How to format your references using the International Journal of General Systems citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for International Journal of General 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.
EndNoteDownload the output style file
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
Farrar, Jeremy. 2012. “H5N1 Surveillance: Shift Expertise to Where It Matters.” Nature 483 (7391): 534–535.
A journal article with 2 authors
Li, Gang, and Zhe-Xi Luo. 2006. “A Cretaceous Symmetrodont Therian with Some Monotreme-like Postcranial Features.” Nature 439 (7073): 195–200.
A journal article with 3 authors
Houchmandzadeh, Bahram, Eric Wieschaus, and Stanislas Leibler. 2002. “Establishment of Developmental Precision and Proportions in the Early Drosophila Embryo.” Nature 415 (6873): 798–802.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Abe, Ryoji, Hee-Jin Jeong, Dai Arakawa, Jinhua Dong, Hiroyuki Ohashi, Rena Kaigome, Fujio Saiki, Kyosuke Yamane, Hiroaki Takagi, and Hiroshi Ueda. 2014. “Ultra Q-Bodies: Quench-Based Antibody Probes That Utilize Dye-Dye Interactions with Enhanced Antigen-Dependent Fluorescence.” Scientific Reports 4 (April): 4640.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Chu, Pong P. 2006. RTL Hardware Design Using VHDL. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Hussain, D. M. Akbar, Abdul Qadeer Khan Rajput, Bhawani Shankar Chowdhry, and Quintin Gee, eds. 2009. Wireless Networks, Information Processing and Systems: International Multi Topic Conference, IMTIC 2008 Jamshoro, Pakistan, April 11-12, 2008 Revised Selected Papers. Vol. 20. Communications in Computer and Information Science. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Chevitarese, Daniel Salles, Dilza Szwarcman, and Marley Vellasco. 2012. “Speeding Up the Training of Neural Networks with CUDA Technology.” In Artificial Intelligence and Soft Computing: 11th International Conference, ICAISC 2012, Zakopane, Poland, April 29-May 3, 2012, Proceedings, Part I, edited by Leszek Rutkowski, Marcin Korytkowski, Rafał Scherer, Ryszard Tadeusiewicz, Lotfi A. Zadeh, and Jacek M. Zurada, 30–38. Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Berlin, Heidelberg: 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 International Journal of General Systems.

Blog post
Davis, Josh. 2017. “The Maya Civilization May Have Experienced Two Declines Before Collapsing Forever.” IFLScience. IFLScience.


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. 1977. Efforts of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare and the Department of Labor to Develop and Issue Health Standards. 101950. 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
Walker, Doshie. 2017. “University Research Adminstrators’ Perception of Incivility and the Relationship to Employee Engagement.” Doctoral dissertation, Phoenix, AZ: University of Phoenix.

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
Craig, Susanne. 2016. “Trump’s Brand Gets Lift From Aging Air Fleet.” New York Times, April 24.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Farrar 2012).
This sentence cites two references (Farrar 2012; Li and Luo 2006).

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

  • Two authors: (Li and Luo 2006)
  • Three authors: (Houchmandzadeh, Wieschaus, and Leibler 2002)
  • 4 or more authors: (Abe et al. 2014)

About the journal

Full journal titleInternational Journal of General Systems
AbbreviationInt. J. Gen. Syst.
ISSN (print)0308-1079
ISSN (online)1563-5104
ScopeComputer Science Applications
Information Systems
Control and Systems Engineering
Modelling and Simulation
Theoretical Computer Science

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