Style Sheet

Style Sheet

(Please bear with us while we populate this page)

  • Part 1 is a detailed explanation on how to cite and provide references. This is of special use to authors.
  • Part 2 details editorial choices on layout and style issues. This is mostly reference material for the Layout Editor. Authors do not need to follow these guidelines, as they are applied at a later time in the publication process.

Please let the Editor know if you find any significant omissions or contradictions.

Citations and References

The Journal’s style sheet is based on the Chicago Manual of Style (17th ed.) with very few, intentional modifications.

The guiding thoughts for our style sheet regarding citations and references are that:

  1. References should be easy to pick up by the reader without having to scroll back and forth through the manuscript (thus, use parenthetical citations; do not use footnotes to reference citations).
  2. The point of references is to help the reader find the source documentation with as much ease as possible (thus, indicate page numbers when citing articles too! And if using classical texts, use the standard way of citing for that text rather than the pages of your current edition).
  3. While everything that needs to be documented should be documented, the application of the style sheet should be flexible enough to allow for alternative ways of citing when the regular way makes reading cumbersome (thus, you do not need to cite the same work twice in a paragraph, when it is obviously redundant).
  4. Providing additional context can be very helpful for the newcomer. When convenient (e.g. when citing for the first time a work that is of great importance for your argument), provide some context for the uninformed reader, mentioning for example the year in which a novel or article was originally published, or naming (in your text) the specific work from which you are quoting.
  5. When in doubt, make an informed choice and stay consistent.

In choosing a specific style for citations, we want to make it possible for the readers to easily locate the reference when needed, without the cumbersome need to be scrolling back and forth through the text. For this reason:

Parenthetical citations (In-text citations):

To cite within the text, use parenthetical citations rather than footnotes. While they look more intrusive, they make the reading easier than having to scroll back and forth (especially when the reader does not know if that particular footnote may provide instead important commentary). Use footnotes only for additional information or reflections that would interrupt the flow of the text (and use them sparingly; consider whether what you want to say there would not better go in the main text).

The basic format for parenthetical citations is easy: when they first appear:

[Quotation]” (Author’s last name [no comma] Year [comma] page number/s)

[Quotation]” (Herbert 1965, 143-145)

Separate page numbers with “en dash” and write both numbers fully.

In subsequent appearances, you do not need to mention the year of publication every time, unless you are using more than one text by the same author.

(Herbert, 157)

If more than one text from the same author has the same publication date, then use additional letters next to the date, as listed in the Bibliography.

(Herbert 1954b, 301)

Periods: Within a running paragraph, the period goes after the parenthetical citation. When following a blockquote, the period goes at the end of the quote, and there is no period after the parenthetical citation. (Blockquotes do not need quotation marks).

This is something very interesting that I said. (Mac Laughlin 2021, 3)

Variations to Parenthetical Citations: Well-known classical works should be mentioned by name instead, and, if available, standard notation should be used: it is much more informative to write

(Nicomachean Ethics, 423d)


(Aristotle 2014, 23)

In the latter case, the reader would be forced to scroll down to the bibliography and find which of Aristotle’s works that edition is referring to. And the reader would not be able to track down the quotation unless they have exactly the same edition. So please use standard notation when available.

Mentioning original publication date: If you would rather use the original publication date (if, for example, you are using an influential article that is now published in an anthology) feel free to do so; just be consistent with your choice.

Using the title of a story: in some cases, the title of a story (or movie or TV episode) will be more informative than author/date. Feel free to use it in the parenthetical citation, and to use a shortened form in subsequent citations. If the shortened form is clear enough you need no clarification, but if it does, then add it the first time you cite it. For example:

(Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring, 24; subsequently Fellowship)

Subsequent citations will look like this:

(Fellowship, 72)

When it is clear what work is being referred to, because it was just mentioned in the preceding lines you can just use the page number. This makes citation less cumbersome. For example:

If such is the case, argues Admundsen, then “there is no point in making a citation longer than it needs be” (872).

Similarly, if you need to cite the same page very closely to the previous reference, you can just repeat the page number, or you can use (ibid.) instead.

In cases of excessive citation, reported side effects have included redundancy and double-jointedness (Admundsen 905). But this has not deterred excessive citers from imposing their bad form on a significant amount of the population (ibid.)

Of course, in the previous example you may as well cite only once.

Bibliography / Works Cited

At the end of the manuscript, you must list the full bibliography, prefaced by the heading “Bibliography,” “References” or “Works Cited.” (The last one is deemed acceptable, although it may not be the case that all the works mentioned there are actually cited.)

The aim of the bibliography is to aid the reader in finding the works used by the author, and, in particular, to be able to spot them quickly using the information from the parenthetical citations. The two most important information for this is the author’s name (last name first), followed by the publication year. (Separate them using periods only.)

Example: Harrington, Emma. 2002. Citing Properly. [Rest of citation follows.]

If the publication date appears again at the end of the citation (e.g. if it is part of the information for the volume in a journal) don’t worry: write it twice. We are aiming for clarity and comprehensiveness rather than elegance.

Example: Harrington, Emma. 1996. “The Social Cost of Citing Improperly.” International Journal of Overthinking. Vol. 56 (1996). 134-567. (1996 is mentioned twice.)

If more than one author is listed, subsequent authors are named first, then last name. Only the first person listed has their last name listed first.

Example: Harrington, Emma, David McCauley and Jill Marquette. 2003. Citing Even Better.

The other important bit of information is that, in U.S. English style, most titles are capitalized “headline style,” and the titles of whole books, and of movies and TV shows are listed in italics. Titles of articles, individual chapters and individual episodes are listed with no italics, and between quotation marks.

Capitalizing headline style: Roughly, capitalize every word except for prepositions, the articles the, a and an, the conjuntions and, but, for, or, nor, and the words to and as. Exception to these: when any of the words is meant to be “stressed” (as in “Look Up”). For more information consult the Chicago Manual of Style.

Example: The Day that the Earth Stood Still.

Chapters in edited books: Instead of the name of the editor/s followed by “Ed..”, we prefer “Edited by…”

Listing many works from the same author: the older use of replacing the author’s name with a series of dashes, when that author has many entries in a bibliography, has been derogated. This is because it affects digital searches (whether search engines counting citations, or your own search run from your word processor). So write the whole name every single time.

Specific Examples of Bibliographical Elements
Citing a book:Author/s (last, first). Year. Title (in italics). [Optional: City where published, followed by semicolon:] Publisher.Herbert, Frank. 1965. Dune. New York: Berkley.
Citing a book chapter in an edited book:Author/s (last, first). Year. “Article Name” (between quotation marks, no italics). In Book title (in italics), edited by [Editor’s name/s], [pages]. [Optional: City where published, followed by semicolon:] Publisher.Doe, Jane. 1990. “Environmental Ethics in Dune.” In The Philosophy of Dune, edited by John Masters, 230-256. Boston: Harvard University Press.
Citing an article in a journal:Author/s (last, first). Year. “Article Name” (between quotation marks, no italics). Journal Title (in italics), Volume number. Issue number (if available). (Date, between parenthesis): Page numbers.Wayne, John. 2011. “The Myths of the Sandpeople.” Journal of Made-Up Mythologies, 14.2 (March 2011): 303-306.[Note that the date is repeated here. It’s all right.]
Adding “print” or “web” to a reference.Note: it is becoming more common to add at the end of the reference “Print” or “Web,” depending on whether the source used was printed or online.Herbert, Frank. 1965. Dune. [New York:] Berkley. Print. Wayne, John. 2011. “The Myths of the Sandpeople.” Journal of Made-Up Mythologies, 14.2 (March 2011): 303-306. Web.
Citing an online article.If the online article belongs to an established journal or a periodical publication, follow the format for “Citing an article in a journal.”
If the source is more of a blog, occasional essay, review, etc., then: Author/s (last, first). Year. “Article Name” (between quotation marks, no italics). Website name (not url.) Publication date (Day, month, year). “Web.” Last accessed (day, month, year).
Add next the url (between “< >” or with no additional symbols).
See notes below.
 Dylan, Marcia. 2017. “How My Life Changed After Reading Science Fiction.” The Bored Muse. 25 May 2008. Web. Last accessed 20 June 2017. <>
Citing an online encyclopedia or wiki.Search Term. Website (in italics).  Publication date (Day, month, year). “Web.” Last accessed (day, month, year).  “Sandcrawlers.” DuneWiki. 17 April 2009. Web. Last accessed 30 May 2017.
Citing a movie.Title (in italics). Year. Dir. [Director’s name, First M. Last]. Perf. First M. Last. [Main actors; may be omitted.] Distributor. Media Type.Dune. 1984. Dir. David Linch. [Perf. Kyle MacLachlan]. Universal. Film.
Citing a serial / TV show.TV series name (in italics). “Episode Title.” (No italics; between quotation marks.) “Season #, Episode #.” [This is not standard, but it is quite simply the easiest, non-technical way of finding an episode in present-day streaming services.] (#Episode number (if available)). Dir[ected by] First name Last name. Written by First name Last name. Name of network, Month Date, Year of original air date.Star Trek. “Journey to Babel.” Season 2, Episode 10 (#44). Dir. Joseph Pevney. Written by Gene Roddenberry, D.C. Fontana. NBC, 16 November 1967.
A Note on Citing Online Material

During the first writing of this style sheet it was not clear whether adding the url (the web address) to a reference would continue as a practice (instead of the website’s name and article information, which one could use to find the article), but it seems to be becoming the standard.

There are, however, improper ways of citing online material. Most importantly these:

(1) Citing the url without properly listing the other elements. Authors should make every effort to identify an author, a specific publication date, a publisher and a general title for the website, and not rely exclusively on the url. Keeping in mind that the url itself could disappear — as things do disappear often in the web — the reader should have enough information to track down copies of the document, if the url ceases working for some reason.

(2) Copying a search string instead of the proper url. This is a very common mistake when using search engines. When adding the url to a reference, make sure that you are referencing its permanent link, purged of all the symbols added by search engines.

(3) Not testing the links. It is the author’s responsibility to make sure that all the links work properly (although we do double check during proofreading).

Layout Information

The following information is for reference for Layout Editors. Authors need not be concerned, as the manuscript will be properly formatted during the Layout stage.


The Journal uses U.S. “Letter” size (11 x 8.5 inches), with 1-inch margins on all four sides.


Each article is numbered separately, beginning in “1.”


Unless specified, all lines are single-spaced. But there is specified space between paragraphs. This space may be tinkered with to achieve a more balanced pagination.


Journal articles are published with the Cambria font. The only exception is the use of AR Essence font in the capitalized J, S, F and P in the “Journal of Science Fiction and Philosophy” footers starting on page 2.

Headers and footers:

Page 1 exclusively lists the article information, in this manner:

Journal of Science Fiction and Philosophy vol.[number] (year)

© 2018 by Alfredo Mac Laughlin. ISSN 2573-881X

This article © [year] by [author, first-last]. Published [year month-spelled-out day] E.g. 2020 October 5.

Original publication under a CC-BY-NC License by the Journal of Science Fiction and Philosophy.

Starting on page 2:

Header: Cambria size 10, centered: [Author’s last name]: [Shortened version of article title.]

Footer: Cambria size 9 (except for the initials of the Journal in AR Essence size 9)

  • Flushed left: “Journal of Science Fiction and Philosophy.” Flushed right: “Vol. 4: 2021” (or corresponding).
  • Empty line.
  • Centered: page number.
Normal paragraphs:

Cambria, size 12, flushed left. Paragraphs have a first-line indent of .5 inch, unless they are the first paragraph after a heading (in which case there is no indentation), or a continuing paragraph after a blockquote.

Paragraphs are single-spaced, but there is a 6 pt. separation between paragraphs. (After the paragraph; 0 pt. before).

Article Title:

Cambria, size 16, centered. If the title is too long, insert a paragraph break where it looks best.

Leave some spacing between title lines or the title and the next element (double-spaced or at least 1.5 line).

Leave some space between the title and the top margin (normally one or two full title-sized lines).


Cambria, size 12 bold, centered. Only the full name, no titles unless specifically requested.

Leave 8 to 12 pt spacing (use the “paragraph” function) between lines.

Affiliation (if any)

Cambria, size 12 italic, centered. Consult with author for proper spelling.

Leave at least two lines between the affiliation and the abstract.


The abstract is preceded by a line separator.

The title “Abstract” is the same style as the Author’s Name: Cambria, size 12 bold, centered. 12 pts. spacing before, at least 8 pts. spacing below.

Abstract text: Cambria, size 11, JUSTIFIED (this is the only section in an article that is justified)

Insert in a separate paragraph Keywords, if any.

Close this section with a line separator.


Heading 1 (the most common): Cambria, size 12 bold, no indent, flushed left. Use Heading Capitalization. Spacing: at least 12 pts above, at least 8 pts below (12 pts preferred).

Heading 2: Same as Heading one, but not-bold, italicized.


Same type as normal paragraphs (Cambria size 12, flushed left). The whole quote is to be indented .5 inches. The parenthetical citation should have no period at the end (check).

Spacing: at least 12 pt. before, 12 pt. after.

Article End:

Insert (centered) the star icon without the letters. Calculate the distance with the paragraph by what looks cool. (Usually a little above the half-point of all the empty space).

Acknowledgments (if any)

“Acknowledgments” as a Heading 1 title.

The text of the acknowledgments if a Normal paragraph style, no first-line indent.

Works Cited / Bibliography / References

Begin preferably in a new page.

The title (any of the three) goes as a Heading 1 title.

Every reference element goes in their own paragraph. Refer to part 1 for proper citation, and to the Chicago Manual of Style, 17 ed. for any doubts.

Reference elements: Cambria size 12, flush left. No first-line indent, .5-inch hanging indent. Spacing: at least 6 pts. Add more if aesthetically pleasing.

Footnotes / Endnotes

Endnotes are preferred by default; but if footnotes fit with the flow of the text (or are specifically requested by the author) stay with footnotes.

Endnote title: “Notes” in Heading 1 style, preferably in a new page after the Bibliography.

If the footnotes go into the next page, a page-wide footnote / endnote separator (introduced automatically by Word) can be left.

Note: Word is tricky with the setup of footnote / endnote separators: Set the VIEW to DRAFT VIEW; from there go to REFERENCE, click on INSERT ENDNOTE. In this view you will see a box that allows you to select and modify the separator, if needed.

Footnote / Endnote text: Cambria size 11, flushed left. FIRST LINE INDENT of 1/8th of an inch. Spacing of at least 3 pt. after each paragraph.

Final Star Icon

Insert Star Icon (with letters), centered, with a pleasing separation from the text (see “Article End.”)