How to format your references using the Metascience citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Metascience. 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
Pielke, Roger, Jr. 2011. John Marburger (1941-2011). Nature 476: 284.
A journal article with 2 authors
Wang, Xuanji, and Jeffrey R. Key. 2003. Recent trends in Arctic surface, cloud, and radiation properties from space. Science (New York, N.Y.) 299: 1725–1728.
A journal article with 3 authors
Cai, Long, Nir Friedman, and X. Sunney Xie. 2006. Stochastic protein expression in individual cells at the single molecule level. Nature 440: 358–362.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Murakami, Motohiko, Kei Hirose, Hisayoshi Yurimoto, Satoru Nakashima, and Naoto Takafuji. 2002. Water in Earth’s lower mantle. Science (New York, N.Y.) 295: 1885–1887.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Harte, Liam. 2013. Reading the Contemporary Irish Novel 1987-2007. Oxford, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
An edited book
Gero, John S., ed. 2014. Design Computing and Cognition ’12. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands.
A chapter in an edited book
Demchenko, Yuri, Canh Ngo, Cees de Laat, Diego R. Lopez, Antonio Morales, and Joan A. García-Espín. 2013. Security Infrastructure for Dynamically Provisioned Cloud Infrastructure Services. In Privacy and Security for Cloud Computing, ed. Siani Pearson and George Yee, 167–210. Computer Communications and Networks. London: 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 Metascience.

Blog post
Taub, Ben. 2016. South Africa Lifts Ban On Sale Of Rhino Horn. IFLScience. IFLScience. May 24.


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. 1978. Statement of the Contingent Liability of the U.S. Government. PAD-78-47. 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
Wang, Tricia. 2013. Talking to Strangers: Chinese Youth and Social Media. Doctoral dissertation, La Jolla, CA: University of California San Diego.

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
Kishkovsky, Sophia. 2005. Moscow: A Boom Town For Shiny New Theaters. New York Times, December 1.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Pielke 2011).
This sentence cites two references (Wang and Key 2003; Pielke 2011).

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

  • Two authors: (Wang and Key 2003)
  • Three or more authors: (Murakami et al. 2002)

About the journal

Full journal titleMetascience
ISSN (print)0815-0796
ISSN (online)1467-9981
History and Philosophy of Science
General Social Sciences

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