How to format your references using the Visual Informatics citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Visual Informatics. 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
Xu, X., 2010. Journal club. A palaeontologist considers the evolution of birds’ mechanism of breathing. Nature 464, 961.
A journal article with 2 authors
Jiang, P., Beauchamp, G.K., 2014. Evolution. Sensing nectar’s sweetness. Science 345, 878–879.
A journal article with 3 authors
Richard, D., Clanet, C., Quéré, D., 2002. Contact time of a bouncing drop. Nature 417, 811.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Weixlbaumer, A., Jin, H., Neubauer, C., Voorhees, R.M., Petry, S., Kelley, A.C., Ramakrishnan, V., 2008. Insights into translational termination from the structure of RF2 bound to the ribosome. Science 322, 953–956.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Noar, J., 2014. Interceptive Orthodontics. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Oxford, UK.
An edited book
Xanthopoulos, T. (Ed.), 2009. Clocking in Modern VLSI Systems, Integrated Circuits and Systems. Springer US, Boston, MA.
A chapter in an edited book
Kalliomäki, M., Salminen, S., Isolauri, E., 2008. Positive Interactions with the Microbiota: Probiotics, in: Huffnagle, G.B., Noverr, M.C. (Eds.), GI Microbiota and Regulation of the Immune System, Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology. Springer, New York, NY, pp. 57–66.

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 Visual Informatics.

Blog post
Andrew, E., 2015. Forest Loss Has Halved In The Past 30 Years, Latest Global Update Shows [WWW Document]. IFLScience. URL (accessed 10.30.18).


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, 1998. Tax Systems Modernization: Blueprint Is a Good Start But Not Yet Sufficiently Complete to Build or Acquire Systems (No. AIMD/GGD-98-54). U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Ratliff, D.J., 2009. Teen parenting curriculum: A grant proposal project (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
Kenigsberg, B., 2017. Left on Purpose. New York Times C9.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Xu, 2010).
This sentence cites two references (Jiang and Beauchamp, 2014; Xu, 2010).

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

  • Two authors: (Jiang and Beauchamp, 2014)
  • Three or more authors: (Weixlbaumer et al., 2008)

About the journal

Full journal titleVisual Informatics
ISSN (print)2468-502X

Other styles