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
Amelino-Camelia, G. (2007). Theoretical physics: walk the Planck. Nature, 448(7151), 257.
A journal article with 2 authors
Nahrendorf, M., & Swirski, F. K. (2015). Immunology. Neutrophil-macrophage communication in inflammation and atherosclerosis. Science (New York, N.Y.), 349(6245), 237–238.
A journal article with 3 authors
Tseng, C.-H., Gobell, J. L., & Sperling, G. (2004). Long-lasting sensitization to a given colour after visual search. Nature, 428(6983), 657–660.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Balili, R., Hartwell, V., Snoke, D., Pfeiffer, L., & West, K. (2007). Bose-Einstein condensation of microcavity polaritons in a trap. Science (New York, N.Y.), 316(5827), 1007–1010.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Center for Chemical Process Safety. (2014). Guidelines for Determining the Probability of Ignition of a Released Flammable Mass. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Krantz, S. G. (2014). A Mathematical Odyssey: Journey from the Real to the Complex. (H. R. Parks, Ed.). Boston, MA: Springer US.
A chapter in an edited book
Lun, Y. H. V., Lai, K.-H., Wong, C. W. Y., & Cheng, T. C. E. (2016). Development of a Green Shipping Network. In K.-H. Lai, C. W. Y. Wong, & T. C. E. Cheng (Eds.), Green Shipping Management (pp. 61–76). Cham: 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 Motivation.

Blog post
O`Callaghan, J. (2015, September 9). NASA’s Upcoming Europa Mission May Include A Lander. Retrieved October 30, 2018, from


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. (2006). Gas Pipeline Safety: Preliminary Observations on the Implementation of the Integrity Management Program (No. GAO-06-588T). Washington, DC: 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
Lieberman, V. (2012). One yard shy of empowerment: Cinematic portrayals of female athletes (Doctoral dissertation). Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL.

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
Quain, J. R. (2016, October 13). One Day, Cars Will Connect With Your Fridge and Your Heart. New York Times, p. B5.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Amelino-Camelia, 2007).
This sentence cites two references (Amelino-Camelia, 2007; Nahrendorf & Swirski, 2015).

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

  • Two authors: (Nahrendorf & Swirski, 2015)
  • Three authors: (Tseng, Gobell, & Sperling, 2004)
  • 6 or more authors: (Balili, Hartwell, Snoke, Pfeiffer, & West, 2007)

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