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
Maxmen, Amy. 2015. Animal behaviour: Come mate with me. Nature 526: S8-10.
A journal article with 2 authors
Boehr, David D., and Peter E. Wright. 2008. Biochemistry. How do proteins interact? Science (New York, N.Y.) 320: 1429–1430.
A journal article with 3 authors
Lederer, W. Jonathan, Brian M. Hagen, and Guiling Zhao. 2012. Cell biology. Superresolution subspace signaling. Science (New York, N.Y.) 336: 546–547.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Klajn, Rafal, Kyle J. M. Bishop, Marcin Fialkowski, Maciej Paszewski, Christopher J. Campbell, Timothy P. Gray, and Bartosz A. Grzybowski. 2007. Plastic and moldable metals by self-assembly of sticky nanoparticle aggregates. Science (New York, N.Y.) 316: 261–264.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Boyd, Robert K., Cecilia Basic, and Robert A. Bethem. 2008. Trace Quantitative Analysis by Mass Spectrometry. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
An edited book
Giannakopoulou, Dimitra, and Gwen Salaün, ed. 2014. Software Engineering and Formal Methods: 12th International Conference, SEFM 2014, Grenoble, France, September 1-5, 2014. Proceedings. Vol. 8702. Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Cham: Springer International Publishing.
A chapter in an edited book
McCown, Donald, Diane Reibel, and Marc S. Micozzi. 2010. The Skills of the Teacher. In Teaching Mindfulness: A Practical Guide for Clinicians and Educators, ed. Diane Reibel and Marc S. Micozzi, 103–134. New York, NY: 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
Davis, Josh. 2015. Many Endangered Species Doing Too Well For Their Own Good. IFLScience. IFLScience. June 2.


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. 1998. APHIS: Solid Wood Packing Material From China. OGC-99-2. 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
Tan, Chunli. 2014. Conceptualizing Psychological History: Edgar Allan Poe and the Themes of the Normal and the Pathological, Life and Death. Doctoral dissertation, Edwardsville, IL: Southern Illinois University.

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
Burghardt, Linda F. 2006. Nunley’s Carousel Comes Full Circle. New York Times, January 8.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Maxmen 2015).
This sentence cites two references (Boehr and Wright 2008; Maxmen 2015).

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

  • Two authors: (Boehr and Wright 2008)
  • Three or more authors: (Klajn et al. 2007)

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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