How to format your references using the Computers & Security citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Computers & Security. 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
Roos DS. Genetics. Themes and variations in apicomplexan parasite biology. Science. 2005 Jul 1;309(5731):72–3.
A journal article with 2 authors
Fabian AC, Miller JM. Astronomy. Black holes reveal their innermost secrets. Science. 2002 Aug 9;297(5583):947–8.
A journal article with 3 authors
Cheng N, Tsunenari T, Yau K-W. Intrinsic light response of retinal horizontal cells of teleosts. Nature. 2009 Aug 13;460(7257):899–903.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Pramanik A, Fan Z, Chavva SR, Sinha SS, Ray PC. Highly efficient and excitation tunable two-photon luminescence platform for targeted multi-color MDRB imaging using graphene oxide. Sci Rep. 2014 Aug 15;4:6090.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
McCrary SA. Mastering Corporate Finance Essentials. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; 2010.
An edited book
Rogers JA, Ghaffari R, Kim D-H, editors. Stretchable Bioelectronics for Medical Devices and Systems. Cham: Springer International Publishing; 2016. (Microsystems and Nanosystems).
A chapter in an edited book
Hafez AI, Hassanien AE, Fahmy AA. Testing Community Detection Algorithms: A Closer Look at Datasets. In: Panda M, Dehuri S, Wang G-N, editors. Social Networking: Mining, Visualization, and Security. Cham: Springer International Publishing; 2014. p. 85–99. (Intelligent Systems Reference Library).

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 Computers & Security.

Blog post
Hamilton K. A Possible Alternative To Morphine – Inspired By Spit [Internet]. IFLScience. IFLScience; 2017 [cited 2018 Oct 30]. Available from:


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. Evaluation and the Research Process. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 1979 Oct. Report No.: 094329.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Weisblatt BH. The numinous on Russian soil: A depth psychological interpretation of religious experience in “The Brothers Karamazov” [Doctoral dissertation]. [Carpinteria, CA]: Pacifica Graduate Institute; 2010.

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
Strauss B. In Baltimore, This Song Is Their Song. New York Times. 2016 Sep 30;D3.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Roos 2005).
This sentence cites two references (Fabian and Miller 2002; Roos 2005).

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

  • Two authors: (Fabian and Miller 2002)
  • Three or more authors: (Pramanik et al. 2014)

About the journal

Full journal titleComputers & Security
AbbreviationComput. Secur.
ISSN (print)0167-4048
ScopeGeneral Computer Science

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