How to format your references using the Visual Studies citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Visual Studies. 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
Sarewitz, Daniel. 2010. “World View: Defending Democracy.” Nature 465 (7298): 546.
A journal article with 2 authors
Wulder, Michael A., and Nicholas C. Coops. 2014. “Satellites: Make Earth Observations Open Access.” Nature 513 (7516): 30–31.
A journal article with 3 authors
Bonsall, Michael B., Vincent A. A. Jansen, and Michael P. Hassell. 2004. “Life History Trade-Offs Assemble Ecological Guilds.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 306 (5693): 111–114.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Radovan, H. A., N. A. Fortune, T. P. Murphy, S. T. Hannahs, E. C. Palm, S. W. Tozer, and D. Hall. 2003. “Magnetic Enhancement of Superconductivity from Electron Spin Domains.” Nature 425 (6953): 51–55.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Vilensky, Joel A., Wendy M. Robertson, and Carlos A. Suárez-Quian. 2015. The Clinical Anatomy of the Cranial Nerves. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Chhieng, David C., and Gene P. Siegal, eds. 2005. Updates in Diagnostic Pathology. Vol. 563. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology. Boston, MA: Springer US.
A chapter in an edited book
Pieraccini, Roberto. 2010. “The Industry of Spoken-Dialog Systems and the Third Generation of Interactive Applications.” In Speech Technology: Theory and Applications, edited by Fang Chen, 61–77. Boston, MA: Springer US.

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 Studies.

Blog post
Andrew, Elise. 2014. “Philae Robot Makes Historic Landing On Comet.” IFLScience. IFLScience.


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. 2001. NASA: International Space Station and Shuttle Support Cost Limits. GAO-01-1000R. 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
Hasan, Syed Naveed. 2012. “Design and Optimization of 2012 Formula SAE Chassis with Finite Element Analysis for CSULB.” Doctoral dissertation, Long Beach, CA: California State University, Long Beach.

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
Brantley, Ben. 2016. “The Image Is Fixed, but Our Lives Are in Flux.” New York Times, March 24.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Sarewitz 2010).
This sentence cites two references (Sarewitz 2010; Wulder and Coops 2014).

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

  • Two authors: (Wulder and Coops 2014)
  • Three authors: (Bonsall, Jansen, and Hassell 2004)
  • 4 or more authors: (Radovan et al. 2003)

About the journal

Full journal titleVisual Studies
AbbreviationVis. Stud.
ISSN (print)1472-586X
ISSN (online)1472-5878
ScopeVisual Arts and Performing Arts
Cultural Studies

Other styles