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
Kaplan, K. (2009). Personnel dilemma. Nature, 458(7236), 372–373.
A journal article with 2 authors
Trachenko, K., & Brazhkin, V. V. (2013). Duality of liquids. Scientific Reports, 3, 2188.
A journal article with 3 authors
Depine, G. V., Andronicos, C. L., & Phipps-Morgan, J. (2008). Near-isothermal conditions in the middle and lower crust induced by melt migration. Nature, 452(7183), 80–83.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Beste, C., Stock, A.-K., Ness, V., Hoffmann, R., Lukas, C., & Saft, C. (2013). A novel cognitive-neurophysiological state biomarker in premanifest Huntington’s disease validated on longitudinal data. Scientific Reports, 3, 1797.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Noordenbos, G. (2013). Recovery from Eating Disorders. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
An edited book
Luo, Y. (Ed.). (2015). Cooperative Design, Visualization, and Engineering: 12th International Conference, CDVE 2015, Mallorca, Spain, September 20-23, 2015. Proceedings (Vol. 9320). Springer International Publishing.
A chapter in an edited book
Bücker, J. (2014). Cultural Intelligence as a Key Construct for Global Talent Management. In A. Al Ariss (Ed.), Global Talent Management: Challenges, Strategies, and Opportunities (pp. 65–78). 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 Learning and Instruction.

Blog post
Taub, B. (2016, November 22). Incredible Photos Show Uncontacted Amazonian Tribe Living Perilously Close To Illegal Miners. 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. (2003). DOD Business Systems Modernization: Important Progress Made to Develop Business Enterprise Architecture, but Much Work Remains (GAO-03-1018). 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
Polk, R. L. (2015). Examining students with disabilities in a linked learning pathway [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
Pilon, M., & Longman, J. (2014, October 31). Elite Marathoner’s Failed Test Is Another Setback for Kenya. New York Times, D1.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Kaplan, 2009).
This sentence cites two references (Kaplan, 2009; Trachenko & Brazhkin, 2013).

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

  • Two authors: (Trachenko & Brazhkin, 2013)
  • Three authors: (Depine et al., 2008)
  • 6 or more authors: (Beste et al., 2013)

About the journal

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

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