratory Diagnosis of Infection. In B. Winter & M. Paul (Eds.), Infections in the Adult Intensive Care Unit (pp. 43–54). London: 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 Information Retrieval Journal.

Blog post
Andrew, D. (2017, March 15). Seven Things To Keep In Mind If You’re Going To March For Science. 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. (2016). Federal Research Grants: Opportunities Remain for Agencies to Streamline Administrative Requirements (No. GAO-16-573). 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
Frederick, K. (2009). Wool and Water (Doctoral dissertation). Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL.

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
Gustines, G. G. (2014, March 3). Archie Comic Picks Film and TV Writer for Top Creative Post. New York Times, p. B3.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Cho 2008).
This sentence cites two references (Endersby 2009; McCabe 2000).

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

  • Two authors: (Langer and Tirrell 2004)
  • Three or more authors: (Colantonio et al. 2009)

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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