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
Broecker, W.S. Geology. Was the Younger Dryas Triggered by a Flood? Science 2006, 312, 1146–1148.
A journal article with 2 authors
Armitage, A.E.; Drakesmith, H. Genetics. The Battle for Iron. Science 2014, 346, 1299–1300.
A journal article with 3 authors
Mili, S.; Moissoglu, K.; Macara, I.G. Genome-Wide Screen Reveals APC-Associated RNAs Enriched in Cell Protrusions. Nature 2008, 453, 115–119.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Dodd, D.; Spitzer, M.H.; Van Treuren, W.; Merrill, B.D.; Hryckowian, A.J.; Higginbottom, S.K.; Le, A.; Cowan, T.M.; Nolan, G.P.; Fischbach, M.A.; et al. A Gut Bacterial Pathway Metabolizes Aromatic Amino Acids into Nine Circulating Metabolites. Nature 2017, 551, 648–652.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Soustelle, M. Handbook of Heterogenous Kinetics; John Wiley & Sons, Inc.: Hoboken, NJ USA, 2013; ISBN 9781118557730.
An edited book
Psychological Mechanisms in Animal Communication; Bee, M.A., Miller, C.T., Eds.; Animal Signals and Communication; Springer International Publishing: Cham, 2016; Vol. 5; ISBN 9783319486888.
A chapter in an edited book
Cagatay, S.; Kıymaz, T.; Özeş, R. To What Extent Are Rural Development Policies Compatible with Achieving Sustainable Agriculture in Turkey? In Sustainable Agricultural Development: Challenges and Approaches in Southern and Eastern Mediterranean Countries; Petit, M., Montaigne, E., El Hadad-Gauthier, F., García Álvarez-Coque, J.M., Mattas, K., Mili, S., Eds.; Cooperative Management; Springer International Publishing: Cham, 2015; pp. 103–143 ISBN 9783319178127.

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
Andrew, E. Monday’s Medical Myth: You Can’t Mix Antibiotics With Alcohol Available online: (accessed on 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 VA Information Technology: Important Initiatives Begun, Yet Serious Vulnerabilities Persist; U.S. Government Printing Office: Washington, DC, 2001;

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Crowley, C.E. Aging of Florida Blue Crabs, Callinectes Sapidus, Through the Biochemical Extraction of Lipofuscin. 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
Poniewozik, J. Fantasy Frenzy? Or Eerie Dreams? New York Times 2017, C8.

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