How to format your references using the Instructional Science citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Instructional Science. 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
Brock, D. W. (2002). Human cloning and our sense of self. Science (New York, N.Y.), 296(5566), 314–316.
A journal article with 2 authors
Enserink, M., & Chin, G. (2015). The end of privacy. Introduction. Science (New York, N.Y.), 347(6221), 490–491.
A journal article with 3 authors
Ribeiro, B., Perra, N., & Baronchelli, A. (2013). Quantifying the effect of temporal resolution on time-varying networks. Scientific reports, 3, 3006.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Shaffer, P. L., Goehring, A., Shankaranarayanan, A., & Gouaux, E. (2009). Structure and mechanism of a Na+-independent amino acid transporter. Science (New York, N.Y.), 325(5943), 1010–1014.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
“MAX” Maxfield, C., & Brown, A. (2005). The Definitive Guide to How Computers Do Math. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Blanchard, P., & Fröhlich, J. (Eds.). (2015). The Message of Quantum Science: Attempts Towards a Synthesis (Vol. 899). Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Ambler, S. W. (2008). Tailoring Usability into Agile Software Development Projects. In E. L.-C. Law, E. T. Hvannberg, & G. Cockton (Eds.), Maturing Usability: Quality in Software, Interaction and Value (pp. 75–95). 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 Instructional Science.

Blog post
Carpineti, A. (2016, September 28). Martian Volcanism May Have Shaped A Region As Big As North America. 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. (1996). Transportation Issue Area: Active Assignments (No. AA-96-18(1)). 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
O’Neil, D. M. (2013). Climate frequencies of the early Holocene from Foy Lake, Montana (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
Pilon, M. (2014, February 17). Honing Their Chances With Photos and Wit. New York Times, p. D6.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Brock 2002).
This sentence cites two references (Brock 2002; Enserink and Chin 2015).

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

  • Two authors: (Enserink and Chin 2015)
  • Three or more authors: (Shaffer et al. 2009)

About the journal

Full journal titleInstructional Science
AbbreviationInstr. Sci.
ISSN (print)0020-4277
ISSN (online)1573-1952
ScopeDevelopmental and Educational Psychology

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