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
Bardeen, C. (2011). Physics. Exciton quenching and migration in single conjugated polymers. Science (New York, N.Y.), 331(6017), 544–545.
A journal article with 2 authors
Safinya, C. R., & Li, Y. (2010). Materials science. Bundling with x-rays. Science (New York, N.Y.), 327(5965), 529–530.
A journal article with 3 authors
Chandrappa, G. T., Steunou, N., & Livage, J. (2002). Materials chemistry: macroporous crystalline vanadium oxide foam. Nature, 416(6882), 702.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Yuan, H., Besselink, R., Liao, Z., & Ten Elshof, J. E. (2014). The swelling transition of lepidocrocite-type protonated layered titanates into anatase under hydrothermal treatment. Scientific reports, 4, 4584.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Yan, S. Y. (2012). Computational Number Theory and Modern Cryptography. Fusionopolis Walk, Singapore: John Wiley & Sons Singapore Pte. Ltd.
An edited book
Carroll, J. M. (Ed.). (2014). Innovative Practices in Teaching Information Sciences and Technology: Experience Reports and Reflections. Cham: Springer International Publishing.
A chapter in an edited book
Postorino, V., & Mazzone, L. (2016). Feeding and Eating Disorders and Autism Spectrum Disorder. In L. Mazzone & B. Vitiello (Eds.), Psychiatric Symptoms and Comorbidities in Autism Spectrum Disorder (pp. 67–78). 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 Instructional Science.

Blog post
Fang, J. (2014, June 5). Magnetic Fields Can Be As Strong As Black Holes’ Gravity. 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. (2011). Intercity Passenger Rail: Recording Clearer Reasons for Awards Decisions Would Improve Otherwise Good Grantmaking Practices (No. GAO-11-283). 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
Abdeljaber, S. R. (2015). High school mathematics teachers’ perceptions of mathematics education in northwest Florida (Doctoral dissertation). University of Phoenix, Phoenix, AZ.

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
Kishkovsky, S. (2007, July 20). Dmitri Prigov, 66, Poet Who Challenged Soviet Authority. New York Times, p. A21.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Bardeen 2011).
This sentence cites two references (Bardeen 2011; Safinya and Li 2010).

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

  • Two authors: (Safinya and Li 2010)
  • Three or more authors: (Yuan et al. 2014)

About the journal

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

Other styles