How to format your references using the Information Systems citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Information Systems. 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
T.-P. Sun, Plant Science. Sex and the single fern, Science. 346 (2014) 423–424.
A journal article with 2 authors
M.E. Raymo, P. Huybers, Unlocking the mysteries of the ice ages, Nature. 451 (2008) 284–285.
A journal article with 3 authors
F.S. Ahrestani, M. Hebblewhite, E. Post, The importance of observation versus process error in analyses of global ungulate populations, Sci. Rep. 3 (2013) 3125.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
K.S. Novoselov, A.K. Geim, S.V. Morozov, D. Jiang, Y. Zhang, S.V. Dubonos, I.V. Grigorieva, A.A. Firsov, Electric field effect in atomically thin carbon films, Science. 306 (2004) 666–669.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
M.A. Levin, T.T. Kalal, Improving Product Reliability, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK, 2005.
An edited book
O.R. Norton, Field Guide to Meteors and Meteorites, Springer, London, 2008.
A chapter in an edited book
E.B. Paz, M. Ceccarelli, J.E. Otero, J.L.M. Sanz, Medieval Machines and Mechanisms, in: M. Ceccarelli, J. Echávarri Otero, J.L. Muñoz Sanz (Eds.), A Brief Illustrated History of Machines and Mechanisms, Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht, 2010: pp. 65–90.

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 Systems.

Blog post
E. Andrew, Boy Born Without Eyes, Nose, or Jaw Undergoes Life-Changing Surgery, IFLScience. (2015). (accessed October 30, 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, Highway Trust Fund: Condition and Outlook for the Highway Account, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 1989.

Theses and dissertations

Theses including Ph.D. dissertations, Master's theses or Bachelor theses follow the basic format outlined below.

Doctoral dissertation
D. Gogri, Effect of Water Hardness on Adsorption of Lead From Aqueous Solutions Using Douglas Fir Biochar, Doctoral dissertation, Mississippi State University, 2017.

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
M. Kelly, Hillary Clinton Visits Capitol In Vivid Display of Her Clout, New York Times. (1993) A1.

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by sequential numbers in square brackets:

This sentence cites one reference [1].
This sentence cites two references [1,2].
This sentence cites four references [1–4].

About the journal

Full journal titleInformation Systems
AbbreviationInf. Syst.
ISSN (print)0306-4379
ScopeHardware and Architecture
Information Systems

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