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
Gershon D. Mass spectrometry goes mainstream. Nature. 2003;424:581.
A journal article with 2 authors
Siefermann KR, Abel B. Chemistry. Ion chemistry mediated by water networks. Science. 2010;327:280–1.
A journal article with 3 authors
Kim H-J, Lee J-H, Cho J-H. Antiferromagnetic Slater insulator phase of Na₂IrO₃. Sci Rep. 2014;4:5253.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Kim H-D, Yun MJ, Lee JH, Kim KH, Kim TG. Transparent multi-level resistive switching phenomena observed in ITO/RGO/ITO memory cells by the sol-gel dip-coating method. Sci Rep. 2014;4:4614.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Gage LJ. Hand-Rearing Wild and Domestic Mammals. Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishing Ltd; 2008.
An edited book
Holick MF, editor. Vitamin D: Physiology, Molecular Biology, and Clinical Applications. Totowa, NJ: Humana Press; 2010.
A chapter in an edited book
Hoh BL, Fargen KM, O’Connor T. Hemicraniectomy. In: Ovbiagele B, editor. Ischemic Stroke Therapeutics: A Comprehensive Guide. Cham: Springer International Publishing; 2016. page 45–52.

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
Davis J. More Refined Blood Test Could Cut Possible Heart Attack Admissions By Two-Thirds [Internet]. IFLScience. IFLScience; 2015 [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. Amtrak: Information on Subsidies in Thruway Bus Operations. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 1995 May. Report No.: RCED-95-138.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Cook EJ. Older Americans Act of 1965, Title III: A policy analysis [Doctoral dissertation]. [Long Beach, CA]: California State University, Long Beach; 2013.

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
Dash E. Standard & Poor’s Lowers More Ratings. New York Times. 2011;B9.

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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