How to format your references using the Data citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Data. 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
Smaglik, P. Election Returns. Nature 2004, 432, 417.
A journal article with 2 authors
Bezemer, T.M.; van der Putten, W.H. Ecology: Diversity and Stability in Plant Communities. Nature 2007, 446, E6-7; discussion E7-8.
A journal article with 3 authors
Mo, Y.; Turner, K.T.; Szlufarska, I. Friction Laws at the Nanoscale. Nature 2009, 457, 1116–1119.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Watson, F.L.; Püttmann-Holgado, R.; Thomas, F.; Lamar, D.L.; Hughes, M.; Kondo, M.; Rebel, V.I.; Schmucker, D. Extensive Diversity of Ig-Superfamily Proteins in the Immune System of Insects. Science 2005, 309, 1874–1878.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Römer, H. Theoretical Optics; Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA: Weinheim, FRG, 2004; ISBN 9783527604296.
An edited book
History and GIS: Epistemologies, Considerations and Reflections; Lünen, A. von, Travis, C., Eds.; Springer Netherlands: Dordrecht, 2013; ISBN 9789400750081.
A chapter in an edited book
Sen, S.; Zhou, Z.; Huang, K. Stochastic Decomposition and Extensions. In Stochastic Programming: The State of the Art In Honor of George B. Dantzig; Infanger, G., Ed.; International Series in Operations Research & Management Science; Springer: New York, NY, 2011; pp. 57–66 ISBN 9781441916419.

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 Data.

Blog post
Andrew, E. On The 120th Anniversary Of The X-Ray, A Look At How It Changed Our View Of The World (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 NATO: Progress Toward More Mobile and Deployable Forces; U.S. Government Printing Office: Washington, DC, 1999;

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Bailey, R.U. A Risk Analysis Tool for Evaluating ROI of TRA for Major Defense Acquisition Programs. Doctoral dissertation, George Washington University: Washington, DC, 2015.

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. Second Hearing on Detroit Drug-Search Case Shows Deep Divisions on Supreme Court. New York Times 2006, A20.

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 titleData
AbbreviationData (Basel)
ISSN (online)2306-5729

Other styles