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
T. C. Tso, “Agriculture of the future,” Nature, vol. 428, no. 6979, pp. 215–217, Mar. 2004.
A journal article with 2 authors
N. Murray and M. Holman, “The role of chaotic resonances in the Solar System,” Nature, vol. 410, no. 6830, pp. 773–779, Apr. 2001.
A journal article with 3 authors
G. C. Harris, M. Wimmer, and G. Aston-Jones, “A role for lateral hypothalamic orexin neurons in reward seeking,” Nature, vol. 437, no. 7058, pp. 556–559, Sep. 2005.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
P. J. Paukstelis, J.-H. Chen, E. Chase, A. M. Lambowitz, and B. L. Golden, “Structure of a tyrosyl-tRNA synthetase splicing factor bound to a group I intron RNA,” Nature, vol. 451, no. 7174, pp. 94–97, Jan. 2008.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
D. Beneke, M. Peters, D. Glasser, and D. Hildebrandt, Understanding Distillation Using Column Profile Maps. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2012.
An edited book
D. M. Whitacre, Ed., Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology Volume 209, vol. 209. in Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, Continuation of Residue Reviews, vol. 209. New York, NY: Springer, 2010.
A chapter in an edited book
E. D. Kolaczyk and G. Csárdi, “Descriptive Analysis of Network Graph Characteristics,” in Statistical Analysis of Network Data with R, G. Csárdi, Ed., in Use R! New York, NY: Springer, 2014, pp. 43–67.

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, “Lunar Dynamo May Have Generated The Moon’s Ancient Magnetic Field,” IFLScience, Dec. 10, 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, “U.S. Merchant Marine: Maritime Administration Should Assess Potential Mariner-Training Needs,” U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, GAO-14-212, Jan. 2014.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
S. S. Zolfaghari, “The relationship between folic acid, vitamin B12, and vitamin B6 intakes and depression in women who use hormonal oral contraceptives,” Doctoral dissertation, California State University, Long Beach, Long Beach, CA, 2015.

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
E. Lipton, S. Eder, and B. Protess, “Ethical Hazards Dot the President’s Fairways,” New York Times, p. A1, May 26, 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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