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
Livingston, David M. 2009. “Cancer. Complicated Supercomplexes.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 324 (5927): 602–603.
A journal article with 2 authors
Wilson, Lionel, and James W. Head Iii. 2007. “An Integrated Model of Kimberlite Ascent and Eruption.” Nature 447 (7140): 53–57.
A journal article with 3 authors
Mani, Ankur, Iyad Rahwan, and Alex Pentland. 2013. “Inducing Peer Pressure to Promote Cooperation.” Scientific Reports 3: 1735.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Ohki, Kenichi, Sooyoung Chung, Prakash Kara, Mark Hübener, Tobias Bonhoeffer, and R. Clay Reid. 2006. “Highly Ordered Arrangement of Single Neurons in Orientation Pinwheels.” Nature 442 (7105): 925–928.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Chandru, Vijay, and John Hooker. 1999. Optimization Methods for Logical Inference. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Kuflik, Tsvi, Shlomo Berkovsky, Francesca Carmagnola, Dominikus Heckmann, and Antonio Krüger, eds. 2009. Advances in Ubiquitous User Modelling: Revised Selected Papers. Vol. 5830. Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Bosso, Nicola, Maksym Spiryagin, Antonio Gugliotta, and Aurelio Somà. 2013. “Design of Scaled Roller Rigs.” In Mechatronic Modeling of Real-Time Wheel-Rail Contact, edited by Maksym Spiryagin, Antonio Gugliotta, and Aurelio Somà, 37–54. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.

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
Luntz, Stephen. 2014. “Is ‘Free Will’ Just The Result Of Background Noise In The Brain?” 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. 2014. Whistleblower Protection Program: Opportunities Exist for OSHA and DOT to Strengthen Collaborative Mechanisms. GAO-14-286. 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
Slade, Shiree Wharton. 2010. “The Complexity of Leading in the 21st Century: A Case Study of a Successful Charter School in an Urban School District.” Doctoral dissertation, Washington, DC: George Washington 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
Otis, John. 2016. “Young Mother Sees Education as a Path to Help Her Daughter.” New York Times, November 29.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Livingston 2009).
This sentence cites two references (Livingston 2009; Wilson and Head 2007).

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

  • Two authors: (Wilson and Head 2007)
  • Three authors: (Mani, Rahwan, and Pentland 2013)
  • 4 or more authors: (Ohki et al. 2006)

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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