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Guidelines for JOMA Authors - Reference Style

David Smith and Kyle Siegrist


Over the lifetime of JOMA, we haven't been entirely consistent with this, but we're settling now on an APA-like style for references. The in-text reference should take the form "(last name, date)" or – if the author's name is part of the text – "last name (date)".

Example 1

  • ...  a paper entitled "Multigrid Graph Paper" (Bevis, 2002 ) ...
  • ...  a means of streamlining the Lay (2003) presentation ...

In the reference list, it's the same order: "last name, initials [and other authors, if any, in same order] (year).", followed by the usual bibliographic information – but not repeating the date. If the list is already alphabetized, the numbering is redundant – and a nuisance if you stick in a new item. Also, the name and date are more informative within the text than a single number (math style) would be. Where the same author has more than one reference in a single year, use a, b, … after the year. And you can use "in press" or "in preparation" in place of a date for items not yet published.

Example 2

  1. Carlson, D., Johnson, C. R., Lay, D. C., & Porter, A. D. (2002). Linear Algebra Gems: Assets for Undergraduate Mathematics. Washington, DC: Mathematical Association of America.
  2. Meel, D. E. (1999b). Learning logs: Enlivening elementary linear algebra. PRIMUS, 9 (3), 205-225.

Online references follow the same format but include an explicit URL (with link to the same URL, opening a new window, i.e., target= "_blank") and a parenthetical "accessed (date)" to show when the resource was known to be available. (The date may get updated in the editorial process.) Variations are permissible -- in fact, the actual APA style for electronic references is slightly different -- as long as all the essential information is present, and the style is consistent within the document.

Example 3

  1. Meel, D. E. (1999a). A linear algebra activity: From bases to matrices. MAA Online -- Innovative Teaching Exchange [On-line]. Available: /t_and_l/exchange/ite4/insearch.html (accessed 5/16/05)

Try to concentrate on resources that are likely to be both stable and correct. For example, class notes on an instructor's private page are not likely to have been vetted by anyone, and they may not last beyond the course offering.

The examples on this page are from a paper that would appear this way in a Reference list:

  1. Meel, D. E., & Hern, T. A. (2005). Tool Building: Web-based Linear Algebra Modules. Journal of Online Mathematics and its Applications, 5 [On-line]. Available:  (accessed 6/10/05)

We are not sticklers for absolute compliance with APA style as long as consistency is maintained throughout a given work. For example, the preceding reference could also be given as

  1. Meel, D. E., & T. A. Hern (2005). Tool Building: Web-based Linear Algebra Modules. Journal of Online Mathematics and its Applications, 5 Available online at (retrieved 6/10/05)

The changes are in order of second (and subsequent) author's initials, "available online", and "retrieved" instead of "accessed". Whatever variations are used in one entry should be followed consistently throughout the list.


When the article or module is published, References will be on a separate page. In the References list, please add a named anchor to each item (e.g., first three letters of author's name), then link to this anchor from each citation in the text. That way, with a long list, the relevant item will show up at the top of the page (unless it's toward the bottom of the list, which we can't do anything about). Also, please make all those links open in a new window (target= "_blank"). The URL won't be right, but we will do a global replace on those, once we know the URL of the References page.

Example 1 (repeated)

  • ... a paper entitled "Multigrid Graph Paper" (Bevis, 2002 ) ...
  • ... a means of streamlining the Lay (2003) presentation ...

Note that a reference in the text to an online item requires two clicks to access – one to open the References page in a new window, then one to access the resource in another new window.

David Smith and Kyle Siegrist, "Guidelines for JOMA Authors - Reference Style," Convergence (May 2006)


Journal of Online Mathematics and its Applications