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

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for International Journal of Play Therapy. 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
McKinney, J. C. (2012). Astronomy. Probing black hole gravity. Science (New York, N.Y.), 337(6097), 916–917.
A journal article with 2 authors
Gronke, K., & Diefenbach, A. (2015). Regenerative biology: Innate immunity repairs gut lining. Nature, 528(7583), 488–489.
A journal article with 3 authors
Stanger, B. Z., Tanaka, A. J., & Melton, D. A. (2007). Organ size is limited by the number of embryonic progenitor cells in the pancreas but not the liver. Nature, 445(7130), 886–891.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Tio, M., Udolph, G., Yang, X., & Chia, W. (2001). cdc2 links the Drosophila cell cycle and asymmetric division machineries. Nature, 409(6823), 1063–1067.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Yevick, D., & Yevick, H. (2014). Fundamental Math and Physics for Scientists and Engineers. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Quirk, S. (2009). Deep-Sky Video Astronomy (S. Massey, Ed.). Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Carr, L. P., & Nanni, A. J. (2009). Delivering Results Context. In A. J. Nanni Jr. (Ed.), Delivering Results: Managing What Matters (pp. 41–57). Springer US.

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 Therapy.

Blog post
Andrew, D. (2015, September 11). Check Out This Spectacular Photo Of The Grand Canyon. 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. (1989). Adolph T. Samuelson, 1946-1975 (OP-11-OH). 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
Carolina, D. S. (2009). A qualitative study of the healthcare experiences and health information acquisition of African American men [Doctoral dissertation]. 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
McKINLEY, J., & Mueller, B. (2015, June 10). 2 Escapees Still at Large Despite 450-Officer Hunt in Remote, Swampy Area. New York Times, A20.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (McKinney, 2012).
This sentence cites two references (Gronke & Diefenbach, 2015; McKinney, 2012).

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

  • Two authors: (Gronke & Diefenbach, 2015)
  • Three authors: (Stanger et al., 2007)
  • 6 or more authors: (Tio et al., 2001)

About the journal

Full journal titleInternational Journal of Play Therapy
AbbreviationInt. J. Play Ther.
ISSN (print)1555-6824
ISSN (online)1939-0629
ScopeClinical Psychology
Complementary and Manual Therapy

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