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
Munk W. Ocean science. Ocean freshening, sea level rising. Science. 2003;300:2041–3.
A journal article with 2 authors
Yao Z, Shafer OT. The Drosophila circadian clock is a variably coupled network of multiple peptidergic units. Science. 2014;343:1516–20.
A journal article with 3 authors
Hunte C, Zickermann V, Brandt U. Functional modules and structural basis of conformational coupling in mitochondrial complex I. Science. 2010;329:448–51.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Albrecht M, Lutz M, Spek AL, van Koten G. Organoplatinum crystals for gas-triggered switches. Nature. 2000;406:970–4.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Rogstad DH, Mileant A, Pham TT. Antenna Arraying Techniques in the Deep Space Network. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; 2005.
An edited book
Hesthaven JS. Certified Reduced Basis Methods for Parametrized Partial Differential Equations. 1st ed. 2016. Rozza G, Stamm B, editors. Cham: Springer International Publishing; 2016.
A chapter in an edited book
Martín ME, Sánchez ML, Muñoz-Losa A, Fdez. Galván I, Aguilar MA. Accelerating QM/MM Calculations by Using the Mean Field Approximation. In: Rivail J-L, Ruiz-Lopez M, Assfeld X, editors. Quantum Modeling of Complex Molecular Systems. Cham: Springer International Publishing; 2015. page 135–52.

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 Research.

Blog post
Andrews R. The Ice Bucket Challenge Directly Funded A Major Genetic Breakthrough In ALS Research [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. Strategic Bombers: Logistics Decisions Impede B-1B Readiness and Supportability. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 1989 May. Report No.: NSIAD-89-129.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Byrd WE. Relational programming in miniKanren: Techniques, applications, and implementations [Doctoral dissertation]. [Bloomington, IN]: Indiana University; 2009.

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
Wagner J. Returning for Friendship, and Drums. New York Times. 2017;SP3.

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