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
Domning, D.P. The Earliest Known Fully Quadrupedal Sirenian. Nature 2001, 413, 625–627.
A journal article with 2 authors
Zhang, K.; Rathod, P.K. Divergent Regulation of Dihydrofolate Reductase between Malaria Parasite and Human Host. Science 2002, 296, 545–547.
A journal article with 3 authors
Allesina, S.; Alonso, D.; Pascual, M. A General Model for Food Web Structure. Science 2008, 320, 658–661.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Sigel, R.; Fytas, G.; Vainos, N.; Pispas, S.; Hadjichristidis, N. Pattern Formation in Homogeneous Polymer Solutions Induced by a Continuous-Wave Visible Laser. Science 2002, 297, 67–70.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Franssen, J.-M.; Vila Real, P. Fire Design of Steel Structures; Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA: Weinheim, Germany, 2016; ISBN 9783433607008.
An edited book
Doris, K. Wide-Bandwidth High-Dynamic Range D/A Converters; van Roermund, A., Leenaerts, D., Eds.; The International Series in Engineering and Computer Science; Springer US: Boston, MA, 2006; Vol. 871; ISBN 9780387304151.
A chapter in an edited book
AbuZeina, D.; Elshafei, M. Cross-Word Pronunciation Variations. In Cross-Word Modeling for Arabic Speech Recognition; Elshafei, M., Ed.; SpringerBriefs in Electrical and Computer Engineering; Springer US: Boston, MA, 2012; pp. 35–46 ISBN 9781461412120.

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. Pharma Use Loophole To Hike Up The Price Of Drugs – So Why Doesn’t The NHS Stop It? (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 [Comments on FAA Employee’s Claim for Temporary Quarters Subsistence Expenses]; U.S. Government Printing Office: Washington, DC, 1995;

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Tengco, M.A. Quality Home Care: Providing Personal Care and Homemaking Services for Seniors in the Community. 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
Greenhouse, L. Justices’ Ruling Limits Lawsuits On Pay Disparity. New York Times 2007, A1.

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