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
Ratnieks, F. Outsmarted by Ants. Nature 2005, 436, 465.
A journal article with 2 authors
Sakaguchi, S.; Powrie, F. Emerging Challenges in Regulatory T Cell Function and Biology. Science 2007, 317, 627–629.
A journal article with 3 authors
Isakov, S.V.; Melko, R.G.; Hastings, M.B. Universal Signatures of Fractionalized Quantum Critical Points. Science 2012, 335, 193–195.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Hime, T.; Reichardt, P.A.; Plourde, B.L.T.; Robertson, T.L.; Wu, C.-E.; Ustinov, A.V.; Clarke, J. Solid-State Qubits with Current-Controlled Coupling. Science 2006, 314, 1427–1429.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Morris, A.E.; Geiger, G.; Fine, H.A. Handbook on Material and Energy Balance Calculations in Material Processing; John Wiley & Sons, Inc.: Hoboken, NJ, 2011; ISBN 9781118237786.
An edited book
Veevers, N. Kurt Hahn: Inspirational, Visionary, Outdoor and Experiential Educator; Allison, P., Ed.; SensePublishers: Rotterdam, 2011; ISBN 9789460914690.
A chapter in an edited book
Xue, H.; Wang, L.; Li, D. Design and Development of Dissolved Oxygen Real-Time Prediction and Early Warning System for Brocaded Carp Aquaculture. In Computer and Computing Technologies in Agriculture VI: 6th IFIP WG 5.14 International Conference, CCTA 2012, Zhangjiajie, China, October 19-21, 2012, Revised Selected Papers, Part I; Li, D., Chen, Y., Eds.; IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology; Springer: Berlin, Heidelberg, 2013; pp. 35–42 ISBN 9783642361234.

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. Watch This Robotic Insect Jump On Water Available online: (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 Earth Observing System: NASA’s EOSDIS Development Approach Is Risky; U.S. Government Printing Office: Washington, DC, 1992;

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Williams, B. The Impact on Reunification for Families with Incarcerated Parents: A Policy Analysis of the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997. 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
Walsh, M.W. The Little State With a Big Mess. New York Times 2011, BU1.

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