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
Eisenstein, M. (2012). Pregnancy: Delivery from breast cancer. Nature, 485(7400), S54.
A journal article with 2 authors
Shannon, M. F., & Rao, S. (2002). Transcription. Of chips and ChIPs. Science (New York, N.Y.), 296(5568), 666–669.
A journal article with 3 authors
Zhang, J., Lu, H., & Huang, L. (2014). Calciphytoliths (calcium oxalate crystals) analysis for the identification of decayed tea plants (Camellia sinensis L.). Scientific Reports, 4, 6703.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Lee, P. N., Callaerts, P., De Couet, H. G., & Martindale, M. Q. (2003). Cephalopod Hox genes and the origin of morphological novelties. Nature, 424(6952), 1061–1065.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Derbyshire, E. (2011). Nutrition in the Childbearing Years. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
An edited book
Öchsner, A. (2013). One-Dimensional Finite Elements: An Introduction to the FE Method (M. Merkel, Ed.). Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Quashigah, A. Y. (2014). Why Teach Social Studies from a Global and Multicultural Perspective? In A. Asabere-Ameyaw, J. Anamuah-Mensah, G. S. Dei, & K. Raheem (Eds.), Indigenist African Development and Related Issues: Towards a Transdisciplinary Perspective (pp. 65–77). SensePublishers.

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
Andrew, D. (2017, May 20). How To Fix All Of Your Sleep Problems With Science. 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). Freight Transportation: Strategies Needed to Address Planning and Financing Limitations (GAO-04-165). 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
Joseph, O. W. (2009). A study of the effectiveness of mentor roles in a rural school district [Doctoral dissertation]. University of Maryland, College Park.

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
Schilling, M. K. (2017, April 10). Mother of Invention. New York Times, M2114.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Eisenstein, 2012).
This sentence cites two references (Eisenstein, 2012; Shannon & Rao, 2002).

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

  • Two authors: (Shannon & Rao, 2002)
  • Three authors: (Zhang et al., 2014)
  • 6 or more authors: (Lee et al., 2003)

About the journal

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

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