How to format your references using the Music Theory Spectrum citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Music Theory Spectrum. 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.
EndNoteDownload the output style file
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
Aguzzi, Adriano. 2014. “Neurodegeneration: Alzheimer’s Disease under Strain.” Nature 512: 32–34.
A journal article with 2 authors
Shapiro, Nikolai M., and Ivan Koulakov. 2015. “Geophysics. Probing the Underbelly of a Supervolcano.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 348: 758–759.
A journal article with 3 authors
Xi, Zhiyong, Cynthia C. H. Khoo, and Stephen L. Dobson. 2005. “Wolbachia Establishment and Invasion in an Aedes Aegypti Laboratory Population.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 310: 326–328.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Asadi, Mohammad, Baharak Sayahpour, Pedram Abbasi, Anh T. Ngo, Klas Karis, Jacob R. Jokisaari, Cong Liu, et al. 2018. “A Lithium-Oxygen Battery with a Long Cycle Life in an Air-like Atmosphere.” Nature 555: 502–506.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Manuele, Fred A. 2007. Advanced Safety Management Focusing on Z10 and Serious Injury Prevention. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Akiyama, Iwaki, ed. 2009. Acoustical Imaging. Vol. 29. Acoustical Imaging. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands.
A chapter in an edited book
Stanilov, Kiril. 2007. “The Restructuring of Non-Residential Uses in the Post-Socialist Metropolis.” In The Post-Socialist City: Urban Form and Space Transformations in Central and Eastern Europe after Socialism. Ed. Kiril Stanilov. 73–99. The GeoJournal Library. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands.

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 Music Theory Spectrum.

Blog post
Fang, Janet. 2015. “Link Between Secondhand Smoke and Childhood Eczema Found.” IFLScience. IFLScience Available at <> (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. 1973. Revisions Needed in Financial Management Policies of the Federal Government’s Automatic Data Processing Fund. 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
Alexander, Melissa. 2009. “Reasoning Processes Used by Paramedics to Solve Clinical Problems.” Doctoral dissertation, Washington, DC: George Washington 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
Crow, Kelly. 2002. “Some Merchants Tire of Going Hollywood.” New York Times.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference Aguzzi (2014)..
This sentence cites two references Aguzzi (2014); Shapiro and Koulakov (2015)..

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

  • Two authors:
  • Three authors:
  • 4 or more authors: Asadi et al. (2018).

About the journal

Full journal titleMusic Theory Spectrum
AbbreviationMusic Theory Spectr.
ISSN (print)0195-6167
ISSN (online)1533-8339

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