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
Brown, G. C. (2003). Cell biology. NO says yes to mitochondria. Science (New York, N.Y.), 299(5608), 838–839.
A journal article with 2 authors
Sriskantharajah, S., & Ley, S. C. (2010). Cell biology. Turning off inflammation signaling. Science (New York, N.Y.), 327(5969), 1093–1094.
A journal article with 3 authors
Dominguez, G., Wilkins, G., & Thiemens, M. H. (2011). The Soret effect and isotopic fractionation in high-temperature silicate melts. Nature, 473(7345), 70–73.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Freeth, T., Jones, A., Steele, J. M., & Bitsakis, Y. (2008). Calendars with Olympiad display and eclipse prediction on the Antikythera Mechanism. Nature, 454(7204), 614–617.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Chen, K. (2015). Performance Evaluation by Simulation and Analysis with Applications to Computer Networks. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Eachempati, S. R., & Reed, R. L., II (Eds.). (2015). Acute Cholecystitis (1st ed. 2015.). Cham: Springer International Publishing.
A chapter in an edited book
Toranzo, C. S., Errecalde, M., & Ferretti, E. (2014). On the Use of Agreement Technologies for Multi-criteria Decision Making within a BDI Agent. In A. L. C. Bazzan & K. Pichara (Eds.), Advances in Artificial Intelligence -- IBERAMIA 2014: 14th Ibero-American Conference on AI, Santiago de Chile, Chile, November 24-27, 2014, Proceedings (pp. 54–65). 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, December 24). Ancient Rock Offers New Clues About Past Habitability of Mars. 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. (2009). Telecommunications: Long-Term Strategic Vision Would Help Ensure Targeting of E-rate Funds to Highest-Priority Uses (No. GAO-09-253). 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
Sefrit, J. (2008). A study of the effectiveness of a school district’s mentoring /professional development plan for beginning teachers (Doctoral dissertation). Lindenwood University, St. Charles, MO.

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, July 22). Roosevelt District on Mend With Acting Schools Chief. New York Times, p. LI13.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Brown 2003).
This sentence cites two references (Brown 2003; Sriskantharajah and Ley 2010).

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

  • Two authors: (Sriskantharajah and Ley 2010)
  • Three or more authors: (Freeth et al. 2008)

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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