How to format your references using the Cancer Discovery citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Cancer Discovery. 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
Williams R. Slowing the decline. Nature. 2010;466:S13-4.
A journal article with 2 authors
Voytas DF, Joung JK. Plant science. DNA binding made easy. Science. 2009;326:1491–2.
A journal article with 3 authors
Kaufman YJ, Tanré D, Boucher O. A satellite view of aerosols in the climate system. Nature. 2002;419:215–23.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Bryant MJ, Hammond KA, Bocian KM, Rettig MF, Miller CA, Cardullo RA. Assessment. School performance will fail to meet legislated benchmarks. Science. 2008;321:1781–2.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
D’Amico G, Di Biase G, Janssen J, Manca R. Semi-Markov Migration Models for Credit Risk. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; 2017.
An edited book
Vincent J, Taipale S, Sapio B, Lugano G, Fortunati L, editors. Social Robots from a Human Perspective. Cham: Springer International Publishing; 2015.
A chapter in an edited book
Blewett SCJ, Phillips D. An Overview of Cape Fold Belt Geochronology: Implications for Sediment Provenance and the Timing of Orogenesis. In: Linol B, de Wit MJ, editors. Origin and Evolution of the Cape Mountains and Karoo Basin. Cham: Springer International Publishing; 2016. page 45–55.

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 Cancer Discovery.

Blog post
Fang J. Why European Fruit Flies Hold Their Liquor Better Than Tropical Ones [Internet]. IFLScience. IFLScience; 2014 [cited 2018 Oct 30]. Available from:


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. Highway User Fees: Updated Data Needed to Determine Whether All Users Pay Their Fair Share. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 1994 Jun. Report No.: RCED-94-181.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Manley Lima MC. Commuter Students’ Social Integration: The Relationship Between Involvement in Extracurricular Activities and Sense of Belonging [Doctoral dissertation]. [Washington, DC]: George Washington University; 2014.

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
Loomis G. Phantasmagoric Glimpses of Beauty Amid All of the Messiness. New York Times. 2012;0.

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by sequential numbers in parentheses:

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 titleCancer Discovery
AbbreviationCancer Discov.
ISSN (print)2159-8274
ISSN (online)2159-8290

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