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
Herzfeld C. How the change agent has changed. Nature. 2008 Jan 24;451(7177):403–4.
A journal article with 2 authors
Smith MR, Caron J-B. Primitive soft-bodied cephalopods from the Cambrian. Nature. 2010 May 27;465(7297):469–72.
A journal article with 3 authors
Kim J-E, Chen J, Lou Z. DBC1 is a negative regulator of SIRT1. Nature. 2008 Jan 31;451(7178):583–6.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Minna JD, Gazdar AF, Sprang SR, Herz J. Cancer. A bull’s eye for targeted lung cancer therapy. Science. 2004 Jun 4;304(5676):1458–61.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Kassapoglou C. Design and Analysis of Composite Structures. Oxford, UK: John Wiley & Sons Ltd; 2013.
An edited book
Matthews AM, Fellers JC, editors. Treating Comorbid Opioid Use Disorder in Chronic Pain. Cham: Springer International Publishing; 2016.
A chapter in an edited book
Palesi M, Holsmark R, Kumar S, Catania V. Application-Specific Routing Algorithms for Low Power Network on Chip Design. In: Silvano C, Lajolo M, Palermo G, editors. Low Power Networks-on-Chip. Boston, MA: Springer US; 2011. p. 113–50.

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. Earth’s Day Will Be One Minute Longer In 6.7 Million Years [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. National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Acquisition and Utilization of T-38 Jet Aircraft. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 1971 May. Report No.: B-172171.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Brown CE. Sources for the reevaluation of George Frederick Root’s career: The autobiography & a secular cantata [Doctoral dissertation]. [College Park, MD]: University of Maryland, College Park; 2013.

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
Schmidt MS. Top Banker Denies Role In Trump Moscow Plan. New York Times. 2017 Oct 13;A17.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Herzfeld 2008).
This sentence cites two references (Herzfeld 2008; Smith and Caron 2010).

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

  • Two authors: (Smith and Caron 2010)
  • Three or more authors: (Minna et al. 2004)

About the journal

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

Other styles