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
Levitin, C. 2000. “Russian PM Supports Science.” Nature 405: 384.
A journal article with 2 authors
Smetacek, Victor, and Stephen Nicol. 2005. “Polar Ocean Ecosystems in a Changing World.” Nature 437: 362–368.
A journal article with 3 authors
Roughgarden, Joan, Meeko Oishi, and Erol Akçay. 2006. “Reproductive Social Behavior: Cooperative Games to Replace Sexual Selection.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 311: 965–969.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Solomonov, Inna, Dalit Talmi-Frank, Yonat Milstein, Sefi Addadi, Anna Aloshin, and Irit Sagi. 2014. “Introduction of Correlative Light and AirSEMTM Microscopy Imaging for Tissue Research under Ambient Conditions.” Scientific Reports 4: 5987.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Zarbock, Gerhard, Siobhan Lynch, Axel Ammann, and Silka Ringer. 2014. Mindfulness for Therapists. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
An edited book
Sturgeon, Cord, ed. 2010. Endocrine Neoplasia. Vol. 153. 1st ed. Cancer Treatment and Research. Boston, MA: Springer US.
A chapter in an edited book
Scheffers, Anja M., and Dieter H. Kelletat. 2016. “Saline Lakes and Saltpans.” In Lakes of the World with Google Earth: Understanding Our Environment. Ed. Dieter H. Kelletat. 181–241. Coastal Research Library. 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
Hale, Tom. 2016. “What Is It Like To Dream If You’re Blind?” 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. 1984. The Unit Status and Identity Report (UNITREP) System--What It Does and Does Not Measure. 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
Best, Timothy F. 2014. “Evaluation of Effectiveness, Reproducibility, and Repeatability of Using Dentition for Estimating Cattle Age.” Doctoral dissertation, Mississippi State, MS: Mississippi State 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
Drape, Joe, Steve Eder, and Billy Witz. 2014. “Before Coming Out, a Hard Time Coming Up.” New York Times.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference Levitin (2000)..
This sentence cites two references Levitin (2000); Smetacek and Nicol (2005)..

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

  • Two authors:
  • Three authors:
  • 4 or more authors: Solomonov 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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