How to format your references using the Cancers citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Cancers. 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.
EndNoteFind the style here: output styles overview
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
Perkel, J.M. The trouble with reference rot. Nature 2015, 521, 111–112.
A journal article with 2 authors
Stephenson, N.L.; Das, A.J. Comment on “Changes in climatic water balance drive downhill shifts in plant species’’ optimum elevations".” Science 2011, 334, 177; author reply 177.
A journal article with 3 authors
Parens, E.; Johnston, J.; Moses, J. Ethics. Do we need “synthetic bioethics”? Science 2008, 321, 1449.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Velasquez, S.M.; Ricardi, M.M.; Dorosz, J.G.; Fernandez, P.V.; Nadra, A.D.; Pol-Fachin, L.; Egelund, J.; Gille, S.; Harholt, J.; Ciancia, M.; et al. O-glycosylated cell wall proteins are essential in root hair growth. Science 2011, 332, 1401–1403.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Pai MD FACC FRCP Edin, R.G.; Varadarajan MD FACC, P. Echocardiography Board Review; John Wiley & Sons, Ltd: Chichester, UK, 2014; ISBN 9781118515563.
An edited book
Usability- and Accessibility-Focused Requirements Engineering: First International Workshop, UsARE 2012, Held in Conjunction with ICSE 2012, Zurich, Switzerland, June 4, 2012 and Second International Workshop, UsARE 2014, Held in Conjunction with RE 2014, Karlskrona, Sweden, August 25, 2014, Revised Selected Papers; Ebert, A., Humayoun, S.R., Seyff, N., Perini, A., Barbosa, S.D.J., Eds.; Lecture Notes in Computer Science; Springer International Publishing: Cham, 2016; Vol. 9312; ISBN 9783319459158.
A chapter in an edited book
Saunus, J.M.; McCart-Reed, A.; Momeny, M.; Cummings, M.; Lakhani, S.R. Breast Cancer Heterogeneity in Primary and Metastatic Disease. In Breast Cancer Metastasis and Drug Resistance: Progress and Prospects; Ahmad, A., Ed.; Springer: New York, NY, 2013; pp. 65–95 ISBN 9781461456469.

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 Cancers.

Blog post
Hale, T. Moron Allegedly Punches Hammerhead Shark To Death On Beach Available online: (accessed on Oct 30, 2018).


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 Information Technology: Actions Needed to Fully Establish Program Management Capability for VA’s Financial and Logistics Initiative; U.S. Government Printing Office: Washington, DC, 2009;

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Barbeau, S.J. A Location-Aware Architecture Supporting Intelligent Real-Time Mobile Applications. Doctoral dissertation, University of South Florida: Tampa, FL, 2012.

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
Steinmetz, G.; Kimmelman, M. Floating in the Sky. New York Times 2014, MM32.

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by sequential numbers in square brackets:

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 titleCancers
AbbreviationCancers (Basel)
ISSN (online)2072-6694
ScopeCancer Research

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