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
Motani R. Scaling effects in caudal fin propulsion and the speed of ichthyosaurs. Nature. 2002 Jan 17;415(6869):309–12.
A journal article with 2 authors
Gomberg J, Johnson P. Seismology: dynamic triggering of earthquakes. Nature. 2005 Oct 6;437(7060):830.
A journal article with 3 authors
Lecavelier des Etangs A, Vidal-Madjar A, Désert J-M. The origin of hydrogen around HD 209458b. Nature. 2008 Nov 13;456(7219):E1; discussion E1-2.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Wang H, Liu T, Huang Y, Fang Y, Liu R, Wang S, et al. Plasmon-driven surface catalysis in hybridized plasmonic gap modes. Sci Rep. 2014 Nov 18;4:7087.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Anthony B, Boudnik K, Adams C, Shao B, Lee C, Sasaki K. Professional Hadoop®. Indianapolis, IN, USA: John Wiley & Sons, Inc; 2016.
An edited book
Quarteroni A. Matematica Numerica. 4a edizione. Sacco R, Saleri F, Gervasio P, editors. Milano: Springer; 2014. (UNITEXT; vol. 77).
A chapter in an edited book
Basso C, Ho SY, Thiene G. Anatomic and Histopathological Characteristics of the Conductive Tissues of the Heart. In: Gussak I, Antzelevitch C, Wilde AAM, Friedman PA, Ackerman MJ, Shen W-K, editors. Electrical Diseases of the Heart: Genetics, Mechanisms, Treatment, Prevention. London: Springer; 2008. p. 37–51.

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
Carpineti A. Martian Volcanism May Have Shaped A Region As Big As North America [Internet]. IFLScience. IFLScience; 2016 [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. New Ways of Preparing Data for Computers Could Save Money and Time and Reduce Errors. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 1978 Jul. Report No.: FGMSD-78-39.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Maitland J. Differences in Perceived Organizational Justice Based Upon Overall Performance Appraisal Ratings [Doctoral dissertation]. [Minneapolis, MN]: Capella University; 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
Brantley B. Bewildered Rage Over Lives Cut Short. New York Times. 2017 Jun 11;C2.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Motani 2002).
This sentence cites two references (Motani 2002; Gomberg and Johnson 2005).

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

  • Two authors: (Gomberg and Johnson 2005)
  • Three or more authors: (Wang et al. 2014)

About the journal

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

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