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

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for International Journal of Play. 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
Smaglik, P. (2005). Closing the gap. Nature, 433(7023), 335.
A journal article with 2 authors
Santner, A., & Estelle, M. (2009). Recent advances and emerging trends in plant hormone signalling. Nature, 459(7250), 1071–1078.
A journal article with 3 authors
Moran, N. A., McLaughlin, H. J., & Sorek, R. (2009). The dynamics and time scale of ongoing genomic erosion in symbiotic bacteria. Science (New York, N.Y.), 323(5912), 379–382.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Kilpatrick, C. D., Foley, R. J., Kasen, D., Murguia-Berthier, A., Ramirez-Ruiz, E., Coulter, D. A., Drout, M. R., Piro, A. L., Shappee, B. J., Boutsia, K., Contreras, C., Di Mille, F., Madore, B. F., Morrell, N., Pan, Y.-C., Prochaska, J. X., Rest, A., Rojas-Bravo, C., Siebert, M. R., … Ulloa, N. (2017). Electromagnetic evidence that SSS17a is the result of a binary neutron star merger. Science (New York, N.Y.), 358(6370), 1583–1587.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Stanoyevitch, A. (2004). Introduction to Numerical Ordinary and Partial Differential Equations Using MATLAB®. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Molva, R., Tsudik, G., & Westhoff, D. (Eds.). (2005). Security and Privacy in Ad-hoc and Sensor Networks: Second European Workshop, ESAS 2005, Visegrad, Hungary, July 13-14, 2005. Revised Selected Papers (Vol. 3813). Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Chaudhry, A., & Musani, M. H. (2015). Utilization of CCTA for Structural Diseases. In E. J. Feldmann & M. Poon (Eds.), Clinical Pearls in Diagnostic Cardiac Computed Tomographic Angiography (pp. 123–163). 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 International Journal of Play.

Blog post
Andrew, E. (2015, April 17). What Can Beagles Teach Us About Alzheimer’s Disease? 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. (2014). Medicare Part D: CMS Has Implemented Processes to Oversee Plan Finder Pricing Accuracy and Improve Website Usability (GAO-14-143). 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
Galvan, R. (2015). A mixed-methods study of mathematics and science achievement of refugee students in homogeneous and heterogeneous groups [Doctoral dissertation]. Capella University.

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
Kenigsberg, B. (2017, August 31). Viceroy’s House. New York Times, C9.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Smaglik, 2005).
This sentence cites two references (Santner & Estelle, 2009; Smaglik, 2005).

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

  • Two authors: (Santner & Estelle, 2009)
  • Three authors: (Moran et al., 2009)
  • 6 or more authors: (Kilpatrick et al., 2017)

About the journal

Full journal titleInternational Journal of Play
AbbreviationInt. J. Play
ISSN (print)2159-4937
ISSN (online)2159-4953

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