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
Strober, W. (2006). Immunology. Unraveling gut inflammation. Science (New York, N.Y.), 313(5790), 1052–1054.
A journal article with 2 authors
Cosson, S., & Lutolf, M. P. (2014). Hydrogel microfluidics for the patterning of pluripotent stem cells. Scientific Reports, 4, 4462.
A journal article with 3 authors
Thommes, E. W., Matsumura, S., & Rasio, F. A. (2008). Gas disks to gas giants: simulating the birth of planetary systems. Science (New York, N.Y.), 321(5890), 814–817.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Luther, G. W., 3rd, Rozan, T. F., Taillefert, M., Nuzzio, D. B., Di Meo, C., Shank, T. M., Lutz, R. A., & Cary, S. C. (2001). Chemical speciation drives hydrothermal vent ecology. Nature, 410(6830), 813–816.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Minns, P., & Elliott, I. (2008). FSM-Based Digital Design Using Verilog HDL. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
An edited book
Hutton, R. (Ed.). (2016). Physical Evidence for Ritual Acts, Sorcery and Witchcraft in Christian Britain: A Feeling for Magic. Palgrave Macmillan UK.
A chapter in an edited book
Urbano, G., Porres, J. M., Frías, J., & Vidal-Valverde, C. (2007). Nutritional Value. In S. S. Yadav, D. L. McNeil, & P. C. Stevenson (Eds.), Lentil: An Ancient Crop for Modern Times (pp. 47–93). 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 International Journal of Play.

Blog post
Andrew, E. (2015, July 8). Heroin Use and Overdose Deaths Rising in the U.S. 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). Need for a Government-Wide Budget Classification Structure for Federal Research and Development Information (PAD-77-14). 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
Laird, E. C. (2012). Training social workers to use solution-focused interviewing with Child Protective Services clients: A grant proposal [Doctoral dissertation]. California State University, Long Beach.

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
Schwartz, J. (2017, April 15). Apologies. Really. And I Will Definitely Grow Up. New York Times, BU14.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Strober, 2006).
This sentence cites two references (Cosson & Lutolf, 2014; Strober, 2006).

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

  • Two authors: (Cosson & Lutolf, 2014)
  • Three authors: (Thommes et al., 2008)
  • 6 or more authors: (Luther et al., 2001)

About the journal

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

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