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
Irion, R., 2000. AAS HIGH-ENERGY ASTROPHYSICS DIVISION: X-rays Hit the Spot for Astrophysicists. Science 290, 1884–1885.
A journal article with 2 authors
Komatsu, T., Itino, T., 2014. Moth caterpillar solicits for homopteran honeydew. Sci. Rep. 4, 3922.
A journal article with 3 authors
Daviter, T., Murphy, F.V., 4th, Ramakrishnan, V., 2005. Molecular biology. A renewed focus on transfer RNA. Science 308, 1123–1124.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Xie, X., Li, Y., Liu, Z.-Q., Haruta, M., Shen, W., 2009. Low-temperature oxidation of CO catalysed by Co(3)O(4) nanorods. Nature 458, 746–749.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Bartley, T., 2011. Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Cancer. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK.
An edited book
Moy, G.G., Vannoort, R.W. (Eds.), 2013. Total Diet Studies. Springer, New York, NY.
A chapter in an edited book
Hazzan, O., Dubinsky, Y., 2008. Time Time Time, in: Dubinsky, Y. (Ed.), Agile Software Engineering, Undergraduate Topics in Computer Science. Springer, London, pp. 1–22.

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
Davis, J., 2015. Possible Major Advancement In Skin Cancer Treatment [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, 1986. ADP Acquisition: SEC Needs To Resolve Key Issues Before Proceeding With Its EDGAR System (No. IMTEC-87-2). 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
Bergemann, E., 2009. Exploring psychotherapist empathic attunement from a psychoneurobiological perspective: Is empathy enhanced by yoga and meditation? (Doctoral dissertation). Pacifica Graduate Institute, Carpinteria, 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
Mueller, B., Baker, A.L., 2017. Steep Drop in Gang Violence Pushed City Shootings Below 1,000 in 2016. New York Times A17.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Irion, 2000).
This sentence cites two references (Irion, 2000; Komatsu and Itino, 2014).

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

  • Two authors: (Komatsu and Itino, 2014)
  • Three or more authors: (Xie et al., 2009)

About the journal

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

Other styles