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
Watts, S. (2014). Society needs more than wonder to respect science. Nature, 508(7495), 151.
A journal article with 2 authors
Lu, J., & Zuo, Y. (2015). Neuroscience: Forgetfulness illuminated. Nature, 525(7569), 324–325.
A journal article with 3 authors
Lassus, P., Opitz-Araya, X., & Lazebnik, Y. (2002). Requirement for caspase-2 in stress-induced apoptosis before mitochondrial permeabilization. Science (New York, N.Y.), 297(5585), 1352–1354.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Mann, M. E., Zhang, Z., Rutherford, S., Bradley, R. S., Hughes, M. K., Shindell, D., … Ni, F. (2009). Global signatures and dynamical origins of the Little Ice Age and Medieval Climate Anomaly. Science (New York, N.Y.), 326(5957), 1256–1260.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Chevallier, J., & Ielpo, F. (2013). The Economics of Commodity Markets. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
An edited book
Düsterhöft, A., Klettke, M., & Schewe, K.-D. (Eds.). (2012). Conceptual Modelling and Its Theoretical Foundations: Essays Dedicated to Bernhard Thalheim on the Occasion of His 60th Birthday (Vol. 7260). Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Kaushika, N. D., Reddy, K. S., & Kaushik, K. (2016). Conventional Energy and Power System. In K. S. Reddy & K. Kaushik (Eds.), Sustainable Energy and the Environment: A Clean Technology Approach (pp. 43–60). 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 International Journal of Play.

Blog post
Andrew, E. (2014, May 31). First Known Mass Extinction May Have Been Caused By Huge Volcanic Eruptions In Australia. Retrieved October 30, 2018, from


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. (1992). Telecommunications: Competition in the Cellular Telephone Service Industry (No. T-RCED-92-72). 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
Witt, S. R. (2017). A Study of the Relationship of Online Course Factors and Passing or Failing an Online Course (Doctoral dissertation). Capella University, Minneapolis, MN.

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
Gordon, M. R. (2017, September 1). Defense Secretary Says He Didn’t Contradict President. New York Times, p. A8.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Watts, 2014).
This sentence cites two references (Lu & Zuo, 2015; Watts, 2014).

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

  • Two authors: (Lu & Zuo, 2015)
  • Three authors: (Lassus, Opitz-Araya, & Lazebnik, 2002)
  • 6 or more authors: (Mann et al., 2009)

About the journal

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

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