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
Bascompte, J. Disentangling the web of life. Science 2009, 325, 416–419.
A journal article with 2 authors
Hightower, M.; Pierce, S.A. The energy challenge. Nature 2008, 452, 285–286.
A journal article with 3 authors
Fleurquin, P.; Ramasco, J.J.; Eguiluz, V.M. Systemic delay propagation in the US airport network. Sci. Rep. 2013, 3, 1159.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Lim, M.Y.; Rho, M.; Song, Y.-M.; Lee, K.; Sung, J.; Ko, G. Stability of gut enterotypes in Korean monozygotic twins and their association with biomarkers and diet. Sci. Rep. 2014, 4, 7348.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Stidwill, D.; Fletcher, R. Normal Binocular Vision; John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.: West Sussex, UK, 2010; ISBN 9781118788684.
An edited book
Combinatorial Aspects of Commutative Algebra and Algebraic Geometry: The Abel Symposium 2009; Fløystad, G., Johnsen, T., Knutsen, A.L., Eds.; Abel Symposia; Springer: Berlin, Heidelberg, 2011; Vol. 6; ISBN 9783642194917.
A chapter in an edited book
Ruzicka, F.; Horka, M.; Hola, V. Extracellular Polysaccharides in Microbial Biofilm and Their Influence on the Electrophoretic Properties of Microbial Cells. In Capillary Electrophoresis of Carbohydrates: From Monosaccharides to Complex Polysaccharides; Volpi, N., Ed.; Humana Press: Totowa, NJ, 2011; pp. 105–126 ISBN 9781607618744.

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
Andrew, D. How Mapping Teenagers’ Brains Has Helped Us Understand More About Schizophrenia 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 D.C. Court Orders; U.S. Government Printing Office: Washington, DC, 1994;

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Wahl, S.E. Registered nurse preceptorship orientation: A study of the relationship between burnout rates of new graduates and number of preceptors worked with in the clinical orientation phase. Doctoral dissertation, Capella University: Minneapolis, MN, 2008.

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. A Harbinger of U.S. Woes. New York Times 2016, B1.

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