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
Nave, K.-A. (2010). Myelination and support of axonal integrity by glia. Nature, 468(7321), 244–252.
A journal article with 2 authors
Hartmann, D. L., & Hendon, H. H. (2007). Atmospheric science. Resolving an atmospheric enigma. Science (New York, N.Y.), 318(5857), 1731–1732.
A journal article with 3 authors
Miyazawa, A., Fujiyoshi, Y., & Unwin, N. (2003). Structure and gating mechanism of the acetylcholine receptor pore. Nature, 423(6943), 949–955.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Mao, J.-H., Kim, I.-J., Wu, D., Climent, J., Kang, H. C., DelRosario, R., & Balmain, A. (2008). FBXW7 targets mTOR for degradation and cooperates with PTEN in tumor suppression. Science (New York, N.Y.), 321(5895), 1499–1502.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Duchon, C., & Hale, R. (2012). Time Series Analysis in Meteorology and Climatology. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
An edited book
Nishizaki, I., & Sakawa, M. (Eds.). (2009). Cooperative and Noncooperative Multi-Level Programming (Vol. 48). Boston, MA: Springer US.
A chapter in an edited book
König, S., Schauer, S., & Rass, S. (2016). A Stochastic Framework for Prediction of Malware Spreading in Heterogeneous Networks. In B. B. Brumley & J. Röning (Eds.), Secure IT Systems: 21st Nordic Conference, NordSec 2016, Oulu, Finland, November 2-4, 2016. Proceedings (pp. 67–81). 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 Research in Science Education.

Blog post
Carpineti, A. (2017, February 14). New Material Can Turn Light, Heat, And Movement Into Electricity All At Once. 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. (1995). School Safety: Promising Initiatives for Addressing School Violence (No. HEHS-95-106). 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
Lovejoy, L. P. (2010). On the control of selective attention in the primate superior colliculus (Doctoral dissertation). University of California San Diego, La Jolla, 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
Hodgman, J. (2016, October 21). Bonus Advice From Judge John Hodgman. New York Times, p. MM20.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Nave 2010).
This sentence cites two references (Hartmann and Hendon 2007; Nave 2010).

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

  • Two authors: (Hartmann and Hendon 2007)
  • Three or more authors: (Mao 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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