How to format your references using the Carbon citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Carbon. 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
D. Shindell, Climate change. Whither Arctic climate?, Science. 299 (2003) 215–216.
A journal article with 2 authors
A. Maynard, D. Rejeski, Too small to overlook, Nature. 460 (2009) 174.
A journal article with 3 authors
M.T. Alkire, A.G. Hudetz, G. Tononi, Consciousness and anesthesia, Science. 322 (2008) 876–880.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
A.M. Boustany, S.F. Davis, P. Pyle, S.D. Anderson, B.J. Le Boeuf, B.A. Block, Expanded niche for white sharks, Nature. 415 (2002) 35–36.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
J.Y.B. Lee, Scalable Continuous Media Streaming Systems, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK, 2005.
An edited book
V. Benner Carson, Care Giving for Alzheimer’s Disease: A Compassionate Guide for Clinicians and Loved Ones, Springer, New York, NY, 2015.
A chapter in an edited book
C. Delporte-Gallet, H. Fauconnier, R. Guerraoui, E. Ruppert, When Birds Die: Making Population Protocols Fault-Tolerant, in: P.B. Gibbons, T. Abdelzaher, J. Aspnes, R. Rao (Eds.), Distributed Computing in Sensor Systems: Second IEEE International Conference, DCOSS 2006, San Francisco, CA, USA, June 18-20, 2006. Proceedings, Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 2006: pp. 51–66.

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 Carbon.

Blog post
E. Andrew, The Case For Nuclear Power – Despite The Risks, IFLScience. (2015). (accessed October 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, Safety Effects of Less Prescriptive Requirements for Low-Stress Natural Gas Transmission Pipelines Are Uncertain, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 2012.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
J.F. Etchberger, The cis-regulatory logic of gustatory neuron development in Caenorhabditis elegans, Doctoral dissertation, Columbia University, 2008.

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
L. Saslow, Oyster Bay Villages Create 2 Emergency Centers, New York Times. (2007) 14LI2.

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 titleCarbon
AbbreviationCarbon N. Y.
ISSN (print)0008-6223
ScopeGeneral Chemistry

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