How to format your references using the Synthese citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Synthese. 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
Savage, N. (2013). Photonics: Trick of the light. Nature, 495(7440), S8-9.
A journal article with 2 authors
Hezel, D. C., & Russell, S. S. (2008). Comment on “ancient asteroids enriched in refractory inclusions.” Science (New York, N.Y.), 322(5904), 1050; author reply 1050.
A journal article with 3 authors
Rolland-Lagan, A.-G., Bangham, J. A., & Coen, E. (2003). Growth dynamics underlying petal shape and asymmetry. Nature, 422(6928), 161–163.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Doshi, P., Cohen, I., Zhang, W. W., Siegel, M., Howell, P., Basaran, O. A., & Nagel, S. R. (2003). Persistence of memory in drop breakup: the breakdown of universality. Science (New York, N.Y.), 302(5648), 1185–1188.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Dodson, B., Hammett, P. C., & Klerx, R. (2014). Probabilistic Design for Optimization and Robustness for Engineers. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
An edited book
Lember, V., Kattel, R., & Kalvet, T. (Eds.). (2014). Public Procurement, Innovation and Policy: International Perspectives. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Kwiecien, G. J. (2015). Fallopian Tube Anastomosis. In M. Z. Siemionow (Ed.), Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: Experimental Models and Research Designs (pp. 39–43). London: 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 Synthese.

Blog post
Evans, K. (2016, October 28). World’s Largest Marine Protected Area Declared In Antarctica. 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. (1994). European Aeronautics: Strong Government Presence in Industry Structure and Research and Development Support (No. NSIAD-94-71). 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
Ademiluyi, C. A. (2010). Felony disenfranchisement and how it contributes to the Black electorate (Doctoral dissertation). California State University, Long Beach, Long Beach, 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
Rothenberg, B. (2016, September 4). Hip Injury Forces Kyrgios to Withdraw; Journeyman Challenges Murray. New York Times, p. SP8.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Savage 2013).
This sentence cites two references (Hezel and Russell 2008; Savage 2013).

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

  • Two authors: (Hezel and Russell 2008)
  • Three or more authors: (Doshi et al. 2003)

About the journal

Full journal titleSynthese
ISSN (print)0039-7857
ISSN (online)1573-0964
General Social Sciences

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