How to format your references using the Smart Learning Environments citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Smart Learning Environments. 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
J. Liechty, Nature 484, 143 (2012).
A journal article with 2 authors
R. S. Cha and N. Kleckner, Science 297, 602 (2002).
A journal article with 3 authors
K. J. Walsh, D. C. Richardson, and P. Michel, Nature 454, 188 (2008).
A journal article with 4 or more authors
K. L.-C. Wang, H. Yoshida, C. Lurin, and J. R. Ecker, Nature 428, 945 (2004).

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
K. H. Wolf and R. Barnes, VoIP Emergency Calling (John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK, 2010).
An edited book
J. A. Roth, editor , Gene-Based Therapies for Cancer (Springer, New York, NY, 2010).
A chapter in an edited book
B. Pini, P. McDonald, and J. Bartlett, in Visual Research Methods in Educational Research, edited by J. Moss and B. Pini (Palgrave Macmillan UK, London, 2016), pp. 59–71.

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 Smart Learning Environments.

Blog post
K. Hamilton, IFLScience (2015).


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, Follow-up National Survey of Cable Television Rates and Services (U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 1990).

Theses and dissertations

Theses including Ph.D. dissertations, Master's theses or Bachelor theses follow the basic format outlined below.

Doctoral dissertation
C. L. Millar, Re-Specting Graffiti: Transgression at Play in Art, Language, and Ritual, Doctoral dissertation, Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2010.

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
M. W. Walsh, New York Times B3 (2016).

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Liechty 2012).
This sentence cites two references (Cha and Kleckner 2002; Liechty 2012).

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

  • Two authors: (Cha and Kleckner 2002)
  • Three or more authors: (Wang et al. 2004)

About the journal

Full journal titleSmart Learning Environments
AbbreviationSmart Learn. Environ.
ISSN (online)2196-7091

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