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
Ober, Christopher K. 2002. “Self-Assembly. Persistence Pays Off.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 296: 859–861.
A journal article with 2 authors
Smith, Isaac B., and John W. Holt. 2010. “Onset and Migration of Spiral Troughs on Mars Revealed by Orbital Radar.” Nature 465: 450–453.
A journal article with 3 authors
Bai, Suo, Qi Xu, and Yong Qin. 2013. “Vibration Driven Vehicle Inspired from Grass Spike.” Scientific Reports 3: 1851.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Jia, Yuechen, Chen Cheng, Javier R. Vázquez de Aldana, Gabriel R. Castillo, Blanca del Rosal Rabes, Yang Tan, Daniel Jaque, and Feng Chen. 2014. “Monolithic Crystalline Cladding Microstructures for Efficient Light Guiding and Beam Manipulation in Passive and Active Regimes.” Scientific Reports 4: 5988.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Keegan, Karl D. 2008. Biotechnology Valuation. Oxford, UK: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
An edited book
Yalcin, Suayib, and Kjell Öberg, eds. 2015. Neuroendocrine Tumours: Diagnosis and Management. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Cho, Eun Jeong, Manjula Rajendran, and Andrew D. Ellington. 2005. “Aptamers as Emerging Probes for Macromolecular Sensing.” In Advanced Concepts in Fluorescence Sensing: Part B: Macromolecular Sensing. Ed. Chris D. Geddes and Joseph R. Lakowicz. 127–155. Boston, MA: Springer US.

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
Andrew, Danielle. 2015. “Is Masturbation Good For You?” 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. 2007. Air Traffic Control: FAA Reports Progress in System Acquisitions, but Changes in Performance Measurement Could Improve Usefulness of Information. 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
Flores, Elizabeth. 2010. “An Exploratory Study on Widows’ Experiences Following the Loss of Their Spouse.” Doctoral dissertation, Long Beach, CA: California State University, Long Beach.

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
Yablonsky, Linda. 2010. “Art and Action.” 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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