How to format your references using the Centaurus citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Centaurus. 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
Haigwood, N. L. (2015) HIV: tied down by its own receptor. Nature, 519(7541), 36–37.
A journal article with 2 authors
Wang, X. and Ha, T. (2013) Defining single molecular forces required to activate integrin and notch signaling. Science (New York, N.Y.), 340(6135), 991–994.
A journal article with 3 authors
He, Y., Xue, G.-H., and Fu, J.-Z. (2014) Fabrication of low cost soft tissue prostheses with the desktop 3D printer. Scientific reports, 4, 6973.
A journal article with 6 or more authors
Minzenberg, M. J., Watrous, A. J., Yoon, J. H., Ursu, S., and Carter, C. S. (2008) Modafinil shifts human locus coeruleus to low-tonic, high-phasic activity during functional MRI. Science (New York, N.Y.), 322(5908), 1700–1702.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
McDonald, A. G. and Magande, H. L. (2012) Introduction to Thermo-Fluids Systems Design (Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd).
An edited book
Dohi, T. and Liao, H. (eds.) (2012) Computer Aided Surgery: 7th Asian Conference on Computer Aided Surgery, Bangkok, Thailand, August 2011, Proceedings (Tokyo: Springer Japan).
A chapter in an edited book
Féray, V., Méliot, P.-L., and Nikeghbali, A. (2016) An extended deviation result from bounds on cumulants, in:, P.-L. Méliot and A. Nikeghbali (eds.), Mod-ϕ Convergence: Normality Zones and Precise Deviations, SpringerBriefs in Probability and Mathematical Statistics (Cham: Springer International Publishing), pp. 51–58.

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 Centaurus.

Blog post
Andrew, E. (2016) [online] Do No Harm To Life On Mars? Ethical Limits Of The ‘Prime Directive. IFLScience, IFLScience. Available online at: (accessed 30 October 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 (1983) NASA-Ames Research Center Should Not Have Awarded Computational Services Contract to SBA and Technology Development of California (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office).

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Cornejo, V. M. (2010) Teachers’ perceptions about promoting mental health in the classroom. Doctoral dissertation, California State University, Long Beach.

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
Crow, K. (2002, 10 February) A Real City Bird: Cathedral’s Peacock Is Treated for Malaise. New York Times, 147.

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by name and year in parentheses:

This sentence cites one reference (Haigwood, 2015).
This sentence cites two references (Haigwood, 2015; Wang & Ha, 2013).

Here are examples of in-text citations with multiple authors:

  • Two authors: (Wang & Ha, 2013)
  • Three authors: (He, Xue, & Fu, 2014)
  • 4 or more authors: (Minzenberg, Watrous, Yoon, Ursu, et al., 2008)

About the journal

Full journal titleCentaurus
ISSN (print)0008-8994
ISSN (online)1600-0498
ScopeHistory and Philosophy of Science

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