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
Ward, C., 2000. Regenesis. Nature 404, 708.
A journal article with 2 authors
Miller, G.T., Pitnick, S., 2002. Sperm-female coevolution in Drosophila. Science 298, 1230–1233.
A journal article with 3 authors
Zwaan, M.A., van Dokkum, P.G., Verheijen, M.A., 2001. Hydrogen 21-centimeter emission from a galaxy at cosmological distance. Science 293, 1800–1802.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Sundar, L.S., Singh, M.K., Ramana, E.V., Singh, B., Grácio, J., Sousa, A.C.M., 2014. Enhanced thermal conductivity and viscosity of nanodiamond-nickel nanocomposite nanofluids. Sci. Rep. 4, 4039.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Khanna, V.K., 2005. Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor IGBT Theory and Design. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ.
An edited book
Gordon, R., Seckbach, J. (Eds.), 2012. The Science of Algal Fuels: Phycology, Geology, Biophotonics, Genomics and Nanotechnology, Cellular Origin, Life in Extreme Habitats and Astrobiology. Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht.
A chapter in an edited book
Patton, W., McMahon, M., 2014. Theories Focusing on Content and Process, in: McMahon, M. (Ed.), Career Development and Systems Theory: Connecting Theory and Practice. SensePublishers, Rotterdam, pp. 95–120.

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. Why GM Food is so Hard to Sell to a Wary Public [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, 1977. S. 1490, a Bill To Authorize the Administrator of General Services To Enter Into Multiyear Leases Through Use of the Automatic Data Processing Fund Without Obligating the Total Anticipated Payments To Be Made Under Such Leases (No. FGMSD-77-48). 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
Kotamreddy, A., 2017. Design and Simulation of 16 Psk Super Regenerative Receiver (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
Alexander, K., 2001. The Day My Free Computer Music Died. New York Times 96.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Ward, 2000).
This sentence cites two references (Miller and Pitnick, 2002; Ward, 2000).

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

  • Two authors: (Miller and Pitnick, 2002)
  • Three or more authors: (Sundar et al., 2014)

About the journal

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

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