How to format your references using the Machine Learning citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Machine Learning. 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.
EndNoteFind the style here: output styles overview
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
Basko, D. (2011). Applied physics. A photothermoelectric effect in graphene. Science (New York, N.Y.), 334(6056), 610–611.
A journal article with 2 authors
Stein, S., & Okal, E. A. (2005). Seismology: speed and size of the Sumatra earthquake. Nature, 434(7033), 581–582.
A journal article with 3 authors
Mitchell, K. J., Cooper, A., & Phillips, M. J. (2015). Comment on “Whole-genome analyses resolve early branches in the tree of life of modern birds.” Science (New York, N.Y.), 349(6255), 1460.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Schmidt, D. N., Thierstein, H. R., Bollmann, J., & Schiebel, R. (2004). Abiotic forcing of plankton evolution in the Cenozoic. Science (New York, N.Y.), 303(5655), 207–210.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Willatzen, M., & Lew Yan Voon, L. C. (2011). Separable Boundary-Value Problems in Physics. Weinheim, Germany: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.
An edited book
Agarwal, R. (2014). Dynamic Inequalities On Time Scales. (D. O’Regan & S. Saker, Eds.). Cham: Springer International Publishing.
A chapter in an edited book
Yao, J., & Huang, Z.-Q. (2016). Hybrid Fracture Model. In Z.-Q. Huang (Ed.), Fractured Vuggy Carbonate Reservoir Simulation (pp. 189–207). Berlin, Heidelberg: 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 Machine Learning.

Blog post
Andrew, E. (2015, July 14). There’s A Seismic Disaster Building That Will Devastate The Pacific Northwest. IFLScience. IFLScience. Accessed 30 October 2018


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. (2015). Information Technology: Additional Actions and Oversight Urgently Needed to Reduce Waste and Improve Performance in Acquisitions and Operations (No. GAO-15-675T). 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
Zoino, J. J. (2017). Field Methods, Sampling Strategies, Historical Documents, and Data Redundancy: A Study of Historic Tenant Farmsteads in Leflore County, Mississippi (Doctoral dissertation). Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS.

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
Liptak, A., & Wines, M. (2017, May 15). Justices Thwart Strict Voter ID Law That Unevenly Hurt Blacks. New York Times, p. A1.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Basko 2011).
This sentence cites two references (Basko 2011; Stein and Okal 2005).

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

  • Two authors: (Stein and Okal 2005)
  • Three or more authors: (Schmidt et al. 2004)

About the journal

Full journal titleMachine Learning
AbbreviationMach. Learn.
ISSN (print)0885-6125
ISSN (online)1573-0565
ScopeArtificial Intelligence

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