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
Schneider, T. Climate modelling: uncertainty in climate-sensitivity estimates. Nature 2007, 446, E1; discussion E2.
A journal article with 2 authors
Rambold, A.S.; Lippincott-Schwartz, J. Cell biology. SevERing mitochondria. Science 2011, 334, 186–187.
A journal article with 3 authors
Dwyer, C.A.; Stevenson, D.J.; Nimmo, F. A long-lived lunar dynamo driven by continuous mechanical stirring. Nature 2011, 479, 212–214.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Al Ahmad, M.; Mustafa, F.; Ali, L.M.; Rizvi, T.A. Virus detection and quantification using electrical parameters. Sci. Rep. 2014, 4, 6831.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Fuller, S. RapidIO®: The Embedded System Interconnect; John Wiley & Sons, Ltd: Chichester, UK, 2005; ISBN 9780470092934.
An edited book
Bruno, R. Turbulence in the Solar Wind; Carbone, V., Ed.; Lecture Notes in Physics; Springer International Publishing: Cham, 2016; Vol. 928; ISBN 9783319434391.
A chapter in an edited book
Zubatiuk, T.A.; Palamarchuk, G.V.; Shishkin, O.V.; Gorb, L.; Leszczynski, J. Molecular Structures, Relative Stability, and Proton Affinities of Nucleotides: Broad View and Novel Findings. In Application of Computational Techniques in Pharmacy and Medicine; Gorb, L., Kuz’min, V., Muratov, E., Eds.; Springer Netherlands: Dordrecht, 2014; pp. 137–180 ISBN 9789401792561.

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. How Floating Turbines Could Harness The Awesome Power Of The Tides Available online: (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 Federal Agency Roles and Responsibilities for Emergency Communications Need Clarification; U.S. Government Printing Office: Washington, DC, 1980;

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Mahmud, S. Comparing the Performance of Bottom-Moored and Unmanned Surface Vehicle Towed Passive Acoustic Monitoring Platforms for Marine Mammal Detections. Doctoral dissertation, University of Louisiana: Lafayette, LA, 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
Liptak, A.; Walsh, M.W. Justices Reject Puerto Rico Law in Case on Restructuring Debt. New York Times 2016, B3.

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