How to format your references using the Bell Labs Technical Journal citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Bell Labs Technical Journal. For a complete guide how to prepare your manuscript refer to the journal's instructions to authors.

Using reference management software

Typically you don't format your citations and bibliography by hand. The easiest way is to use a reference manager:

PaperpileThe citation style is built in and you can choose it in Settings > Citation Style or Paperpile > Citation Style in Google Docs.
EndNoteDownload the output style file
Mendeley, Zotero, Papers, and othersThe style is either built in or you can download a CSL file that is supported by most references management programs.
BibTeXBibTeX syles are usually part of a LaTeX template. Check the instructions to authors if the publisher offers a LaTeX template for this journal.

Journal articles

Those examples are references to articles in scholarly journals and how they are supposed to appear in your bibliography.

Not all journals organize their published articles in volumes and issues, so these fields are optional. Some electronic journals do not provide a page range, but instead list an article identifier. In a case like this it's safe to use the article identifier instead of the page range.

A journal article with 1 author
C. Lloyd, “Plant science. Microtubules make tracks for cellulose,” Science, vol. 312, no. 5779, pp. 1482–1483, Jun. 2006.
A journal article with 2 authors
M. May and H. Brody, “Nature index 2015 Asia-Pacific,” Nature, vol. 519, no. 7544, p. S49, Mar. 2015.
A journal article with 3 authors
M. Mayor, C. Lovis, and N. C. Santos, “Doppler spectroscopy as a path to the detection of Earth-like planets,” Nature, vol. 513, no. 7518, pp. 328–335, Sep. 2014.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Z. Bashir et al., “Diversity and functional significance of cellulolytic microbes living in termite, pill-bug and stem-borer guts,” Sci. Rep., vol. 3, p. 2558, 2013.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
D. Attwood et al., Human Factors Methods for Improving Performance in the Process Industries. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2006.
An edited book
R. Sasaki, S. Qing, E. Okamoto, and H. Yoshiura, Eds., Security and Privacy in the Age of Ubiquitous Computing: IFIP TC11 20th International Information Security Conference May 30 – June 1, 2005, Chiba, Japan, vol. 181. Boston, MA: Springer US, 2005.
A chapter in an edited book
M. Kono and M. M. Škorić, “Waves in Plasmas,” in Nonlinear Physics of Plasmas, M. Skoric, Ed. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer, 2010, pp. 89–110.

Web sites

Sometimes references to web sites should appear directly in the text rather than in the bibliography. Refer to the Instructions to authors for Bell Labs Technical Journal.

Blog post
E. Andrew, “The Sun Is Eerily Quiet, And Scientists Aren’t Sure Why,” IFLScience, Jul. 23, 2014. (accessed Oct. 30, 2018).


This example shows the general structure used for government reports, technical reports, and scientific reports. If you can't locate the report number then it might be better to cite the report as a book. For reports it is usually not individual people that are credited as authors, but a governmental department or agency like "U. S. Food and Drug Administration" or "National Cancer Institute".

Government report
Government Accountability Office, “Vehicle Donations: Taxpayer Considerations When Donating Vehicles to Charities,” U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, GAO-03-608T, Apr. 2003.

Theses and dissertations

Theses including Ph.D. dissertations, Master's theses or Bachelor theses follow the basic format outlined below.

Doctoral dissertation
K. Mueck, “Physiology of the Invasive Apple Snail, Pomacea maculata (Perry, 1810), in Louisiana,” Doctoral dissertation, University of Louisiana, Lafayette, LA, 2017.

News paper articles

Unlike scholarly journals, news papers do not usually have a volume and issue number. Instead, the full date and page number is required for a correct reference.

New York Times article
J. B. Stewart, “Case Study in Chaos: Management Experts Grade a Trump White House,” New York Times, p. B1, Feb. 02, 2017.

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by sequential numbers in square brackets:

This sentence cites one reference [1].
This sentence cites two references [1], [2].
This sentence cites four references [1]–[4].

About the journal

Full journal titleBell Labs Technical Journal
AbbreviationBell Labs Tech. J.
ISSN (print)1089-7089
ScopeElectrical and Electronic Engineering

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