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
Barbier, Edward B. 2014. Economics: Account for depreciation of natural capital. Nature 515: 32–33.
A journal article with 2 authors
De La Cruz, E. M., and T. D. Pollard. 2001. Structural biology. Actin’ up. Science (New York, N.Y.) 293: 616–618.
A journal article with 3 authors
Basch, Martín L., Marianne Bronner-Fraser, and Martín I. García-Castro. 2006. Specification of the neural crest occurs during gastrulation and requires Pax7. Nature 441: 218–222.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Kaiser, Brett K., Daesong Yim, I-Ting Chow, Segundo Gonzalez, Zhenpeng Dai, Henning H. Mann, Roland K. Strong, Veronika Groh, and Thomas Spies. 2007. Disulphide-isomerase-enabled shedding of tumour-associated NKG2D ligands. Nature 447: 482–486.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Lundberg, Ulf, and Cary L. Cooper. 2010. The Science of Occupational Health. Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.
An edited book
Allaria, Biagio, ed. 2012. Practical Issues in Anesthesia and Intensive Care. Milano: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Kersten, Rody, Bernard van Gastel, Manu Drijvers, Sjaak Smetsers, and Marko van Eekelen. 2013. Using Model-Checking to Reveal a Vulnerability of Tamper-Evident Pairing. In NASA Formal Methods: 5th International Symposium, NFM 2013, Moffett Field, CA, USA, May 14-16, 2013. Proceedings, ed. Guillaume Brat, Neha Rungta, and Arnaud Venet, 63–77. 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
Andrew, Elise. 2014. Injecting Bacteria Can Shrink Tumors. IFLScience. IFLScience. August 14.


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. 2010. Preliminary Observations on the Potential Effects of the Proposed Performance Rights Act on the Recording and Broadcast Radio Industries. GAO-10-428R. 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
Roberson, Benjamin N. 2013. Motivation towards learning perceived in Socratic seminar versus traditional lecture. Doctoral dissertation, Malibu, CA: Pepperdine 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
Billard, Mary. 2010. Scouting Report. New York Times, October 7.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Barbier 2014).
This sentence cites two references (De La Cruz and Pollard 2001; Barbier 2014).

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

  • Two authors: (De La Cruz and Pollard 2001)
  • Three or more authors: (Kaiser 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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