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
Poffenroth, M. (2015). My liberation through science. Science (New York, N.Y.), 347(6217), 98.
A journal article with 2 authors
Sawamiphak, S., & Stainier, D. Y. R. (2014). Developmental biology: It takes muscle to make blood cells. Nature, 512(7514), 257–258.
A journal article with 3 authors
Giovannoni, S., Temperton, B., & Zhao, Y. (2013). Giovannoni et al. reply. Nature, 499(7459), E4-5.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Perez-Garcia, V., Fineberg, E., Wilson, R., Murray, A., Mazzeo, C. I., Tudor, C., Sienerth, A., White, J. K., Tuck, E., Ryder, E. J., Gleeson, D., Siragher, E., Wardle-Jones, H., Staudt, N., Wali, N., Collins, J., Geyer, S., Busch-Nentwich, E. M., Galli, A., … Hemberger, M. (2018). Placentation defects are highly prevalent in embryonic lethal mouse mutants. Nature, 555(7697), 463–468.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Mubarak, S. (2010). Construction Project Scheduling and Control. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Boeyens, J. C. A., & Comba, P. (Eds.). (2013). Electronic Structure and Number Theory: Bohr’s Boldest Dream (Vol. 148). Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Prieto, P. A., Prieto, P. A., & Hall, C. A. S. (2013). Methods: Calculating the Energy Output. The Energy Returned (ER or E out). In C. A. S. Hall (Ed.), Spain’s Photovoltaic Revolution: The Energy Return on Investment (pp. 47–60). 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 Play Therapy.

Blog post
Fang, J. (2015, October 8). Pigeons Wearing Eye Patches Must Learn New Routes Home. 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. (1970). Controls Over Computer-Generated Output at the Naval Supply Center, Oakland (092817). 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
Dusso, A. P. (2010). The psychology of institutional development: How parties’ willingness to accept risk affects the districts they draw and the seats they win [Doctoral dissertation]. George Washington 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
Shear, M. D., Thrush, G., & Haberman, M. (2017, July 31). Ex-General Leads Broad Shake-Up At White House. New York Times, A1.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Poffenroth, 2015).
This sentence cites two references (Poffenroth, 2015; Sawamiphak & Stainier, 2014).

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

  • Two authors: (Sawamiphak & Stainier, 2014)
  • Three authors: (Giovannoni et al., 2013)
  • 6 or more authors: (Perez-Garcia et al., 2018)

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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