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
Inglis, T. Developed nations must not fear sending Ebola help. Nature 2014, 514, 537.
A journal article with 2 authors
Youle, R.J.; van der Bliek, A.M. Mitochondrial fission, fusion, and stress. Science 2012, 337, 1062–1065.
A journal article with 3 authors
Dotera, T.; Oshiro, T.; Ziherl, P. Mosaic two-lengthscale quasicrystals. Nature 2014, 506, 208–211.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Hlawacek, G.; Puschnig, P.; Frank, P.; Winkler, A.; Ambrosch-Draxl, C.; Teichert, C. Characterization of step-edge barriers in organic thin-film growth. Science 2008, 321, 108–111.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Dao, T.T.; Ho Ba Tho, M.-C. Biomechanics of the Musculoskeletal System; John Wiley & Sons, Ltd: Chichester, UK, 2014; ISBN 9781118930991.
An edited book
Complement Therapeutics; Lambris, J.D., Holers, V.M., Ricklin, D., Eds.; Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology; Springer US: Boston, MA, 2013; Vol. 735; ISBN 9781461441175.
A chapter in an edited book
Machuca, J.A. Challenges for Anthropological Research on Intangible Cultural Heritage. In Anthropological Perspectives on Intangible Cultural Heritage; Arizpe, L., Amescua, C., Eds.; SpringerBriefs in Environment, Security, Development and Peace; Springer International Publishing: Heidelberg, 2013; pp. 57–69 ISBN 9783319008547.

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
Andrews, R. Russia Shows Off Its So-Called “Super Nukes” (accessed on Oct 30, 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 Aviation Security: TSA Has Taken Steps to Improve Vetting of Airport Workers; U.S. Government Printing Office: Washington, DC, 2015;

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Marquez, H.H. Social Capital, Academics, and Sense of Belonging among High School Foster Youth. 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
Wagner, J. With Colon Free and Pitchers Hurt, Mets’ Future Could Lie in Their Past. New York Times 2017, B10.

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