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
Socha, J.J. Applied Physics. Of snakes and robots. Science 2014, 346, 160–161.
A journal article with 2 authors
Mackem, S.; Lewandoski, M. Development. Limb cells don’t tell time. Science 2011, 332, 1038–1039.
A journal article with 3 authors
Kim, S.; Ubel, P.; De Vries, R. Pruning the regulatory tree. Nature 2009, 457, 534–535.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Wu, L.; Bauer, C.S.; Zhen, X.-G.; Xie, C.; Yang, J. Dual regulation of voltage-gated calcium channels by PtdIns(4,5)P2. Nature 2002, 419, 947–952.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Mattone, J.; Vaidya, N. Cultural Transformations; John Wiley & Sons, Inc: Hoboken, NJ, 2016; ISBN 9781119176640.
An edited book
Ivancevic, V.G. Neuro-Fuzzy Associative Machinery for Comprehensive Brain and Cognition Modelling; Ivancevic, T.T., Ed.; Studies in Computational Intelligence; Springer: Berlin, Heidelberg, 2007; Vol. 45; ISBN 9783540474630.
A chapter in an edited book
Croft, H. Rethinking Civilian Neuroses in the Second World War. In Traumatic Memories of the Second World War and After; Leese, P., Crouthamel, J., Eds.; Springer International Publishing: Cham, 2016; pp. 95–116 ISBN 9783319334691.

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, E. Astronomers Discover Stellar Nurseries in Milky Way 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 Train Braking: DOT’s Rulemaking on Electronically Controlled Pneumatic Brakes Could Benefit from Additional Data and Transparency; U.S. Government Printing Office: Washington, DC, 2016;

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Mitchell, S.F. Life-review therapy: A prevention program for the elderly who are experiencing life transitions. A grant proposal. Doctoral dissertation, California State University, Long Beach: Long Beach, CA, 2009.

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
Robbins, L. Despite ‘Sanctuary City’ Policy, Mayor Says New York Complies With U.S. Law. New York Times 2017, A19.

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