How to format your references using the Learning and Instruction citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Learning and Instruction. 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.
EndNoteDownload the output style file
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
Armbrust, E. V. (2009). The life of diatoms in the world’s oceans. Nature, 459(7244), 185–192.
A journal article with 2 authors
Poliakoff, M., & Anastas, P. (2001). A principled stance. Nature, 413(6853), 257.
A journal article with 3 authors
Schirle, N. T., Sheu-Gruttadauria, J., & MacRae, I. J. (2014). Structural basis for microRNA targeting. Science (New York, N.Y.), 346(6209), 608–613.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Mojić, M., Bogdanović Pristov, J., Maksimović-Ivanić, D., Jones, D. R., Stanić, M., Mijatović, S., & Spasojević, I. (2014). Extracellular iron diminishes anticancer effects of vitamin C: an in vitro study. Scientific Reports, 4, 5955.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Singleton, T. W., & Singleton, A. J. (2010). Fraud Auditing and Forensic Accounting. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Sardanelli, F. (2008). Biostatistica in Radiologia: Progettare, realizzare e scrivere un lavoro scientifico radiologico. (G. D. Leo, Ed.). Milano: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Jiles, R., Klevens, M., & Hughes, E. (2014). Surveillance and Seroepidemiology. In R. A. Kaslow, L. R. Stanberry, & J. W. Le Duc (Eds.), Viral Infections of Humans: Epidemiology and Control (pp. 63–79). Boston, MA: 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 Learning and Instruction.

Blog post
Fang, J. (2014, April 22). Make Your Own Graphene With Just a Blender. 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. (2006). Offshoring in Six Human Services Programs: Offshoring Occurs in Most States, Primarily in Customer Service and Software Development (No. GAO-06-342). 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
Prietto, M. (2015). No place like home: The problem and the promise of the home psychotherapy office (Doctoral dissertation). Pacifica Graduate Institute, Carpinteria, CA.

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
Kelly, C. (2008, May 18). Over the Years, It Feels Right at Home. New York Times, p. LI4.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Armbrust, 2009).
This sentence cites two references (Armbrust, 2009; Poliakoff & Anastas, 2001).

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

  • Two authors: (Poliakoff & Anastas, 2001)
  • Three authors: (Schirle, Sheu-Gruttadauria, & MacRae, 2014)
  • 6 or more authors: (Mojić et al., 2014)

About the journal

Full journal titleLearning and Instruction
AbbreviationLearn. Instr.
ISSN (print)0959-4752
ScopeDevelopmental and Educational Psychology

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