How to format your references using the Research in Science Education citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Research in Science Education. 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.
EndNoteFind the style here: output styles overview
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
Keitt, T. H. (2008). Coherent ecological dynamics induced by large-scale disturbance. Nature, 454(7202), 331–334.
A journal article with 2 authors
Yan, J., & Aldrich, R. W. (2010). LRRC26 auxiliary protein allows BK channel activation at resting voltage without calcium. Nature, 466(7305), 513–516.
A journal article with 3 authors
Holmes, E. A., Craske, M. G., & Graybiel, A. M. (2014). Psychological treatments: A call for mental-health science. Nature, 511(7509), 287–289.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Harvey, C. D., Yasuda, R., Zhong, H., & Svoboda, K. (2008). The spread of Ras activity triggered by activation of a single dendritic spine. Science (New York, N.Y.), 321(5885), 136–140.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Putt, A. (2006). Putt’s Law & the Successful Technocrat. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Ralchenko, Y. (Ed.). (2016). Modern Methods in Collisional-Radiative Modeling of Plasmas (1st ed. 2016., Vol. 90). Cham: Springer International Publishing.
A chapter in an edited book
Maghazil, A., & Yellowlees, P. (2014). Novel Approaches to Clinical Care in Mental Health: From Asynchronous Telepsychiatry to Virtual Reality. In M. Lech, I. Song, P. Yellowlees, & J. Diederich (Eds.), Mental Health Informatics (pp. 57–78). 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 Research in Science Education.

Blog post
Andrew, E. (2014, March 7). Read a Novel in 90 Minutes With A Smartphone App. IFLScience. IFLScience. 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. (2000). Intellectual Property: Deposits of Biological Materials in Support of Certain Patent Applications (No. GAO-01-49). 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
Bowmar, J. S. (2012). Building Energy Efficiency and Resilience in the United States, One Disaster at a Time: Fostering Green Building Principles through Disaster Assistance (Doctoral dissertation). George Washington University, Washington, DC.

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
Sisario, B. (2016, August 26). An Industry Fractured. New York Times, p. B1.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Keitt 2008).
This sentence cites two references (Keitt 2008; Yan and Aldrich 2010).

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

  • Two authors: (Yan and Aldrich 2010)
  • Three or more authors: (Harvey et al. 2008)

About the journal

Full journal titleResearch in Science Education
AbbreviationRes. Sci. Educ.
ISSN (print)0157-244X
ISSN (online)1573-1898

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