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
Montgomery, S. (2004). Of towers, walls, and fields: perspectives on language in science. Science (New York, N.Y.), 303(5662), 1333–1335.
A journal article with 2 authors
Deuss, A., & Woodhouse, J. (2001). Seismic observations of splitting of the mid-transition zone discontinuity in Earth’s mantle. Science (New York, N.Y.), 294(5541), 354–357.
A journal article with 3 authors
Carpenter, S. J., Erickson, J. M., & Holland, F. D., Jr. (2003). Migration of a Late Cretaceous fish. Nature, 423(6935), 70–74.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Brown, M., Assen, F. P., Leithner, A., Abe, J., Schachner, H., Asfour, G., et al. (2018). Lymph node blood vessels provide exit routes for metastatic tumor cell dissemination in mice. Science (New York, N.Y.), 359(6382), 1408–1411.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Vitale, J., & Len, I. H. (2008). Zero Limits. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Smeets, B. (2008). Beginning Google Web Toolkit: From Novice to Professional. (U. Boness & R. Bankras, Eds.). Berkeley, CA: Apress.
A chapter in an edited book
Froehlich, J., Larson, E., Saba, E., Campbell, T., Atlas, L., Fogarty, J., & Patel, S. (2011). A Longitudinal Study of Pressure Sensing to Infer Real-World Water Usage Events in the Home. In K. Lyons, J. Hightower, & E. M. Huang (Eds.), Pervasive Computing: 9th International Conference, Pervasive 2011, San Francisco, USA, June 12-15, 2011. Proceedings (pp. 50–69). 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
Fang, J. (2015, March 2). Top Predators Limit Their Own Numbers. 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. (1987). ADP Budget: Information on Two IRS Computer Projects (No. IMTEC-87-26FS). 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
Saldivar, N. (2014). Understanding the impact of AB-12 on the child welfare workforce (Doctoral dissertation). California State University, Long Beach, Long Beach, CA.

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
Vecsey, G. (2011, May 29). Torre’s Gift to All Fathers: Frank Talk About Prostate Cancer. New York Times, p. SP2.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Montgomery 2004).
This sentence cites two references (Deuss and Woodhouse 2001; Montgomery 2004).

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

  • Two authors: (Deuss and Woodhouse 2001)
  • Three or more authors: (Brown et al. 2018)

About the journal

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

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