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
McClelland, James L. 2012. “Retrospective. R. Duncan Luce (1925-2012).” Science (New York, N.Y.) 337: 1619.
A journal article with 2 authors
Rushton, M. J. D., and A. Chroneos. 2014. “Impact of Uniaxial Strain and Doping on Oxygen Diffusion in CeO2.” Scientific Reports 4: 6068.
A journal article with 3 authors
Helled, Ravit, Eli Galanti, and Yohai Kaspi. 2015. “Saturn’s Fast Spin Determined from Its Gravitational Field and Oblateness.” Nature 520: 202–204.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Harris, Simon R., Edward J. Feil, Matthew T. G. Holden, Michael A. Quail, Emma K. Nickerson, Narisara Chantratita, Susana Gardete, et al. 2010. “Evolution of MRSA during Hospital Transmission and Intercontinental Spread.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 327: 469–474.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Crichton, Robert R., and Roberta J. Ward. 2006. Metal-Based Neurodegeneration. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
An edited book
Bock, Ralph, ed. 2007. Cell and Molecular Biology of Plastids. Vol. 19. Topics in Current Genetics. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Guedes, Elloá B., Francisco Marcos de Assis, and Rex A. C. Medeiros. 2016. “Classical Zero-Error Information Theory.” In Quantum Zero-Error Information Theory. Ed. Francisco Marcos de Assis and Rex A. C. Medeiros. 65–78. Cham: Springer International Publishing.

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. “Did Life Begin in the Holes of Hot Rocks on the Sea Floor?” 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. 2005. Space Shuttle: Status of NASA’s Efforts to Address Workforce Issues Related to the Space Shuttle’s Retirement. 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
Pence, Patricia L. 2010. “Emotional Intelligence, Motivation, and Retention among Undergraduate Students Attending Associate-Degree Nursing Programs in Illinois.” 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
Schmitt, Eric, and Linda Qiu. 2017. “Digging Into Argument For a Wall on the Border.” New York Times.

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text

About the journal

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

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