How to format your references using the Cancer Research citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Cancer Research. 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
Joyce GF. Obituary: Leslie Orgel (1927-2007). Nature. 2007;450:627.
A journal article with 2 authors
Campbell CT, Peden CHF. Chemistry. Oxygen vacancies and catalysis on ceria surfaces. Science. 2005;309:713–4.
A journal article with 3 authors
Scholey JM, Brust-Mascher I, Mogilner A. Cell division. Nature. 2003;422:746–52.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Oliver WD, Yu Y, Lee JC, Berggren KK, Levitov LS, Orlando TP. Mach-Zehnder interferometry in a strongly driven superconducting qubit. Science. 2005;310:1653–7.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Makower T. Touching the City. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd; 2014.
An edited book
Ashraf M, Ozturk M, Athar HR, editors. Salinity and Water Stress: Improving Crop Efficiency. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands; 2009.
A chapter in an edited book
Carpenter D. Billing and Coding for Procedures. In: Taylor DA, Sherry SP, Sing RF, editors. Interventional Critical Care: A Manual for Advanced Care Practitioners. Cham: Springer International Publishing; 2016. page 31–9.

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 Research.

Blog post
Andrew E. A Handshake In Space Changed US-Russia Relations: How Long Will It Last? [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. Results-Oriented Management: OPM Needs to Do More to Ensure Meaningful Distinctions Are Made in SES Ratings and Performance Awards. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 2015 Jan. Report No.: GAO-15-189.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Kellogg A. Hospital Lean and Six Sigma: Is there a financial benefit? [Doctoral dissertation]. [Long Beach, CA]: California State University, Long Beach; 2010.

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
Corkery M. In Rare Move, Google Imposes New Limits on Addiction Treatment Ads. New York Times. 2017;B5.

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 Research
AbbreviationCancer Res.
ISSN (print)0008-5472
ISSN (online)1538-7445
ScopeCancer Research

Other styles