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

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Learning and Motivation. 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
Boland, J. (2014). Materials science: Diamond gets harder. Nature, 510(7504), 220–221.
A journal article with 2 authors
Park, H., & Crozier, K. B. (2013). Multispectral imaging with vertical silicon nanowires. Scientific Reports, 3, 2460.
A journal article with 3 authors
Harrington, J., Palethorpe, S., & Watson, C. I. (2000). Does the Queen speak the Queen’s English? Nature, 408(6815), 927–928.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Zhou, Y., Morais-Cabral, J. H., Kaufman, A., & MacKinnon, R. (2001). Chemistry of ion coordination and hydration revealed by a K+ channel-Fab complex at 2.0 A resolution. Nature, 414(6859), 43–48.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Camarillo, G., & García-Martín, M. A. (2005). The 3G IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS). John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
An edited book
Joseph, J. V., & Patel, H. R. H. (Eds.). (2011). Retroperitoneal Robotic and Laparoscopic Surgery: The Extraperitoneal Approach. Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Torras, C. (2005). Natural Inspiration for Artificial Adaptivity: Some Neurocomputing Experiences in Robotics. In C. S. Calude, M. J. Dinneen, G. Păun, M. J. Pérez-Jímenez, & G. Rozenberg (Eds.), Unconventional Computation: 4th International Conference, UC 2005, Sevilla, Spain, October 3 – 7, 2005. Proceedings (pp. 32–45). 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 Motivation.

Blog post
Fang, J. (2014, August 15). Sharks Keep Attacking Google’s Deep-Ocean Internet Cables. 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. (1999). Year 2000 Computing Challenge: Compliance Status Information on Biomedical Equipment (T-AIMD-00-26). 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
Battaglia, M. (2015). Presenting a pluralized past: Assessing the efficacy of multivocal, bison-themed lesson units as a public education and outreach strategy for archaeology [Doctoral dissertation]. University of Arizona.

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
Greenhouse, L. (2008, April 24). Court Hears Arguments on Burden of Proof in Age Suits. New York Times, A19.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Boland, 2014).
This sentence cites two references (Boland, 2014; Park & Crozier, 2013).

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

  • Two authors: (Park & Crozier, 2013)
  • Three authors: (Harrington et al., 2000)
  • 6 or more authors: (Zhou et al., 2001)

About the journal

Full journal titleLearning and Motivation
AbbreviationLearn. Motiv.
ISSN (print)0023-9690
ScopeDevelopmental and Educational Psychology
Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
Health(social science)

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