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
Simonton, D. K. (2013). After Einstein: Scientific genius is extinct. Nature, 493(7434), 602.
A journal article with 2 authors
Greening, B. R., & Fefferman, N. H. (2014). Evolutionary significance of the role of family units in a broader social system. Scientific Reports, 4, 3608.
A journal article with 3 authors
Cordier, P., Amodeo, J., & Carrez, P. (2012). Modelling the rheology of MgO under Earth’s mantle pressure, temperature and strain rates. Nature, 481(7380), 177–180.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Vandergoes, M. J., Newnham, R. M., Preusser, F., Hendy, C. H., Lowell, T. V., Fitzsimons, S. J., Hogg, A. G., Kasper, H. U., & Schlüchter, C. (2005). Regional insolation forcing of late Quaternary climate change in the Southern Hemisphere. Nature, 436(7048), 242–245.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Chen, C. J. (2011). Physics of Solar Energy. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Özcan, A., Zizka, J., & Nagamalai, D. (Eds.). (2011). Recent Trends in Wireless and Mobile Networks: Third International Conferences, WiMo 2011 and CoNeCo 2011, Ankara, Turkey, June 26-28, 2011. Proceedings (Vol. 162). Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Shayler, D. J., & Harland, D. M. (2016). Simulating servicing. In D. M. Harland (Ed.), The Hubble Space Telescope: From Concept to Success (pp. 190–245). 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 Learning and Instruction.

Blog post
Andrew, E. (2014, May 19). Origins of Human Heart Beat Traced Back One Billion Years. 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. (1976). FEA Procurement of Automatic Data Processing Services (B-178205.52). 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
Kinney, C. E. (2009). Realtime controller tuning for periodic disturbance rejection with application to active noise control [Doctoral dissertation]. University of California San Diego.

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
Joy, S. (2014, November 27). Who’s That (Cool) Girl? New York Times, E11.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Simonton, 2013).
This sentence cites two references (Greening & Fefferman, 2014; Simonton, 2013).

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

  • Two authors: (Greening & Fefferman, 2014)
  • Three authors: (Cordier et al., 2012)
  • 6 or more authors: (Vandergoes et al., 2005)

About the journal

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

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