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
Eisenstein, M. Molecular Biology: Remove, Reuse, Recycle. Nature 2014, 514, S2-4.
A journal article with 2 authors
Bell, A.C.; Felsenfeld, G. Methylation of a CTCF-Dependent Boundary Controls Imprinted Expression of the Igf2 Gene. Nature 2000, 405, 482–485.
A journal article with 3 authors
Jedema, F.J.; Filip, A.T.; Van Wees, B.J. Spintronics (Communication Arising): Spin Accumulation in Mesoscopic Systems. Nature 2002, 416, 810.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Bittar, F.; Keita, M.B.; Lagier, J.-C.; Peeters, M.; Delaporte, E.; Raoult, D. Gorilla Gorilla Gorilla Gut: A Potential Reservoir of Pathogenic Bacteria as Revealed Using Culturomics and Molecular Tools. Sci. Rep. 2014, 4, 7174.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Hwang, R.-B.R. Periodic Structures; John Wiley & Sons (Asia) Pte Ltd: Singapore, 2012; ISBN 9781118188040.
An edited book
Bradford, A. HTML5 Mastery: Semantics, Standards, and Styling; Haine, P., Ed.; Apress: Berkeley, CA, 2011; ISBN 9781430238614.
A chapter in an edited book
Kshirsagar, M.; Carbonell, J.G.; Klein-Seetharaman, J.; Murugesan, K. Multitask Matrix Completion for Learning Protein Interactions Across Diseases. In Research in Computational Molecular Biology: 20th Annual Conference, RECOMB 2016, Santa Monica, CA, USA, April 17-21, 2016, Proceedings; Singh, M., Ed.; Lecture Notes in Computer Science; Springer International Publishing: Cham, 2016; pp. 53–64 ISBN 9783319319568.

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. 3D Printed Shark Skin Shows The Power Of Microscopic “Teeth” 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 Pipeline Safety: Systematic Process Needed to Evaluate Outcomes of Research and Development Program; U.S. Government Printing Office: Washington, DC, 2003;

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Pham, H.D. Determination of Default Probability in Auto Finance through Predictive Analytics. Doctoral dissertation, California State University, Long Beach: Long Beach, CA, 2017.

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
Greenhouse, L. Justice Recalls Treats Laced With Poison. New York Times 2006, A29.

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