How to format your references using the Designs citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Designs. 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
Bentley, D.R. Genomes for medicine. Nature 2004, 429, 440–445.
A journal article with 2 authors
Jucker, M.; Walker, L.C. Neurodegeneration: Amyloid-β pathology induced in humans. Nature 2015, 525, 193–194.
A journal article with 3 authors
Gillis, A.J.; Schuller, A.P.; Skordalakes, E. Structure of the Tribolium castaneum telomerase catalytic subunit TERT. Nature 2008, 455, 633–637.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Miura, A.; Yonebayashi, S.; Watanabe, K.; Toyama, T.; Shimada, H.; Kakutani, T. Mobilization of transposons by a mutation abolishing full DNA methylation in Arabidopsis. Nature 2001, 411, 212–214.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Madden, B.J. Wealth Creation; John Wiley & Sons, Inc.: Hoboken, NJ, 2010; ISBN 9781118267769.
An edited book
Block, D.L. Shrouds of the Night: Masks of the Milky Way and Our Awesome New View of Galaxies; Freeman, K.C., Ed.; Springer: New York, NY, 2008; ISBN 9780387789743.
A chapter in an edited book
Daghighian, F.; Fong, Y. Detectors for Intraoperative Molecular Imaging: From Probes to Scanners. In Imaging and Visualization in The Modern Operating Room: A Comprehensive Guide for Physicians; Fong, Y., Giulianotti, P.C., Lewis, J., Groot Koerkamp, B., Reiner, T., Eds.; Springer: New York, NY, 2015; pp. 55–67 ISBN 9781493923250.

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 Designs.

Blog post
Fang, J. Why Does Popcorn Pop? 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 Tax Policy: Insufficient Information to Assess Effect of Tax Free Education Assistance; U.S. Government Printing Office: Washington, DC, 1989;

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Matos, G. Re-fashioning goddesses: Exploring women’s archetypal fashion in the classroom. Doctoral dissertation, Pacifica Graduate Institute: Carpinteria, CA, 2013.

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
Cooper, M. A Toothy Strongman Gets a Role at the Met Opera. New York Times 2017, C1.

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 titleDesigns
ISSN (online)2411-9660

Other styles