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
Nafie, Laurence A. 2013. “Physical Chemistry: Handedness Detected by Microwaves.” Nature 497: 446–448.
A journal article with 2 authors
Byers, John, and Stacey Dunn. 2013. “Response to Comments on ‘Bateman in Nature: Predation on Offspring Reduces the Potential for Sexual Selection.’” Science (New York, N.Y.) 340: 549.
A journal article with 3 authors
Ridgwell, Andy J., Martin J. Kennedy, and Ken Caldeira. 2003. “Carbonate Deposition, Climate Stability, and Neoproterozoic Ice Ages.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 302: 859–862.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Yin, Jian, Xue Han, Yanping Cao, and Conghua Lu. 2014. “Surface Wrinkling on Polydimethylsiloxane Microspheres via Wet Surface Chemical Oxidation.” Scientific Reports 4: 5710.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Piantadosi, Steven. 2005. Clinical Trials: A Methodologic Perspective. Wiley Series in Probability and Statistics. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Huang, He-Feng, and Jian-Zhong Sheng, eds. 2014. Gamete and Embryo-Fetal Origins of Adult Diseases. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands.
A chapter in an edited book
Tinós, Renato, and Shengxiang Yang. 2007. “Genetic Algorithms with Self-Organizing Behaviour in Dynamic Environments.” In Evolutionary Computation in Dynamic and Uncertain Environments. Ed. Shengxiang Yang, Yew-Soon Ong, and Yaochu Jin. 105–127. Studies in Computational Intelligence. 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 Music Theory Spectrum.

Blog post
Andrew, Elise. 2015. “Adorable New Species Of Peacock Spider Discovered.” 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. Aviation Security: TSA’s Staffing Allocation Model Is Useful for Allocating Staff among Airports, but Its Assumptions Should Be Systematically Reassessed. 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
Blumenfeld, Diana B. 2015. “Policy Making and the U.S. Response to Global HIV/AIDS.” 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
Wagner, James. 2017. “By Providing Power Off the Bench, Conforto Preserves Place on Mets’ Roster.” New York Times.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference Nafie (2013)..
This sentence cites two references Nafie (2013); Byers and Dunn (2013)..

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

  • Two authors:
  • Three authors:
  • 4 or more authors: Yin et al. (2014).

About the journal

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

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