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How to format and use a journal template for your research paper
When writing your research paper it is crucial to understand what format your target journal requires, and what journal template you should use (if one at all). Although many of our journals have the basic elements of style in common, each journal can have its own guidelines for formatting. This defines how an article will look when it is published online or in print.
Read on to find out how to format your research paper for submission to your target journal.
How to format your research paper.
Go to Taylor & Francis Online and search for the title of your chosen journal using the search bar.
Select the relevant journal and click on the instructions for authors tab.
Read your target journal’s instructions for authors, and find out about its formatting guidelines.
Below are a list of Word templates which can be used for many of our journals. Please download the relevant template and apply it to your research paper format.
Each version of the template has its own instructions file. Read the instructions to learn how to save and use the template.
Get familiar with the journal’s instructions for authors
Be prepared, speed up your submission, and make sure nothing is forgotten by understanding the journal’s individual requirements.
Using Taylor & Francis word templates for journal articles
Check to see which version of Word is installed on your computer
Read the instructions for the relevant version of the template in the list below
Download and save the template file to your computer
Apply these styles to your paper as appropriate
Taylor & Francis templates
Many Taylor & Francis journals allow format-free submission .
If you use a consistent citation format and include all the necessary information, you may be able to submit your work without worrying about formatting your manuscript.
To find out if your journal allows format-free submission, go to your journal’s homepage on Taylor & Francis Online .
Read the instructions for authors’ for your chosen journal to find out if it operates format-free submission.
Submitting your article format-free?
Read our guide for more information on how to submit your article format-free.
Other journal format options
Some of our journals accept manuscripts that use a LaTeX template.
Please check the instructions for authors on your chosen journal’s homepage on Taylor & Francis Online to know if LaTeX is an accepted format.
Your journal may provide a link to its specific template in the instructions for authors’ section of the journal’s homepage on Taylor & Francis Online.
If no template is provided, please contact us for advice.
What is LaTex?
LaTeX Templates defines it as a system producing high-quality professional documents, by using plain text markup language similar to HTML and CSS collated into a PDF document.
F1000Research publishes different article types offering flexibility in format and structure, although specific requirements may apply to some article types.
You can find out more about article type-specific instructions for submission with F1000Research in the F1000Research Article Guidelines .
To submit to F1000Research, your manuscript can be submitted as:
Word (DOC or DOCX)
Rich text format (RTF) files
ZIP files – if authored in LaTeX (the project ZIP file must include the PDF)
What is F1000Research?
This is an Open Research publishing platform offering rapid article publication and other research outputs without editorial bias.
Save time – let us help format your manuscript
Consider using expert editors to help you meet deadlines and make sure your manuscript complies to your target journal’s requirements.
Journal manuscript layout guide
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Guide to improve your submission experience
This document originally came from the Journal of Mammalogy courtesy of Dr. Ronald Barry, a former editor of the journal.
Journals, books & databases
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Prepare your article
How to write and structure an article for submission
← Previous: Choose the right journal
Next: The submission process →
These guidelines are relevant to all of our journals. Make sure that you check your chosen journal’s web pages for specific guidelines too.
On this page, find out how to prepare an article for publication in a Royal Society of Chemistry journal, and present your research clearly with all relevant information included.
How to write your article
Here you'll find guidance and tips for first-time and experienced authors on writing style and the best way to structure an article.
For help structuring and formatting your whole manuscript, choose one of these article templates .
For detailed information on acceptable formats for your figures, visit our section on Figures, graphics, images & cover artwork .
For a quick reference checklist to help you prepare a high quality article, download our ‘How to publish’ guide .
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Purdue Online Writing Lab Purdue OWL® College of Liberal Arts
Reference List: Author/Authors
Welcome to the Purdue OWL
This page is brought to you by the OWL at Purdue University. When printing this page, you must include the entire legal notice.
Copyright ©1995-2018 by The Writing Lab & The OWL at Purdue and Purdue University. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, reproduced, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our terms and conditions of fair use.
Note: This page reflects the latest version of the APA Publication Manual (i.e., APA 7), which released in October 2019. The equivalent resource for the older APA 6 style can be found here .
The following rules for handling works by a single author or multiple authors apply to all APA-style references in your reference list, regardless of the type of work (book, article, electronic resource, etc.).
Note: Because the information on this page pertains to virtually all citations, we've highlighted a few important differences between APA 6 and APA 7 with underlined notes written in red.
Last name first, followed by author initials.
Ahmed, S. (2012). On being included: Racism and diversity in institutional life . Duke University Press.
List by their last names and initials. Separate author names with a comma. Use the ampersand instead of "and."
Soto, C. J., & John, O. P. (2017). The next big five inventory (BFI-2): Developing and assessing a hierarchical model with 15 facets to enhance bandwidth, fidelity, and predictive power. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology , 113 (1), 117-143. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/pspp0000096
Three to Twenty Authors
List by last names and initials; commas separate author names, while the last author name is preceded again by ampersand. This is a departure from APA 6, which only required listing the first six authors before an ellipsis and the final author's name.
Nguyen, T., Carnevale, J. J., Scholer, A. A., Miele, D. B., & Fujita, K. (2019). Metamotivational knowledge of the role of high-level and low-level construal in goal-relevant task performance. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 117 (5), 879-899. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/pspa0000166
More Than Twenty Authors
List by last names and initials; commas separate author names. After the first 19 authors’ names, use an ellipsis in place of the remaining author names. Then, end with the final author's name (do not place an ampersand before it). There should be no more than twenty names in the citation in total.
Pegion, K., Kirtman, B. P., Becker, E., Collins, D. C., LaJoie, E., Burgman, R., Bell, R., DelSole, R., Min, D., Zhu, Y., Li, W., Sinsky, E., Guan, H., Gottschalck, J., Metzger, E. J., Barton, N. P., Achuthavarier, D., Marshak, J., Koster, R., . . . Kim, H. (2019). The subseasonal experiment (SubX): A multimodel subseasonal prediction experiment. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society , 100 (10), 2043-2061. https://doi.org/10.1175/BAMS-D-18-0270.1
Group authors can include corporations, government agencies, organizations, etc; and a group may publish in coordination with individuals. Here, you simply treat the publishing organization the same way you'd treat the author's name and format the rest of the citation as normal. Be sure to give the full name of the group author in your reference list, although abbreviations may be used in your text.
Entries in reference works ( e.g. dictionaries, thesauruses, and encyclopedias) without credited authors are also considered works with group authors.
Merriam-Webster. (2008). Braggadocio. In Merriam-Webster’s Advanced Learner’s English Dictionary . Merriam-Webster.
When a work has multiple layers of group authorship (e.g. The Office of the Historian, which is a part of the Department of State, publishes something), list the most specific agency as the author and the parent agency as the publisher.
Bureau of International Organization Affairs. (2018). U.S. contributions to international organizations, 2017 [Annual report]. U.S. Department of State. https://www.state.gov/u-s-contributions-to-international-organizations/
When the work does not have an author move the title of the work to the beginning of the references and follow with the date of publication. Only use “Anonymous ” if the author is the work is signed “Anonymous.” This is a new addition to APA 7.
Merriam-Webster's collegiate dictionary (11th ed.). (2003). Merriam-Webster.
NOTE : When your essay includes parenthetical citations of sources with no author named, use a shortened version of the source's title instead of an author's name. Use quotation marks and italics as appropriate. For example, parenthetical citations of the source above would appear as follows: ( Merriam-Webster's , 2003).
Two or More Works by the Same Author
Use the author's name for all entries and list the entries by the year (earliest comes first). List references with no dates before references with dates.
Urcuioli, P. J. (n.d.).
Urcuioli, P. J. (2011).
Urcuioli, P. J. (2015).
When an author appears both as a sole author and, in another citation, as the first author of a group, list the one-author entries first.
Agnew, C. R. (Ed.). (2014). Social influences on romantic relationships: Beyond the dyad . Cambridge University Press.
Agnew, C. R., & South, S. C. (Eds.). (2014). Interpersonal relationships and health: Social and clinical psychological mechanisms. Oxford University Press.
References that have the same first author and different second and/or third authors are arranged alphabetically by the last name of the second author, or the last name of the third if the first and second authors are the same.
Arriaga, X. B., Capezza, N. M., Reed, J. T., Wesselman, E. D., & Williams, K. D. (2014). With partners like you, who needs strangers?: Ostracism involving a romantic partner. Personal Relationships, 21(4) , 557-569.
Arriaga, X. B., Kumashiro, M., Finkel, E. J., VanderDrift, L. E., & Luchies, L. B. (2014). Filling the void: Bolstering attachment security in committed relationships. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 5 (4), 398-405.
Two or More Works by the Same Author in the Same Year
If you are using more than one reference by the same author—or the same group of authors listed in the same order—published in the same year, first check to see if they have more specific dates ( this recommendation is new to APA 7) . Works with only a year should be listed before those with a more specific date. List specific dates chronologically. If two works have the same publication date, organize them in the reference list alphabetically by the title of the article or chapter. If references with the same date are identified as parts of a series (e.g. Part 1 and Part 2), list them in order of their place in the series. Then assign letter suffixes to the year. Refer to these sources in your essay as they appear in your reference list, e.g.: "Berndt (2004a) makes similar claims..."
Berndt, T. J. (2004a). Children’s friendships: Shifts over a half-century in perspectives on their development and their effects. Merrill Palmer Quarterly, 50 (3) , 206-223.
Berndt, T. J. (2004b). Friendship and three A’s (aggression, adjustment, and attachment). Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 88 (1) , 1-4.
Introductions, Prefaces, Forewords, and Afterwords
Cite the publishing information about a book as usual, but cite Introduction, Preface, Foreword, or Afterword (whatever title is applicable) as the chapter of the book.
Lang, J. M. (2018). Introduction. In Dujardin, G., Lang, J. M., & Staunton, J. A. (Eds.), Teaching the literature survey course (pp. 1-8). West Virginia University Press.
How do I actually write the names of the article and the journal/magazine in my paper?
To write the name of a journal/magazine title in the body of your paper:
- The title of the journal should be in italics - Example: Journal of the American Medical Association
- Capitalize all of the major words.
To write the the name of an article title in the body of your paper:
- The title of the article should be in quotation marks - E xample: "Tiger Woman on Wall Street"
For more information, please see the following pages on the APA Style Blog :
- Title Case Capitalization
- Use of Italics
- Use of Quotation Marks
Thank you for using ASK US. For more information, please contact your Baker librarians .
- Last Updated May 05, 2023
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- Do articles contain address? by Danny on Mar 20, 2017
- On the APA References page add Retrieved from and the website address at the end of the citation. See the APA Help page for examples-https://guides.baker.edu/apahelp by ASK US on Mar 20, 2017
- Is this information the same for scientific research journals and articles (still within APA)? by Haley on Apr 03, 2017
- Yes, it is. See the APA Help guide for examples. guides.baker.edu/apahelp by ASK US on Apr 03, 2017
- Do I have to put the name of the author of the article or website the article was from? by Hailee on May 01, 2017
- The answer given was for the body of your paper. Here's how to cite an article both on the References page and in-text: Author Last Name, First & Middle Initials. (Date). Title of article: Subtitle of article. Title of Source, Volume(Issue), Page numbers. Retrieved from... In-text: Paraphrase: (Author Last Name, Year). Quotation: (Author Last Name, Year, p. Page Number). by ASK US on May 02, 2017
- Do I put the title of essay in single quotation marks if I write in UK English (APA)? by joseph on Mar 25, 2019
- See the APA Style Blog's post on How to Capitalize and Format Reference Titles in APA Style: https://blog.apastyle.org/apastyle/2012/03/how-to-capitalize-and-format-reference-titles-in-apa-style.html by Patrick Mullane on Mar 25, 2019
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How to Write an Article Review
Last Updated: September 8, 2023 References Approved
This article was co-authored by Jake Adams . Jake Adams is an academic tutor and the owner of Simplifi EDU, a Santa Monica, California based online tutoring business offering learning resources and online tutors for academic subjects K-College, SAT & ACT prep, and college admissions applications. With over 14 years of professional tutoring experience, Jake is dedicated to providing his clients the very best online tutoring experience and access to a network of excellent undergraduate and graduate-level tutors from top colleges all over the nation. Jake holds a BS in International Business and Marketing from Pepperdine University. There are 13 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 84 testimonials and 91% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 3,000,668 times.
An article review is both a summary and an evaluation of another writer's article. Teachers often assign article reviews to introduce students to the work of experts in the field. Experts also are often asked to review the work of other professionals. Understanding the main points and arguments of the article is essential for an accurate summation. Logical evaluation of the article's main theme, supporting arguments, and implications for further research is an important element of a review . Here are a few guidelines for writing an article review.
Education specialist Alexander Peterman recommends: "In the case of a review, your objective should be to reflect on the effectiveness of what has already been written, rather than writing to inform your audience about a subject."
Things You Should Know
- Read the article very closely, and then take time to reflect on your evaluation. Consider whether the article effectively achieves what it set out to.
- Write out a full article review by completing your intro, summary, evaluation, and conclusion. Don't forget to add a title, too!
- Proofread your review for mistakes (like grammar and usage), while also cutting down on needless information.  X Research source
Preparing to Write Your Review
- Article reviews present more than just an opinion. You will engage with the text to create a response to the scholarly writer's ideas. You will respond to and use ideas, theories, and research from your studies. Your critique of the article will be based on proof and your own thoughtful reasoning.
- An article review only responds to the author's research. It typically does not provide any new research. However, if you are correcting misleading or otherwise incorrect points, some new data may be presented.
- An article review both summarizes and evaluates the article.
- Summarize the article. Focus on the important points, claims, and information.
- Discuss the positive aspects of the article. Think about what the author does well, good points she makes, and insightful observations.
- Identify contradictions, gaps, and inconsistencies in the text. Determine if there is enough data or research included to support the author's claims. Find any unanswered questions left in the article.
- Make note of words or issues you don't understand and questions you have.
- Look up terms or concepts you are unfamiliar with, so you can fully understand the article. Read about concepts in-depth to make sure you understand their full context.
- Pay careful attention to the meaning of the article. Make sure you fully understand the article. The only way to write a good article review is to understand the article.
- With either method, make an outline of the main points made in the article and the supporting research or arguments. It is strictly a restatement of the main points of the article and does not include your opinions.
- After putting the article in your own words, decide which parts of the article you want to discuss in your review. You can focus on the theoretical approach, the content, the presentation or interpretation of evidence, or the style. You will always discuss the main issues of the article, but you can sometimes also focus on certain aspects. This comes in handy if you want to focus the review towards the content of a course.
- Review the summary outline to eliminate unnecessary items. Erase or cross out the less important arguments or supplemental information. Your revised summary can serve as the basis for the summary you provide at the beginning of your review.
- What does the article set out to do?
- What is the theoretical framework or assumptions?
- Are the central concepts clearly defined?
- How adequate is the evidence?
- How does the article fit into the literature and field?
- Does it advance the knowledge of the subject?
- How clear is the author's writing? Don't: include superficial opinions or your personal reaction. Do: pay attention to your biases, so you can overcome them.
Writing the Article Review
- For example, in MLA , a citation may look like: Duvall, John N. "The (Super)Marketplace of Images: Television as Unmediated Mediation in DeLillo's White Noise ." Arizona Quarterly 50.3 (1994): 127-53. Print.  X Trustworthy Source Purdue Online Writing Lab Trusted resource for writing and citation guidelines Go to source
- For example: The article, "Condom use will increase the spread of AIDS," was written by Anthony Zimmerman, a Catholic priest.
- Your introduction should only be 10-25% of your review.
- End the introduction with your thesis. Your thesis should address the above issues. For example: Although the author has some good points, his article is biased and contains some misinterpretation of data from others’ analysis of the effectiveness of the condom.
- Use direct quotes from the author sparingly.
- Review the summary you have written. Read over your summary many times to ensure that your words are an accurate description of the author's article.
- Support your critique with evidence from the article or other texts.
- The summary portion is very important for your critique. You must make the author's argument clear in the summary section for your evaluation to make sense.
- Remember, this is not where you say if you liked the article or not. You are assessing the significance and relevance of the article.
- Use a topic sentence and supportive arguments for each opinion. For example, you might address a particular strength in the first sentence of the opinion section, followed by several sentences elaborating on the significance of the point.
- This should only be about 10% of your overall essay.
- For example: This critical review has evaluated the article "Condom use will increase the spread of AIDS" by Anthony Zimmerman. The arguments in the article show the presence of bias, prejudice, argumentative writing without supporting details, and misinformation. These points weaken the author’s arguments and reduce his credibility.
- Make sure you have identified and discussed the 3-4 key issues in the article.
Sample Article Reviews
You Might Also Like
- ↑ https://writing.wisc.edu/handbook/grammarpunct/proofreading/
- ↑ https://libguides.cmich.edu/writinghelp/articlereview
- ↑ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4548566/
- ↑ Jake Adams. Academic Tutor & Test Prep Specialist. Expert Interview. 24 July 2020.
- ↑ https://guides.library.queensu.ca/introduction-research/writing/critical
- ↑ https://www.iup.edu/writingcenter/writing-resources/organization-and-structure/creating-an-outline.html
- ↑ https://writing.umn.edu/sws/assets/pdf/quicktips/titles.pdf
- ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/mla_style/mla_formatting_and_style_guide/mla_works_cited_periodicals.html
- ↑ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4548565/
- ↑ https://writingcenter.uconn.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/593/2014/06/How_to_Summarize_a_Research_Article1.pdf
- ↑ https://www.uis.edu/learning-hub/writing-resources/handouts/learning-hub/how-to-review-a-journal-article
- ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/editing-and-proofreading/
About This Article
If you have to write an article review, read through the original article closely, taking notes and highlighting important sections as you read. Next, rewrite the article in your own words, either in a long paragraph or as an outline. Open your article review by citing the article, then write an introduction which states the article’s thesis. Next, summarize the article, followed by your opinion about whether the article was clear, thorough, and useful. Finish with a paragraph that summarizes the main points of the article and your opinions. To learn more about what to include in your personal critique of the article, keep reading the article! Did this summary help you? Yes No
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Thursday, February 23: The Clark Library is closed today.
APA Style (7th Edition) Citation Guide: Journal Articles
- Journal Articles
- Magazine/Newspaper Articles
- Books & Ebooks
- Government & Legal Documents
- Biblical Sources
- Secondary Sources
- Films/Videos/TV Shows
- How to Cite: Other
- Additional Help
Table of Contents
Journal article from library database with doi - one author, journal article from library database with doi - multiple authors, journal article from a website - one author.
Journal Article- No DOI
Note: All citations should be double spaced and have a hanging indent in a Reference List.
A "hanging indent" means that each subsequent line after the first line of your citation should be indented by 0.5 inches.
This Microsoft support page contains instructions about how to format a hanging indent in a paper.
- APA 7th. ed. Journal Article Reference Checklist
If an item has no author, start the citation with the article title.
When an article has one to twenty authors, all authors' names are cited in the References List entry. When an article has twenty-one or more authors list the first nineteen authors followed by three spaced ellipse points (. . .) , and then the last author's name. Rules are different for in-text citations; please see the examples provided.
Cite author names in the order in which they appear on the source, not in alphabetical order (the first author is usually the person who contributed the most work to the publication).
Italicize titles of journals, magazines and newspapers. Do not italicize or use quotation marks for the titles of articles.
Capitalize only the first letter of the first word of the article title. If there is a colon in the article title, also capitalize the first letter of the first word after the colon.
If an item has no date, use the short form n.d. where you would normally put the date.
Volume and Issue Numbers
Italicize volume numbers but not issue numbers.
Most articles will not need these in the citation. Only use them for online articles from places where content may change often, like a free website or a wiki.
If an article doesn't appear on continuous pages, list all the page numbers the article is on, separated by commas. For example (4, 6, 12-14)
Do not include the name of a database for works obtained from most academic research databases (e.g. APA PsycInfo, CINAHL) because works in these resources are widely available. Exceptions are Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, ERIC, ProQuest Dissertations, and UpToDate.
Include the DOI (formatted as a URL: https://doi.org/...) if it is available. If you do not have a DOI, include a URL if the full text of the article is available online (not as part of a library database). If the full text is from a library database, do not include a DOI, URL, or database name.
In the Body of a Paper
Books, Journals, Reports, Webpages, etc.: When you refer to titles of a “stand-alone work,” as the APA calls them on their APA Style website, such as books, journals, reports, and webpages, you should italicize them. Capitalize words as you would for an article title in a reference, e.g., In the book Crying in H Mart: A memoir , author Michelle Zauner (2021) describes her biracial origin and its impact on her identity.
Article or Chapter: When you refer to the title of a part of a work, such as an article or a chapter, put quotation marks around the title and capitalize it as you would for a journal title in a reference, e.g., In the chapter “Where’s the Wine,” Zauner (2021) describes how she decided to become a musician.
The APA Sample Paper below has more information about formatting your paper.
- APA 7th ed. Sample Paper
Author's Last Name, First Initial. Second Initial if Given. (Year of Publication). Title of article: Subtitle if any. Name of Journal, Volume Number (Issue Number), first page number-last page number. https://doi.org/doi number
Smith, K. F. (2022). The public and private dialogue about the American family on television: A second look. Journal of Media Communication, 50 (4), 79-110. https://doi.org/10.1152/j.1460-2466.2000.tb02864.x
Note: The DOI number is formatted as a URL: https://doi.org/10.1152/j.1460-2466.2000.tb02864.xIf.
(Author's Last Name, Year)
Example: (Smith, 2000)
(Author's Last Name, Year, p. Page Number)
Example: (Smith, 2000, p. 80)
Author's Last Name, First Initial. Second Initial if Given., & Last Name of Second Author, First Initial. Second Initial if Given. (Year of Publication). Title of article: Subtitle if any. Name of Journal, Volume Number (Issue Number), first page number-last page number. https://doi.org/doi number
Note: Separate the authors' names by putting a comma between them. For the final author listed add an ampersand (&) after the comma and before the final author's last name.
Note: In the reference list invert all authors' names; give last names and initials for only up to and including 20 authors. When a source has 21 or more authors, include the first 19 authors’ names, then three ellipses (…), and add the last author’s name. Don't include an ampersand (&) between the ellipsis and final author.
Note : For works with three or more authors, the first in-text citation is shortened to include the first author's surname followed by "et al."
Reference List Examples
Two to 20 Authors
Case, T. A., Daristotle, Y. A., Hayek, S. L., Smith, R. R., & Raash, L. I. (2011). College students' social networking experiences on Facebook. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 3 (2), 227-238. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appdev.2008.12.010
21 or more authors
Kalnay, E., Kanamitsu, M., Kistler, R., Collins, W., Deaven, D., Gandin, L., Iredell, M., Saha, J., Mo, K. C., Ropelewski, C., Wang, J., Leetma, A., . . . Joseph, D. (1996). The NCEP/NCAR 40-year reanalysis project. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society , 77 (3), 437-471. https://doi.org/10.1175/1520-0477(1996)077<0437:TNYRP>2.0.CO;2
(Case & Daristotle, 2011)
Direct Quote: (Case & Daristotle, 2011, p. 57)
Three or more Authors/Editors
(Case et al., 2011)
Direct Quote: (Case et al., 2011, p. 57)
Author's Last Name, First Initial. Second Initial if Given. (Year of Publication). Title of article: Subtitle if any. Name of Journal, Volume Number (Issue Number if given). URL
Flachs, A. (2010). Food for thought: The social impact of community gardens in the Greater Cleveland Area. Electronic Green Journal, 1 (30). http://escholarship.org/uc/item/6bh7j4z4
Example: (Flachs, 2010)
Example: (Flachs, 2010, Conclusion section, para. 3)
Note: In this example there were no visible page numbers or paragraph numbers, in this case you can cite the section heading and the number of the paragraph in that section to identify where your quote came from. If there are no page or paragraph numbers and no marked section, leave this information out.
Journal Article - No DOI
Author's Last Name, First Initial. Second Initial if Given. (Year of Publication). Title of article: Subtitle if any. Name of Journal, Volume Number (Issue Number), first page number-last page number. URL [if article is available online, not as part of a library database]
Full-Text Available Online (Not as Part of a Library Database):
Steinberg, M. P., & Lacoe, J. (2017). What do we know about school discipline reform? Assessing the alternatives to suspensions and expulsions. Education Next, 17 (1), 44–52. https://www.educationnext.org/what-do-we-know-about-school-discipline-reform-suspensions-expulsions/
Example: (Steinberg & Lacoe, 2017)
(Author's Last Name, Year, p. Page number)
Example: (Steinberg & Lacoe, 2017, p. 47)
Full-Text Available in Library Database:
Jungers, W. L. (2010). Biomechanics: Barefoot running strikes back. Nature, 463 (2), 433-434.
Example: (Jungers, 2010)
Example: (Jungers, 2010, p. 433)
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How to Write a Journal Article
Writing and publishing journal articles is essential if you wish to pursue an academic career. Today, academic careers are publication-dependent; developing a high-quality publication record is a vital part of developing your academic credentials, your visibility among your discipline peers and your viability as a researcher.
This article will pinpoint the features of a journal article that are normally found in the humanities and social sciences. It will also examine some planning and writing strategies that will enable you to produce an article that is publication-ready. For those of you who prefer to learn by watching videos, we've prepared one on how to write your first journal article and you can watch it on Capstone Editing's YouTube channel .
The ‘preamble’ elements of a journal article
Title and subtitle.
The title should indicate the article’s topic or theme to readers, and a subtitle can extend or clarify the title. Many titles follow the format ‘Suggestive, Creative Title: Descriptive Subtitle’ (Hayot 2014, ch. 18); for example:
Chadwick, AM 2012, ‘Routine Magic, Mundane Ritual: Towards a Unified Notion of Depositional Practice’, Oxford Journal of Archaeology , vol. 31, no. 3, pp. 283–315.
In this type of title, the more suggestive first part of the title can indicate the author’s theoretical approach and something about how traditional (or not) this approach is. It is important that the subtitle gives readers some indication of the article’s objective or major theme.
Other titles may use a format that includes an abstract and a concrete noun:
Hansen, HL 2011, ‘ Multiperspectivism in the Novels of the Spanish Civil War’, Orbis Litterarum, vol. 66, no. 2, pp. 148–166.
This more straightforward approach contains enough information through the words chosen (‘multiperspectivism’, ‘novels’, ‘Spanish Civil War’) so that readers can immediately identify if the article is pertinent to them, in both content and theoretical approach.
Along with a title that grabs readers’ attention and indicates the article’s theme or objective, a well-written abstract is essential. The abstract is what readers and other researchers will look at first to determine if your article is worth reading. It is worth spending time on a succinct, ‘punchy’ and relevant abstract that will clarify exactly what you are arguing or proposing. Abstract writing is a particular skill that requires practice and complete familiarity with your argument and article content. You will most likely need to review and rewrite your abstract after you have finished writing the article.
Most journals will ask you to select five to seven keywords that can be used in search engines. These are the words that students, researchers and other readers will use to search for information over the internet through Google or similar resources, library websites or the journal’s own website.
You should provide a brief acknowledgement of any financial, academic or other support you have received in relation to producing your article. You can also thank the peer reviewers here (once your article has been accepted for publication).
Writing the article
Writing a journal article is not unlike writing an essay or thesis chapter. The same basic rules of academic writing apply. By planning what and how you will write, and how you will incorporate data/evidence, your article is more likely to be cohesive, well organised and well written.
Even if you are developing an article from an existing essay or thesis chapter, spending some time on planning is essential. Some authors like to begin with a ‘mind map’. A mind map contains a central theme, argument or premise. The writer will then create ‘branches’ extending from the central theme. These may be topics or subthemes that are included in the final article. If they are substantial, they may constitute a new article. Mind maps operate like brainstorming sessions, in which you allow a free flow of ideas from your mind, through your pen or keyboard to paper or screen. These ideas can then be organised into logical patterns of related subthemes and you can then begin assembling evidence (research, references and quotations) to support the arguments under each theme.
Figure 1: A simple mind map for essay writing
A plan can be as simple as a list of subheadings with notes and supporting information, from which you will construct and write the paragraphs of your article. Using the minor themes from your thesis can also enable you to develop several articles on topics you were unable to develop more fully in the thesis.
Once you have developed a detailed plan for your article, the writing can begin. A journal article is normally written for an already informed audience. While the rules of clear writing and exposition still apply, you can safely assume that people who read your article in a journal are familiar with the terminology, methodologies and theoretical positions of your discipline. This means that you can ‘jump right in’ to a topic, stating your position or argument immediately and strongly.
This guide assumes you have already completed your research and thus amassed a large number of notes, thoughts and more or less developed ideas, along with detailed and appropriate citations to support your contentions, relevant and appropriate quotations, data or other forms of evidence that you have collected, images you may wish to include, and any other material relevant to your article. This is the raw material you will, using your plan, write up into a publishable journal article. Now we will look at a few important aspects of writing that you should consider.
Grammar, spelling and punctuation
For a guideline to standard and acceptable grammar, you may like to consult resources such as the Style Manual for Authors, Editors and Printers , an Australian government publication that covers aspects of writing, editing and publishing in Australia. It is very important that you review whether the journal you are submitting to uses American or British spelling and punctuation conventions, as these can differ significantly. Reviewing and editing your own work to ensure grammatical consistency prior to submission is essential: this should be considered part of your writing practice and approached accordingly. Be on the lookout for instances of mixed tenses (especially the present and past tenses), clumsy sentences with too many clauses, the incorrect use of common punctuation marks such as apostrophes and commas, or the overuse of capitalisation (avoid capitalising the names of theories and job titles in particular). Ensure your spelling is consistent by using the ‘Find’ tab to search for easily misspelt words, especially regarding British/American conventions. Vary your sentence lengths and structure to maintain your readers’ interest. Some academic work falls into the trap of using sentences that are too long or complicated, or using a less-familiar or longer word when a simple one will do.
Tone and register
Tone and register refer to the style and ‘voice’ of your writing. In most academic contexts, your writing style should err on the formal side (unless you are submitting to a journal that promotes innovative or creative approaches to writing). Avoid contractions, colloquial, gender-specific (unless relevant), racist or offensive language. However, within the constraints of formal academic language, it is important that you develop your own style and ‘voice’. Read the authors that you admire the most, both for their research and for their writing. Note what you like about their writing style. While academic writing needs to communicate clearly, it can also be vibrant and elegant. In addition, it should be compelling, understandable and effective. Remember that articles are reader-centred (Soule, Whiteley and McIntosh 2007, p. 15), so your objective should always be to engage the reader with your language. As stated above, most readers of your article will be familiar with your discipline; nevertheless, it is better to avoid overloading readers with discipline-specific jargon.
The major elements of an article
The introduction’s importance may seem obvious, but all writers can benefit from a reminder of the importance and centrality of good introductions to an academic journal article. The introduction does just that: introduces your topic, theme or research question, outlines your general theoretical or methodological approach and places your article within the context of a larger academic debate or field. Here you can expand on your title and subtitle, making your contentions explicit and clarifying the data or evidence you have used. Some humanities or social science articles will include a brief literature review in the introduction; a social science writer may also include an explicit research aim or objective (this is less common in the humanities). As with the abstract, it is sometimes more beneficial to write the introduction after you have written the main body.
The main body is where you present, in appropriate detail, your main arguments, themes and contentions, all thoroughly grounded in evidence, close analysis and clear, compelling writing.
With both the humanities and social sciences, the paragraph is an article’s main organising principle. Each paragraph should contain one main theme and be of at least four or five sentences, and a logical flow should exist between and among your paragraphs. Humanities articles will often not use the more obvious subheadings common to the social sciences, such as ‘Data Collection’, ‘Analysis’ or ‘Results’. While humanities articles are less subject to these subheading conventions, the effective use of subheadings can clarify and identify your ideas and enable readers to navigate easily through the text (Soule, Whiteley and McIntosh 2007, p. 19). While an article should not contain the explicit signposting expected in undergraduate essays or even graduate research theses, it is still useful to use transitions and opening sentences to indicate what each paragraph’s main theme is, and how it fits into the overarching theme of your article.
By focusing on one main original idea or contention in your article and making explicit statements about your article’s contribution to the existing scholarship, you will grab the attention of journal publishers, and hopefully peer reviewers and subsequent readers. If you have information that is not directly related to your main argument but is still important, use footnotes or endnotes (depending on the journal’s own style). Use direct quotations strategically and judiciously and translate foreign-language quotations if your article is written for an English-language journal.
The conclusion is not just a summary of what has preceded it. A (good) conclusion will complete or make whole your article’s arguments and analysis by referring to what you have written. It will include a summing up of your main contention, but it will also offer and clarify to your reader a new way of looking at the theme or problem you have been discussing. As Eric Hayot notes, ‘a good ending is also a beginning’ (Hayot 2014, p. 107): good endings open new pathways for both readers and writers of academic work. The conclusion can be the most difficult section of an article to write; as such, it is likely to consume relatively more of your time than even the introduction. It is important to finish strongly; however, you should resist the temptation to make unfounded, sweeping or radical claims in your conclusion.
References and citations
It goes without saying that referencing and citations should be done thoroughly and correctly. If you are undertaking or have completed your thesis, you will be familiar with when to use citations and how to construct your reference list/bibliography. In general, it is best to be citation-rich for journal articles. Each journal will use a specific referencing style—either one of the main styles in common use (APA, Chicago, MLA) or a modified version of their own. Refer to the journal author guidelines for more information on this issue.
It is vital that you follow the style and referencing requirements for your chosen journal to the letter.
Remember that many journals will require you to obtain permissions for any images you may wish to use, including payment of fees to whichever institution holds the copyright.
- Australian Government Printing Service 2002, Style Manual for Editors, Writers and Printers , 6th edn, Snooks & Co.
- Hayot, E 2014, Elements of Academic Style: Writing for the Humanities , Columbia University Press, New York.
- Soule, DPJ, Whiteley, L & McIntosh, S (eds) 2007, Writing for Scholarly Journals: Publishing in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences , eSharp, http://www.gla.ac.uk/media/media_41223_en.pdf
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HOW TO WRITE A SCIENTIFIC ARTICLE
Barbara j. hoogenboom.
1 Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids, MI, USA
Robert C. Manske
2 University of Wichita, Wichita, KS, USA
Successful production of a written product for submission to a peer‐reviewed scientific journal requires substantial effort. Such an effort can be maximized by following a few simple suggestions when composing/creating the product for submission. By following some suggested guidelines and avoiding common errors, the process can be streamlined and success realized for even beginning/novice authors as they negotiate the publication process. The purpose of this invited commentary is to offer practical suggestions for achieving success when writing and submitting manuscripts to The International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy and other professional journals.
“The whole of science is nothing more than a refinement of everyday thinking” Albert Einstein
Conducting scientific and clinical research is only the beginning of the scholarship of discovery. In order for the results of research to be accessible to other professionals and have a potential effect on the greater scientific community, it must be written and published. Most clinical and scientific discovery is published in peer‐reviewed journals, which are those that utilize a process by which an author's peers, or experts in the content area, evaluate the manuscript. Following this review the manuscript is recommended for publication, revision or rejection. It is the rigor of this review process that makes scientific journals the primary source of new information that impacts clinical decision‐making and practice. 1 , 2
The task of writing a scientific paper and submitting it to a journal for publication is a time‐consuming and often daunting task. 3 , 4 Barriers to effective writing include lack of experience, poor writing habits, writing anxiety, unfamiliarity with the requirements of scholarly writing, lack of confidence in writing ability, fear of failure, and resistance to feedback. 5 However, the very process of writing can be a helpful tool for promoting the process of scientific thinking, 6 , 7 and effective writing skills allow professionals to participate in broader scientific conversations. Furthermore, peer review manuscript publication systems requiring these technical writing skills can be developed and improved with practice. 8 Having an understanding of the process and structure used to produce a peer‐reviewed publication will surely improve the likelihood that a submitted manuscript will result in a successful publication.
Clear communication of the findings of research is essential to the growth and development of science 3 and professional practice. The culmination of the publication process provides not only satisfaction for the researcher and protection of intellectual property, but also the important function of dissemination of research results, new ideas, and alternate thought; which ultimately facilitates scholarly discourse. In short, publication of scientific papers is one way to advance evidence‐based practice in many disciplines, including sports physical therapy. Failure to publish important findings significantly diminishes the potential impact that those findings may have on clinical practice. 9
BASICS OF MANUSCRIPT PREPARATION & GENERAL WRITING TIPS
To begin it might be interesting to learn why reviewers accept manuscripts! Reviewers consider the following five criteria to be the most important in decisions about whether to accept manuscripts for publication: 1) the importance, timeliness, relevance, and prevalence of the problem addressed; 2) the quality of the writing style (i.e., that it is well‐written, clear, straightforward, easy to follow, and logical); 3) the study design applied (i.e., that the design was appropriate, rigorous, and comprehensive); 4) the degree to which the literature review was thoughtful, focused, and up‐to‐date; and 5) the use of a sufficiently large sample. 10 For these statements to be true there are also reasons that reviewers reject manuscripts. The following are the top five reasons for rejecting papers: 1) inappropriate, incomplete, or insufficiently described statistics; 2) over‐interpretation of results; 3) use of inappropriate, suboptimal, or insufficiently described populations or instruments; 4) small or biased samples; and 5) text that is poorly written or difficult to follow. 10 , 11 With these reasons for acceptance or rejection in mind, it is time to review basics and general writing tips to be used when performing manuscript preparation.
“Begin with the end in mind” . When you begin writing about your research, begin with a specific target journal in mind. 12 Every scientific journal should have specific lists of manuscript categories that are preferred for their readership. The IJSPT seeks to provide readership with current information to enhance the practice of sports physical therapy. Therefore the manuscript categories accepted by IJSPT include: Original research; Systematic reviews of literature; Clinical commentary and Current concept reviews; Case reports; Clinical suggestions and unique practice techniques; and Technical notes. Once a decision has been made to write a manuscript, compose an outline that complies with the requirements of the target submission journal and has each of the suggested sections. This means carefully checking the submission criteria and preparing your paper in the exact format of the journal to which you intend to submit. Be thoughtful about the distinction between content (what you are reporting) and structure (where it goes in the manuscript). Poor placement of content confuses the reader (reviewer) and may cause misinterpretation of content. 3 , 5
It may be helpful to follow the IMRaD format for writing scientific manuscripts. This acronym stands for the sections contained within the article: Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion. Each of these areas of the manuscript will be addressed in this commentary.
Many accomplished authors write their results first, followed by an introduction and discussion, in an attempt to “stay true” to their results and not stray into additional areas. Typically the last two portions to be written are the conclusion and the abstract.
The ability to accurately describe ideas, protocols/procedures, and outcomes are the pillars of scientific writing . Accurate and clear expression of your thoughts and research information should be the primary goal of scientific writing. 12 Remember that accuracy and clarity are even more important when trying to get complicated ideas across. Contain your literature review, ideas, and discussions to your topic, theme, model, review, commentary, or case. Avoid vague terminology and too much prose. Use short rather than long sentences. If jargon has to be utilized keep it to a minimum and explain the terms you do use clearly. 13
Write with a measure of formality, using scientific language and avoiding conjunctions, slang, and discipline or regionally specific nomenclature or terms (e.g. exercise nicknames). For example, replace the term “Monster walks” with “closed‐chain hip abduction with elastic resistance around the thighs”. You may later refer to the exercise as “also known as Monster walks” if you desire.
Avoid first person language and instead write using third person language. Some journals do not ascribe to this requirement, and allow first person references, however, IJSPT prefers use of third person. For example, replace “We determined that…” with “The authors determined that….”.
For novice writers, it is really helpful to seek a reading mentor that will help you pre‐read your submission. Problems such as improper use of grammar, tense, and spelling are often a cause of rejection by reviewers. Despite the content of the study these easily fixed errors suggest that the authors created the manuscript with less thought leading reviewers to think that the manuscript may also potentially have erroneous findings as well. A review from a second set of trained eyes will often catch these errors missed by the original authors. If English is not your first language, the editorial staff at IJSPT suggests that you consult with someone with the relevant expertise to give you guidance on English writing conventions, verb tense, and grammar. Excellent writing in English is hard, even for those of us for whom it is our first language!
Use figures and graphics to your advantage . ‐ Consider the use of graphic/figure representation of data and important procedures or exercises. Tables should be able to stand alone and be completely understandable at a quick glance. Understanding a table should not require careful review of the manuscript! Figures dramatically enhance the graphic appeal of a scientific paper. Many formats for graphic presentation are acceptable, including graphs, charts, tables, and pictures or videos. Photographs should be clear, free of clutter or extraneous background distractions and be taken with models wearing simple clothing. Color photographs are preferred. Digital figures (Scans or existing files as well as new photographs) must be at least 300dpi. All photographs should be provided as separate files (jpeg or tif preferred) and not be embedded in the paper. Quality and clarity of figures are essential for reproduction purposes and should be considered before taking images for the manuscript.
A video of an exercise or procedure speaks a thousand words. Please consider using short video clips as descriptive additions to your paper. They will be placed on the IJSPT website and accompany your paper. The video clips must be submitted in MPEG‐1, MPEG‐2, Quicktime (.mov), or Audio/Video Interface (.avi) formats. Maximum cumulative length of videos is 5 minutes. Each video segment may not exceed 50 MB, and each video clip must be saved as a separate file and clearly identified. Formulate descriptive figure/video and Table/chart/graph titles and place them on a figure legend document. Carefully consider placement of, naming of, and location of figures. It makes the job of the editors much easier!
Avoid Plagiarism and inadvertent lack of citations. Finally, use citations to your benefit. Cite frequently in order to avoid any plagiarism. The bottom line: If it is not your original idea, give credit where credit is due . When using direct quotations, provide not only the number of the citation, but the page where the quote was found. All citations should appear in text as a superscripted number followed by punctuation. It is the authors' responsibility to fully ensure all references are cited in completed form, in an accurate location. Please carefully follow the instructions for citations and check that all references in your reference list are cited in the paper and that all citations in the paper appear correctly in the reference list. Please go to IJSPT submission guidelines for full information on the format for citations.
Sometimes written as an afterthought, the abstract is of extreme importance as in many instances this section is what is initially previewed by readership to determine if the remainder of the article is worth reading. This is the authors opportunity to draw the reader into the study and entice them to read the rest of the article. The abstract is a summary of the article or study written in 3 rd person allowing the readers to get a quick glance of what the contents of the article include. Writing an abstract is rather challenging as being brief, accurate and concise are requisite. The headings and structure for an abstract are usually provided in the instructions for authors. In some instances, the abstract may change slightly pending content revisions required during the peer review process. Therefore it often works well to complete this portion of the manuscript last. Remember the abstract should be able to stand alone and should be as succinct as possible. 14
Introduction and Review of Literature
The introduction is one of the more difficult portions of the manuscript to write. Past studies are used to set the stage or provide the reader with information regarding the necessity of the represented project. For an introduction to work properly, the reader must feel that the research question is clear, concise, and worthy of study.
A competent introduction should include at least four key concepts: 1) significance of the topic, 2) the information gap in the available literature associated with the topic, 3) a literature review in support of the key questions, 4) subsequently developed purposes/objectives and hypotheses. 9
When constructing a review of the literature, be attentive to “sticking” or “staying true” to your topic at hand. Don't reach or include too broad of a literature review. For example, do not include extraneous information about performance or prevention if your research does not actually address those things. The literature review of a scientific paper is not an exhaustive review of all available knowledge in a given field of study. That type of thorough review should be left to review articles or textbook chapters. Throughout the introduction (and later in the discussion!) remind yourself that a paper, existing evidence, or results of a paper cannot draw conclusions, demonstrate, describe, or make judgments, only PEOPLE (authors) can. “The evidence demonstrates that” should be stated, “Smith and Jones, demonstrated that….”
Conclude your introduction with a solid statement of your purpose(s) and your hypothesis(es), as appropriate. The purpose and objectives should clearly relate to the information gap associated with the given manuscript topic discussed earlier in the introduction section. This may seem repetitive, but it actually is helpful to ensure the reader clearly sees the evolution, importance, and critical aspects of the study at hand See Table 1 for examples of well‐stated purposes.
Examples of well-stated purposes by submission type.
The methods section should clearly describe the specific design of the study and provide clear and concise description of the procedures that were performed. The purpose of sufficient detail in the methods section is so that an appropriately trained person would be able to replicate your experiments. 15 There should be complete transparency when describing the study. To assist in writing and manuscript preparation there are several checklists or guidelines that are available on the IJSPT website. The CONSORT guidelines can be used when developing and reporting a randomized controlled trial. 16 The STARD checklist was developed for designing a diagnostic accuracy study. 17 The PRISMA checklist was developed for use when performing a meta‐analyses or systematic review. 18 A clear methods section should contain the following information: 1) the population and equipment used in the study, 2) how the population and equipment were prepared and what was done during the study, 3) the protocol used, 4) the outcomes and how they were measured, 5) the methods used for data analysis. Initially a brief paragraph should explain the overall procedures and study design. Within this first paragraph there is generally a description of inclusion and exclusion criteria which help the reader understand the population used. Paragraphs that follow should describe in more detail the procedures followed for the study. A clear description of how data was gathered is also helpful. For example were data gathered prospectively or retrospectively? Who if anyone was blinded, and where and when was the actual data collected?
Although it is a good idea for the authors to have justification and a rationale for their procedures, these should be saved for inclusion into the discussion section, not to be discussed in the methods section. However, occasionally studies supporting components of the methods section such as reliability of tests, or validation of outcome measures may be included in the methods section.
The final portion of the methods section will include the statistical methods used to analyze the data. 19 This does not mean that the actual results should be discussed in the methods section, as they have an entire section of their own!
Most scientific journals support the need for all projects involving humans or animals to have up‐to‐date documentation of ethical approval. 20 The methods section should include a clear statement that the researchers have obtained approval from an appropriate institutional review board.
Results, Discussion, and Conclusions
In most journals the results section is separate from the discussion section. It is important that you clearly distinguish your results from your discussion. The results section should describe the results only. The discussion section should put those results into a broader context. Report your results neutrally, as you “found them”. Again, be thoughtful about content and structure. Think carefully about where content is placed in the overall structure of your paper. It is not appropriate to bring up additional results, not discussed in the results section, in the discussion. All results must first be described/presented and then discussed. Thus, the discussion should not simply be a repeat of the results section. Carefully discuss where your information is similar or different from other published evidence and why this might be so. What was different in methods or analysis, what was similar?
As previously stated, stick to your topic at hand, and do not overstretch your discussion! One of the major pitfalls in writing the discussion section is overstating the significance of your findings 4 or making very strong statements. For example, it is better to say: “Findings of the current study support….” or “these findings suggest…” than, “Findings of the current study prove that…” or “this means that….”. Maintain a sense of humbleness, as nothing is without question in the outcomes of any type of research, in any discipline! Use words like “possibly”, “likely” or “suggests” to soften findings. 12
Do not discuss extraneous ideas, concepts, or information not covered by your topic/paper/commentary. Be sure to carefully address all relevant results, not just the statistically significant ones or the ones that support your hypotheses. When you must resort to speculation or opinion, be certain to state that up front using phrases such as “we therefore speculate” or “in the authors' opinion”.
Remember, just as in the introduction and literature review, evidence or results cannot draw conclusions, just as previously stated, only people, scientists, researchers, and authors can!
Finish with a concise, 3‐5 sentence conclusion paragraph. This is not just a restatement of your results, rather is comprised of some final, summative statements that reflect the flow and outcomes of the entire paper. Do not include speculative statements or additional material; however, based upon your findings a statement about potential changes in clinical practice or future research opportunities can be provided here.
Writing for publication can be a challenging yet satisfying endeavor. The ability to examine, relate, and interlink evidence, as well as to provide a peer‐reviewed, disseminated product of your research labors can be rewarding. A few suggestions have been offered in this commentary that may assist the novice or the developing writer to attempt, polish, and perfect their approach to scholarly writing.
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How to Cite a Journal Article in MLA | Format & Examples
Published on April 16, 2019 by Courtney Gahan . Revised on June 16, 2022.
An MLA Works Cited entry for a journal article contains the author(s); article title; journal name; volume and issue; month and year; page range; and a DOI if accessed online. In the in-text citation, include the author’s last name and the page number.
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Table of contents, citing an online journal article, articles with multiple authors, articles in special issue journals, frequently asked questions about mla style.
When citing an online journal article, first look for a DOI , as this is more stable and less likely to change than a URL. A DOI should be formatted as a full link beginning with “https://”, even if not listed as such on the page with the article.
If there is no DOI, you can add a URL instead. If the article is in PDF form, you can optionally note this in your reference .
Citing an article in a database
For sources that you accessed via a database, include the database name along with the DOI or permanent URL.
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In MLA style, up to two authors are included in citations. List them in the order they appear in the source, separated by commas, and don’t invert the second author’s name.
If an article has three or more authors, include only the first author’s name, followed by “ et al. ”
Special issue journals focus on a specific theme, are written by a specific group of authors, or are compiled from a special event.
In these cases, include the special issue name, the phrase “special issue of,” and the journal’s regular name. If the special issue lists editors or other contributors, their names should also be included.
The title of an article is not italicized in MLA style , but placed in quotation marks. This applies to articles from journals , newspapers , websites , or any other publication. Use italics for the title of the source where the article was published. For example:
Use the same formatting in the Works Cited entry and when referring to the article in the text itself.
If a source has two authors, name both authors in your MLA in-text citation and Works Cited entry. If there are three or more authors, name only the first author, followed by et al.
In MLA style citations , format a DOI as a link, including “https://doi.org/” at the start and then the unique numerical code of the article.
DOIs are used mainly when citing journal articles in MLA .
Some source types, such as books and journal articles , may contain footnotes (or endnotes) with additional information. The following rules apply when citing information from a note in an MLA in-text citation :
- To cite information from a single numbered note, write “n” after the page number, and then write the note number, e.g. (Smith 105n2)
- To cite information from multiple numbered notes, write “nn” and include a range, e.g. (Smith 77nn1–2)
- To cite information from an unnumbered note, write “un” after the page number, with a space in between, e.g. (Jones 250 un)
You must include an MLA in-text citation every time you quote or paraphrase from a source (e.g. a book , movie , website , or article ).
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How to Reference Journal Articles in APA Format
Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."
Emily is a board-certified science editor who has worked with top digital publishing brands like Voices for Biodiversity, Study.com, GoodTherapy, Vox, and Verywell.
Do you know how to create references for journal articles in APA format? If you write a psychology paper, then you are going to probably need to reference a number of different journal articles. Such articles summarize the results of studies and experiments conducted by researchers. In most cases, you will need to create references for at least five or more journal articles for every APA format paper you write.
APA format details a set of clear rules for referencing articles that appear in academic journals and other periodicals. These vary somewhat based on where the article appears and who the authors are. While many articles you will use in your references appear in academic and professional journals, you might also find articles in magazines, newspapers, and online publications.
The reference section is one of the easiest places to lose points due to incorrect APA format, so always check your references before you hand in your psychology papers . Learning to reference articles in proper APA style can help you throughout your study of psychology.
Basic Structure for Journal Article References
Start by listing the author's last name and first initials, followed by the date of publication in parentheses. Provide the title of the article, but only capitalize the first letter of the title. Next, list the journal or periodical and volume number in italics, followed by the issue number in parentheses. Finally, provide the page numbers where the article can be found.
Author, I. N. (Year). Title of the article. Title of the Journal or Periodical, volume number (issue number), page numbers.
Smith, L. V. (2000). Referencing articles in APA format. APA Format Weekly, 34 (1), 4-10.
If possible, include the DOI (digital object identifier) number at the end of your reference. If a DOI number is not available and you accessed the article online, give the URL of the journal's home page.
- Capitalize the first word in the title , subtitle, and proper nouns.
- References should be double-spaced.
- The first line of each reference should be flush left and any remaining lines should be indented.
Be sure to check your references using the official Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. See an example of different types of references and learn more about APA format .
The structure for an article appearing in a magazine is similar to that of a journal article. However, the publication date should also include the month and day of publication.
James, S. A. (2001, June 7). Magazine articles in APA format. Newsweek, 20, 48-52.
References for newspaper articles follow the basic structure as magazines, but you should list each individual page the article appears on rather than recording a page range.
Tensky, J. A. (2004, January 5). How to cite newspaper articles. The New York Times, 4D, 5D.
Articles With Two Authors
If an article has two authors, follow the basic format for a journal reference. Place a comma after the first initial of the first author followed by an ampersand (&). Then include the last name and first initial of the second author.
Mischel, W., & Baker, N. (1975). Cognitive transformations of reward objects through instructions. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 31 , 254-261.
Articles With Three to Twenty Authors
For journal articles with three to 20 authors, follow a similar format as you would with two authors, but separate each author and initials with a comma. The final author should be preceded by an ampersand. Follow this same format for each additional author up to 20 authors.
Hart, D., Keller, M., Edelstein, W., & Hofmann, V. (1998). Childhood personality influences on social-cognitive development: A longitudinal study. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74, 1288-1289. doi:10.1037/0022-3522.214.171.1248
Keller, J. L., Smithfield, K. B., Ellis, M., Michelina, R., & Bels, S. (1987). The limitations of anchoring bias. J ournal of Market Research, 17 , 115-119.
Articles With More Than Twenty Authors
The rules for referencing both single and multiple authors apply to all sources, whether the material came from books, magazine articles, newspaper articles, journal articles, or online sources. Include the last name and first initials of each author, with each individual separated by a comma. The last author should be preceded with an ampersand.
If the article includes 20 or fewer authors, list each author separately. If there are more than 20, include the first 19 and then include an ellipses (. . . ) in place of the author names before listing the final author.
Arlo, A., Black, B., Clark, C., Davidson, D., Emerson, E., Fischer, F., Grahmann, G., Habib, H., Ianelli, I., Juarez, J., Kobayashi, K., Lee, L., Martin, M., Naim, N., Odelsson, O., Pierce, P., Qiang, Q., Reed, R., Scofield, S., . . . Thatcher, T. (2011). Even more references. APA Format Today, 11 (4), 30-38.
Articles With No Author
If an article does not cite any authors, then start by giving the title of the article, followed by the publication date, source, and URL if you accessed the article electronically.
Scientists seek source of creativity. (2012, March, 6). Dayton County News. http://www.daytoncountynews.com/news/39756_39275.html
American Psychological Association. Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.). The American Psychological Association, 2019.
By Kendra Cherry, MSEd Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."
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Oxford University Press's Academic Insights for the Thinking World
How to write a journal article
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- By Rose Wolfe-Emery
- July 21 st 2023
Academics normally learn how to write while on the job, sugge s ts Michael Hochberg. This usually starts with “the dissertation and interactions with their supervisor. Skills are honed and new ones acquired with each successive manuscript.” Writing continues to improve throughout a career, but that thought might bring little solace if you are staring at a blank document and wondering where to start.
In this blog post, we share tips from editors and outline some ideas to bear in mind when drafting a journal article. Whether you are writing a journal article to share your research, contribute to your field, or progress your career, a well-written and structured article will increase the likelihood of acceptance and of your article making an impact after publication.
Four tips for writing well
Stuart West and Lindsay Turnbull suggest four general principles to bear in mind when writing journal articles:
- Keep it simple: “Simple, clear writing is fundamental to this task. Instead of trying to sound […] clever, you should be clear and concise.”
- Assume nothing: “When writing a paper, it’s best to assume that your reader is [subject] literate, but has very little expert knowledge. Your paper is more likely to fail because you assumed too much, than because you dumbed it down too much.”
- Keep to essentials: “If you focus on the main message, and remove all distractions, then the reader will come away with the message that you want them to have.”
- Tell your story : “Good […] writing tells a story. It tells the reader why the topic you have chosen is important, what you found out, and why that matters. For the story to flow smoothly, the different parts need to link clearly to each other. In creative writing this is called ‘narrative flow’.”
“A paper is well-written if a reader who is not involved in the work can understand every single sentence in the paper,” argues Nancy Dixon. But understanding is the bare minimum that you should aim for—ideally, you want to engage your audience, so they keep reading.
As West and Turnbull say , frankly: “Your potential reader is someone time-limited, stressed, and easily bored. They have a million other things to do and will take any excuse to give up on reading your paper.”
A complete guide to preparing a journal article for submission
Consider your research topic.
Before you begin to draft your article, consider the following questions:
- What key message(s) do you want to convey?
- Can you identify a significant advance that will arise from your article?
- How could your argument, results, or findings change the way that people think or advance understanding in the field?
As Nancy Dixon says: “[A journal] editor wants to publish papers that interest and excite the journal’s readers, that are important to advancing knowledge in the field and that spark new ideas for work in the field.”
Think about the journal that you want to submit to
Research the journals in your field and create a shortlist of “target” journals before writing your article, so that you can adapt your writing to the journal’s audience and style. Journals sometimes have an official style guide but reading published articles can also help you to familiarise yourself with the format and tone of articles in your target journals. Journals often publish articles of varying lengths and structures, so consider what article type would best suit your argument or results.
Check your target journals’ editorial policies and ethical requirements. As a minimum, all reputable journals require submissions to be original and previously unpublished. The ThinkCheckSubmit checklist can help you to assess whether a journal is suitable for your research.
Now that you’ve decided on your research topic and chosen the journal you plan on submitting to, what do you need to consider when drafting each section of your article?
Create an outline
Firstly, it’s worth creating an outline for your journal article, broken down by section. Seth J. Schwartz explains this as follows:
Writing an outline is like creating a map before you set out on a road trip. You know which roads to take, and where to turn or get off the highway. You can even decide on places to stop during your trip. When you create a map like this, the trip is planned and you don’t have to worry whether you are going in the correct direction. It has already been mapped out for you.
The typical structure of a journal article
- Make it concise, accurate, and catchy
- Avoid including abbreviations or formulae
- Choose 5-7 keywords that you’d like your journal article to appear in the search results for
- Summarize the findings of your journal article in a succinct, “punchy”, and relevant way
- Keep it brief (200 words for the letter, and 250 words for the main journal)
- Do not include references
- Introduce your argument or outline the problem
- Describe your approach
- Identify existing solutions and limitations, or provide the existing context for your discussion
- Define abbreviations
For STEM and some social sciences articles
- Describe how the work was done and include plenty of detail to allow for reproduction
- Identify equipment and software programs
For STEM and some social science articles
- Decide on the data to present and how to present it (clearly and concisely)
- Summarise the key results of the article
- Do not repeat results or introduce new discussion points
- Include funding, contributors who are not listed as authors, facilities and equipment, referees (if they’ve been helpful; even though anonymous)
- Do not include non-research contributors (parents, friends, or pets!)
- Cite articles that have been influential in your research—these should be well-balanced and relevant
- Follow your chosen journal’s reference style, such as Harvard or Chicago
- List all citations in the text alphabetically at end of the article
Many journals now encourage authors to make all data on which the conclusions of their article rely available to readers. This data can be presented in the main manuscript, in additional supporting files, or placed in a public repository.
Journals also tend to support the Force 11 Data Citation Principles that require all publicly available datasets be fully referenced in the reference list with an accession number or unique identifier such as a digital object identifier (DOI).
Permission to reproduce copyright material, for online publication without a time limit, must also be cleared and, if necessary, paid for by the author. Evidence in writing that such permissions have been secured from the rights-holder are usually required to be made available to the editors.
Learning from experience
Publishing a journal article is very competitive, so don’t lose hope if your article isn’t accepted to your first-choice journal the first-time round. If your article makes it to the peer-review stage, be sure to take note of what the reviewers have said, as their comments can be very helpful. As well as continuing to write, there are other things you can do to improve your writing skills, including peer review and editing.
Christopher, Marek, and Zebel note that “there is no secret formula for success”, arguing that:
The lack of a specific recipe for acceptances reflects, in part, the variety of factors that may influence publication decisions, such as the perceived novelty of the manuscript topic, how the manuscript topic relates to other manuscripts submitted at a similar time, and the targeted journal. Thus, beyond actively pursuing options for any one particular manuscript, begin or continue work on others. In fact, one approach to boosting writing productivity is to have a variety of ongoing projects at different stages of completion. After all, considering that “100 percent of the shots you do not take will not go in,” you can increase your chances of publication by taking multiple shots.
Rose Wolfe-Emery , Marketing Executive, Oxford University Press
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