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
Mervis J. SCIENCE EDUCATION: Ehlers Bill Wins Bipartisan Backing. Science. 2000;289:713a.
A journal article with 2 authors
Goldhaber-Gordon I, Goldhaber-Gordon D. Schrödinger’s mousetrap. Part 6. Nature. 2005;433:805.
A journal article with 3 authors
Sharam GJ, Sinclair ARE, Turkington R. Serengeti birds maintain forests by inhibiting seed predators. Science. 2009;325:51.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Dai ZG, Wang XY, Wu XF, Zhang B. X-ray flares from postmerger millisecond pulsars. Science. 2006;311:1127–9.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Khanna VK. Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor IGBT Theory and Design. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; 2005.
An edited book
Ho Y-S, Kim H-J, editors. Advances in Multimedia Information Processing - PCM 2005: 6th Pacific Rim Conference on Multimedia, Jeju Island, Korea, November 13-16, 2005, Proceedings, Part II. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer; 2005.
A chapter in an edited book
Benedetti R, Piersimoni F, Postiglione P. Advanced Methods to Design Samples for Land Use/Land Cover Surveys. In: Di Battista T, Moreno E, Racugno W, editors. Topics on Methodological and Applied Statistical Inference. Cham: Springer International Publishing; 2016. page 31–42.

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
Carpineti A. UK Artists and Scientists Launch Space Junk Awareness Project [Internet]. IFLScience. IFLScience; 2016 [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. Federal Internal Control and Financial Management Systems: Major Reform Efforts Are Needed. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 1990 Apr. Report No.: T-AFMD-90-14.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Harris RH. Comparing the Effects of Traditional Face-to-face, Technology-Based, and Blended Instructional Strategies in a Post-Secondary Spanish Language Learning Environment [Doctoral dissertation]. [Scottsdale, AZ]: Northcentral University; 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
Joy S. Pursuing Inside-Out Strategies. New York Times. 2015;D17.

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

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