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
Goodenough, J. B. 2000. Oxide-ion conductors by design. Nature 404: 821, 823.
A journal article with 2 authors
Longo, Valter D., and Caleb E. Finch. 2003. Evolutionary medicine: from dwarf model systems to healthy centenarians? Science (New York, N.Y.) 299: 1342–1346.
A journal article with 3 authors
Mitchell, Jude F., Gene R. Stoner, and John H. Reynolds. 2004. Object-based attention determines dominance in binocular rivalry. Nature 429: 410–413.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Mehonic, A., A. Vrajitoarea, S. Cueff, S. Hudziak, H. Howe, C. Labbé, R. Rizk, M. Pepper, and A. J. Kenyon. 2013. Quantum conductance in silicon oxide resistive memory devices. Scientific reports 3: 2708.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Alberts, Bruce, Alexander Johnson, Julian Lewis, David Morgan, Martin Raff, Keith Roberts, and Peter Walter. 2017. Molekularbiologie der Zelle. Weinheim, Germany: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.
An edited book
Zajda, Joseph, and Holger Daun, ed. 2009. Global Values Education: Teaching Democracy and Peace. Vol. 7. Globalisation, Comparative Education and Policy Research. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands.
A chapter in an edited book
Komatsu, Takanori, Tomoki Iwaoka, and Misako Nambu. 2006. Leaving a Message with the PaPeRo Robot: The Effect of Interaction Experience with Real or Virtual PaPeRo on Impression Evaluation. In Entertainment Computing - ICEC 2006: 5th International Conference, Cambridge, UK, September 20-22, 2006. Proceedings, ed. Richard Harper, Matthias Rauterberg, and Marco Combetto, 37–42. Lecture Notes in Computer Science. 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 Metascience.

Blog post
Carpineti, Alfredo. 2015. Chicken Study Shows That Evolution Can Happen Quickly. IFLScience. IFLScience. October 28.


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. 2005. Federal Student Loan Repayment Program: OPM Could Build on Its Efforts to Help Agencies Administer the Program and Measure Results. GAO-05-762. 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
Kyereboah, Richard. 2015. Criteria For Appointing Board Members to Corporate Boards in Ghana. Doctoral dissertation, Phoenix, AZ: University of Phoenix.

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
Saslow, Linda. 2007. Nassau Coliseum Moves Closer to Renovation. New York Times, February 11.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Goodenough 2000).
This sentence cites two references (Goodenough 2000; Longo and Finch 2003).

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

  • Two authors: (Longo and Finch 2003)
  • Three or more authors: (Mehonic et al. 2013)

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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