Taylor & Francis Editorial Policies

This section of the Taylor & Francis Editorial Policies includes important information about why and how you should cite sources in your article. These requirements apply to all journals published by Taylor & Francis Group.

Research and non-research articles must cite relevant, timely, and verified literature (peer-reviewed, where appropriate) to support any claims made in the article.

You must avoid excessive and inappropriate self-citation or prearrangements among author groups to inappropriately cite each other’s work, as this can be considered a form of misconduct called citation manipulation. Read the COPE guidance on citation manipulation.

If you’re the author of a non-research article (e.g. a Review or Opinion) you should make sure that the references you cite are relevant and provide a fair and balanced overview of the current state of research or scholarly work on the topic. Your references should not be unfairly biased towards a particular research group, organization or journal.

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If you are unsure about whether to cite a source you should contact the journal editorial office for advice. For example, in some disciplines it might be expected to cite a published conference proceeding, a poster session or a conference presentation.

Any sources must be citable via a permanent identifier (e.g. a permanent Digital Object Identifier or an International Standard Serial Number).

Main-text references

The following types of references should be added to the main text only and should not be included in the formal reference list. You should consider adding the following types of references only when it is deemed to be necessary:

Unpublished observations

Any research findings which have not been accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal or other formal publication (e.g. a book) should be referred to as “Unpublished observations” in parentheses. Place references to these within the main text.

For example: Our previous study showed metastases recurred in 10% of patients (Unpublished observations).

Personal communications

Place references to personal communications such as letters, emails and conversations (including any via social media) within the main text, not as formal end references. Include the nature and source of the cited information, using terms to indicate that no corresponding citation is in the reference list. Place the source information in parentheses.

For example: … and most of these proved to be fatal (2003 letter from RS Grant to me; unreferenced).

It is your responsibility, as the author, to obtain permission from the person(s) you are quoting within the article.

The process of obtaining permission should include sharing the article prior to submission, so that those being identified and quoted can verify the context in which they are being quoted.

If permission cannot be obtained, the personal communication must be removed from the article.

Reference list

The following types of articles should be added to the reference list:

“In Press” or “Forthcoming” articles

Articles which have been accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal, but have not yet been published should be referred to as “In Press” or “Forthcoming” in lieu of publication dates.

Website links

Any references to websites should be included in the reference list. These should include the title of the site, the URL, and the date the website was accessed.


Articles which have been published in preprint servers or institutional repositories should be cited in the Reference list. These should include the names of the authors, the title of the article, the DOI of the preprint, and the date the preprint was posted. If the preprint has been formally published in a peer-reviewed journal, authors should cite that version instead of the preprint.

Preprints of your submission

If a submission to one of our journals has a preprint available this should be declared in the manuscript and cited. Once the article has been published, authors should update the preprint to state the article has been published.

  • We ask that, upon acceptance, authors should update their preprint to acknowledge that the article has been accepted for publication as follows:

    “This article has been accepted for publication in [JOURNAL TITLE], published by Taylor & Francis.”

  • After publication authors are requested to update their preprint by adding the following text to encourage others to read and cite the final published version of the article (the “Version of Record”):

    “This is an original manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in [JOURNAL TITLE] on [date of publication], available online:[Article DOI].”

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All data referenced in articles published by Taylor & Francis should be accompanied with a citation. In general, the following elements should be included in data citations:

  • Author – the individual(s) responsible for the creation of the data

  • Material Designator – the tag “[dataset]”

  • Electronic Retrieval Location – a persistent identifier (e.g. DOI) where this is available

  • Publisher Location – this is often the repository where the author has deposited the data set

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This will help the reader identify and find the data set, and ensures that you give credit to the individual or group who created the data. Read the full Taylor & Francis guidance on citing datasets.

Many of our journals have data sharing policies which specifically state that authors are, for example, highly encouraged or required to make available the data associated with their article. Authors are also expected to include a Data Availability Statement, and can use the template statements available here.


When citing software that you’ve created or used in your research, you should include the following details:

  • Creator(s): the authors or project that developed the software.

  • Title: the name of the software.

  • Publication venue: the venue of the software, preferably an archive or repository that provides persistent identifiers.

  • Date: the date the software was published. This is the date associated with a release or version of the software, or “n.d.” if the date is unknown.

  • Identifier: a resolvable pointer to the software, preferentially, a persistent identifier (PID) that resolves to a landing page containing descriptive metadata about the software, similar to how a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) for a paper that points to a page about the paper rather than directly to a representation of the paper, such as the PDF. DOIs are preferable, and other examples of PIDs include HandlesRRIDsASCL IDsswMath IDsSoftware Heritage IDsARKs, etc. If there is no PID for the software, a URL to where the software exists may be the best identifier available.

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If relevant, it may also be useful to include the following additional information:

  • Version: the identifier for the version of the software being referenced. If the version is unidentified or unknown, the date of access should be used.

  • Type: some citation styles (e.g., APA), require a bracketed description of the citation (e.g., Computer software) to be included.

For further guidance we recommend Software Citation Checklist for Developers, which includes information on how to obtain a PID or choose a software license for software you’ve developed.


Authors are encouraged to cite their thesis where this is relevant to their submission. In general, the following style should be followed for thesis which are stored in a repository or database:

Author name, THESIS or DISSERTATION, “Title” University, Year published, Database (Identification Number); electronic retrieval location (DOI) where available.