How to format your references using the Children citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Children. 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
Ferrari, R. Oceanography: What goes down must come up. Nature 2014, 513, 179–180.
A journal article with 2 authors
Goring, D.R.; Walker, J.C. Plant sciences. Self-rejection--a new kinase connection. Science 2004, 303, 1474–1475.
A journal article with 3 authors
Rawson, P.D.; Yund, P.O.; Lindsay, S.M. Comment on “Divergent induced responses to an invasive predator in marine mussel populations.” Science 2007, 316, 53; author reply 53.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Mueller, K.L.; Hoon, M.A.; Erlenbach, I.; Chandrashekar, J.; Zuker, C.S.; Ryba, N.J.P. The receptors and coding logic for bitter taste. Nature 2005, 434, 225–229.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Morsali, A.; Hashemi, L. Main Group Metal Coordination Polymers; John Wiley & Sons, Inc.: Hoboken, NJ, 2017; ISBN 9781119370772.
An edited book
Qualitative Theory of Dynamical Systems, Tools and Applications for Economic Modelling: Lectures Given at the COST Training School on New Economic Complex Geography at Urbino, Italy, 17-19 September 2015; Bischi, G.I., Panchuk, A., Radi, D., Eds.; Springer Proceedings in Complexity; Springer International Publishing: Cham, 2016; ISBN 9783319332741.
A chapter in an edited book
Elias, P.M.; Wakefield, J.S. Skin Barrier Function. In Nutrition for Healthy Skin: Strategies for Clinical and Cosmetic Practice; Krutmann, J., Humbert, P., Eds.; Springer: Berlin, Heidelberg, 2011; pp. 35–48 ISBN 9783642122637.

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 Children.

Blog post
Hamilton, K. Dog Wearing GoPro Is Attacked By Wolves 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 School Bullying: Extent of Legal Protections for Vulnerable Groups Needs to Be More Fully Assessed; 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
Khayyat, A.M. Use of near field communication technology to prevent consumption and usage of expired products. Doctoral dissertation, California State University, Long Beach: Long Beach, CA, 2015.

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
St. John Kelly, E. The Storefront Psychic: A Peek Inside. New York Times 1995, 131.

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 titleChildren
AbbreviationChildren (Basel)
ISSN (online)2227-9067

Other styles