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
Hapgood, M. (2012). Astrophysics: Prepare for the coming space weather storm. Nature, 484(7394), 311–313.
A journal article with 2 authors
Yang, X., & Su, H. (2014). Cuprate-like electronic properties in superlattices with Ag(II)F₂ square sheet. Scientific reports, 4, 5420.
A journal article with 3 authors
Cai, Y., Zhang, G., & Zhang, Y.-W. (2014). Layer-dependent band alignment and work function of few-layer phosphorene. Scientific reports, 4, 6677.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Chen, H.-T., Padilla, W. J., Zide, J. M. O., Gossard, A. C., Taylor, A. J., & Averitt, R. D. (2006). Active terahertz metamaterial devices. Nature, 444(7119), 597–600.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Simon, L., & Ospina, J. (2015). Closed-Form Solutions for Drug Transport through Controlled-Release Devices in Two and Three Dimensions. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Fritz, J. M., & Rhéaume, J. (Eds.). (2014). Community Intervention: Clinical Sociology Perspectives. New York, NY: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Kok, L. J. J., Poston, K., & Moore, G. (2011). Bombardier Aerospace FSW Demonstrator. In J. Komorowski (Ed.), ICAF 2011 Structural Integrity: Influence of Efficiency and Green Imperatives: Proceedings of the 26th Symposium of the International Committee on Aeronautical Fatigue, Montreal, Canada, 1-3 June 2011 (pp. 73–81). Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands.

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. (2016, April 25). Gene For Beak Size In Darwin’s Finches Identified. 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. (1995). Student Financial Aid: Data Not Fully Utilized to Identify Inappropriately Awarded Loans and Grants (No. HEHS-95-89). 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
Mackay, E. A. (2009). Title I funding allocation of reserve funds after increased standards for academic proficiency under the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (Doctoral dissertation). George Washington University, Washington, DC.

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
Brantley, B. (2017, April 17). Lost and Found in a Magic Tale of Nomads. New York Times, p. C5.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Hapgood 2012).
This sentence cites two references (Hapgood 2012; Yang and Su 2014).

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

  • Two authors: (Yang and Su 2014)
  • Three or more authors: (Chen et al. 2006)

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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