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
Mahadevan, M. S. (2010). Genetics. Exposing a DUX tale. Science (New York, N.Y.), 329(5999), 1607–1608.
A journal article with 2 authors
Saltiel, A. R., & Kahn, C. R. (2001). Insulin signalling and the regulation of glucose and lipid metabolism. Nature, 414(6865), 799–806.
A journal article with 3 authors
Meyron-Holtz, E. G., Ghosh, M. C., & Rouault, T. A. (2004). Mammalian tissue oxygen levels modulate iron-regulatory protein activities in vivo. Science (New York, N.Y.), 306(5704), 2087–2090.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Jiang, Q., Zhou, Z., Wang, L., Yang, C., Wang, J., Wu, T., & Song, L. (2014). Mutual modulation between norepinephrine and nitric oxide in haemocytes during the mollusc immune response. Scientific reports, 4, 6963.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Agachi, P. Ş., Nagy, Z. K., Cristea, M. V., & Imre-Lucaci, Á. (2006). Model Based Control. Weinheim, Germany: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.
An edited book
Townsend, T. G. (2015). Sustainable Practices for Landfill Design and Operation. (J. Powell, P. Jain, Q. Xu, T. Tolaymat, & D. Reinhart, Eds.). New York, NY: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Gilbert, C. (2009). Worldwide Causes of Blindness in Children. In M. E. Wilson, R. H. Trivedi, & R. A. Saunders (Eds.), Pediatric Ophthalmology: Current Thought and A Practical Guide (pp. 47–60). 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
Felton, J. (2017, June 5). Here’s How To Protect Your Privacy Online. 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. (1988). ADP Budget Analysis: SSA’s Information Systems Funding for Fiscal Years 1988 and 1989 (No. IMTEC-88-49). 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
Reynaldo, R. (2017). Healthcare Leaders Under the Age of 40 - Successful Strategies and Practices for Leading Healthcare Organizations (Doctoral dissertation). Pepperdine University, Malibu, CA.

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
de la MERCED, M. J. (2017, May 1). Atlanta Firm Lures Veteran Deal Maker Back to Law. New York Times, p. B5.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Mahadevan 2010).
This sentence cites two references (Mahadevan 2010; Saltiel and Kahn 2001).

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

  • Two authors: (Saltiel and Kahn 2001)
  • Three or more authors: (Jiang et al. 2014)

About the journal

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

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