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
S.L. Schnorr, The diverse microbiome of the hunter-gatherer, Nature. 518 (2015) S14-5.
A journal article with 2 authors
C. Moussion, J.-P. Girard, Dendritic cells control lymphocyte entry to lymph nodes through high endothelial venules, Nature. 479 (2011) 542–546.
A journal article with 3 authors
C.-Y. Lee, K.J. Robinson, C.Q. Doe, Lgl, Pins and aPKC regulate neuroblast self-renewal versus differentiation, Nature. 439 (2006) 594–598.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
T. Denk, G. Neukum, T. Roatsch, C.C. Porco, J.A. Burns, G.G. Galuba, N. Schmedemann, P. Helfenstein, P.C. Thomas, R.J. Wagner, R.A. West, Iapetus: unique surface properties and a global color dichotomy from Cassini imaging, Science. 327 (2010) 435–439.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
R.B. Heimann, H.D. Lehmann, Bioceramic Coatings for Medical Implants, Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim, Germany, 2015.
An edited book
D.C. Chhieng, G.P. Siegal, eds., Updates in Diagnostic Pathology, Springer US, Boston, MA, 2005.
A chapter in an edited book
V. Pham, M.H.R. Khouzani, C. Cid, Optimal Contracts for Outsourced Computation, in: R. Poovendran, W. Saad (Eds.), Decision and Game Theory for Security: 5th International Conference, GameSec 2014, Los Angeles, CA, USA, November 6-7, 2014. Proceedings, Springer International Publishing, Cham, 2014: pp. 79–98.

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
J. Davis, Andean Bear Spotted Ambling Around Machu Picchu, IFLScience. (2017). (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, Aerospace Plane Technology: Research and Development Efforts in Japan and Australia, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 1991.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
B.K. Butler, Error Floors of LDPC Codes and Related Topics, Doctoral dissertation, University of California San Diego, 2013.

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
S. Kishkovsky, In Moscow, A Museum Shows Off Its Stars, New York Times. (2006) E4.

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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