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
Stan, Rodica. 2014. “The Borders I Crossed.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 345 (6204): 1650.
A journal article with 2 authors
Ghezzi, Ivan, and Clive Ruggles. 2007. “Chankillo: A 2300-Year-Old Solar Observatory in Coastal Peru.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 315 (5816): 1239–1243.
A journal article with 3 authors
Medina, Pedro P., Mona Nolde, and Frank J. Slack. 2010. “OncomiR Addiction in an in Vivo Model of MicroRNA-21-Induced Pre-B-Cell Lymphoma.” Nature 467 (7311): 86–90.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Sorrells, Shawn F., Mercedes F. Paredes, Arantxa Cebrian-Silla, Kadellyn Sandoval, Dashi Qi, Kevin W. Kelley, David James, et al. 2018. “Human Hippocampal Neurogenesis Drops Sharply in Children to Undetectable Levels in Adults.” Nature 555 (7696): 377–381.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
King, Alfred M. 2011. Internal Control of Fixed Assets. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Hayat, M. A., ed. 2012. Stem Cells and Cancer Stem Cells, Volume 8: Therapeutic Applications in Disease and Injury. Vol. 8. Stem Cells and Cancer Stem Cells. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands.
A chapter in an edited book
Hellman, Deborah. 2013. “An Epistemic Defense of Precedent.” In Precedent in the United States Supreme Court, edited by Christopher J. Peters, 63–76. Ius Gentium: Comparative Perspectives on Law and Justice. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands.

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. 2015. “Google Will Provide An Entire Country With Internet Using Balloons.” 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. 1998. School Finance: State and Federal Efforts to Target Poor Students. HEHS-98-36. 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
Mbwiri, Francis I. 2017. “Remedial Math Instruction Intervention: Efficacy of Constructivist Practices on Alternative Students with Disabilities Mathematics Achievement.” Doctoral dissertation, Scottsdale, AZ: Northcentral University.

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. 2017. “An Everyman in Crisis.” New York Times, February 16.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Stan 2014).
This sentence cites two references (Stan 2014; Ghezzi and Ruggles 2007).

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

  • Two authors: (Ghezzi and Ruggles 2007)
  • Three authors: (Medina, Nolde, and Slack 2010)
  • 4 or more authors: (Sorrells et al. 2018)

About the journal

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

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