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
Gilmore, G. (2004). Astronomy. The short spectacular life of a superstar. Science (New York, N.Y.), 304(5679), 1915–1916.
A journal article with 2 authors
Prather, M. J., & Hsu, J. (2010). Coupling of nitrous oxide and methane by global atmospheric chemistry. Science (New York, N.Y.), 330(6006), 952–954.
A journal article with 3 authors
Cai, Y., Zhang, G., & Zhang, Y.-W. (2014). Layer-dependent band alignment and work function of few-layer phosphorene. Scientific Reports, 4, 6677.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Kaliteevski, M. A., Ivanov, K. A., Pozina, G., & Gallant, A. J. (2014). Single and double bosonic stimulation of THz emission in polaritonic systems. Scientific Reports, 4, 5444.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Kaisler, S. H. (2005). Software Paradigms. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
André, E., Dybkjær, L., Minker, W., Neumann, H., Pieraccini, R., & Weber, M. (Eds.). (2008). Perception in Multimodal Dialogue Systems: 4th IEEE Tutorial and Research Workshop on Perception and Interactive Technologies for Speech-Based Systems, PIT 2008, Kloster Irsee, Germany, June 16-18, 2008. Proceedings (Vol. 5078). Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
James, K., Wipat, A., & Hallinan, J. (2009). Integration of Full-Coverage Probabilistic Functional Networks with Relevance to Specific Biological Processes. In N. W. Paton, P. Missier, & C. Hedeler (Eds.), Data Integration in the Life Sciences: 6th International Workshop, DILS 2009, Manchester, UK, July 20-22, 2009. Proceedings (pp. 31–46). 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. (2016, June 30). Why Should Mammal Dads Care? 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. (2006). Unmanned Aircraft Systems: Improved Planning and Acquisition Strategies Can Help Address Operational Challenges (GAO-06-610T). 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
Shirley, A. (2012). Connecting foster children with their siblings within a summer camp setting: A grant proposal [Doctoral dissertation]. California State University, Long Beach.

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
Hollander, S. (2009, April 12). The Fading of the Green. New York Times, CY1.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Gilmore, 2004).
This sentence cites two references (Gilmore, 2004; Prather & Hsu, 2010).

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

  • Two authors: (Prather & Hsu, 2010)
  • Three authors: (Cai et al., 2014)
  • 6 or more authors: (Kaliteevski et al., 2014)

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