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
Spielman, I. B. (2015). Physics. Assembling a complex quantum ensemble. Science (New York, N.Y.), 348(6231), 185–186.
A journal article with 2 authors
Rauschecker, J. P., & Shannon, R. V. (2002). Sending sound to the brain. Science (New York, N.Y.), 295(5557), 1025–1029.
A journal article with 3 authors
Gillis, A. J., Schuller, A. P., & Skordalakes, E. (2008). Structure of the Tribolium castaneum telomerase catalytic subunit TERT. Nature, 455(7213), 633–637.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Sigmundsson, F., Hreinsdóttir, S., Hooper, A., Arnadóttir, T., Pedersen, R., Roberts, M. J., Oskarsson, N., Auriac, A., Decriem, J., Einarsson, P., Geirsson, H., Hensch, M., Ofeigsson, B. G., Sturkell, E., Sveinbjörnsson, H., & Feigl, K. L. (2010). Intrusion triggering of the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull explosive eruption. Nature, 468(7322), 426–430.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
de Gyurky, S. M. (2006). The Cognitive Dynamics of Computer Science. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Flower, D. R., & Perrie, Y. (Eds.). (2013). Immunomic Discovery of Adjuvants and Candidate Subunit Vaccines (Vol. 5). Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
de Menezes, M. V., do Lago Pereira, S., & de Barros, L. N. (2010). System Design Modification with Actions. In A. C. da Rocha Costa, R. M. Vicari, & F. Tonidandel (Eds.), Advances in Artificial Intelligence – SBIA 2010: 20th Brazilian Symposium on Artificial Intelligence, São Bernardo do Campo, Brazil, October 23-28, 2010. Proceedings (pp. 31–40). 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
Andrews, R. (2015, November 3). Archeologists Find Ancient Human Engravings From The End Of The Ice Age. 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. (2012). Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education: Survey of Federal Programs (GAO-12-110SP, January 2012), an E-supplement to GAO-12-108 (GAO-12-110SP). 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
Onal, B. (2015). RFID feasibility study for check-out stations at supermarkets [Doctoral dissertation]. Southern Illinois University.

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
Wagner, J. (2017, July 25). Kershaw Could Be Out as Long as Six Weeks. New York Times, B12.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Spielman, 2015).
This sentence cites two references (Rauschecker & Shannon, 2002; Spielman, 2015).

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

  • Two authors: (Rauschecker & Shannon, 2002)
  • Three authors: (Gillis et al., 2008)
  • 6 or more authors: (Sigmundsson et al., 2010)

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)

Other styles