How to format your references using the Digital Investigation citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Digital Investigation. 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.
EndNoteDownload the output style file
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
Jensen, M.C., 2015. IMMUNOLOGY. Synthetic immunobiology boosts the IQ of T cells. Science 350, 514–515.
A journal article with 2 authors
Guttman, M., Rinn, J.L., 2012. Modular regulatory principles of large non-coding RNAs. Nature 482, 339–346.
A journal article with 3 authors
Seoane, J., Le, H.-V., Massagué, J., 2002. Myc suppression of the p21(Cip1) Cdk inhibitor influences the outcome of the p53 response to DNA damage. Nature 419, 729–734.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Turner, M., Golovko, V.B., Vaughan, O.P.H., Abdulkin, P., Berenguer-Murcia, A., Tikhov, M.S., Johnson, B.F.G., Lambert, R.M., 2008. Selective oxidation with dioxygen by gold nanoparticle catalysts derived from 55-atom clusters. Nature 454, 981–983.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Vitetta, G.M., Taylor, D.P., Colavolpe, G., Pancaldi, F., Martin, P.A., 2013. Wireless Communications. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK.
An edited book
Stylianou, Y., Faundez-Zanuy, M., Esposito, A. (Eds.), 2007. Progress in Nonlinear Speech Processing, Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.
A chapter in an edited book
Malik, S., 2012. Runtime Verification: A Computer Architecture Perspective, in: Khurshid, S., Sen, K. (Eds.), Runtime Verification: Second International Conference, RV 2011, San Francisco, CA, USA, September 27-30, 2011, Revised Selected Papers, Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, pp. 49–62.

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 Digital Investigation.

Blog post
Andrew, E., 2015. Researchers Could Help Predict People At Risk Of Schizophrenia Using New Scanning Methods [WWW Document]. IFLScience. URL (accessed 10.30.18).


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, 1997. Measuring Performance: Challenges in Evaluating Research and Development (No. T-RCED-97-130). U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Dahdah, S., 2008. Modeling an infrastructure safety rating for vulnerable road users in developing countries (Doctoral dissertation). George Washington University, Washington, DC.

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
(nyt), S.K., 2003. World Briefing | Europe: Russia: Writer-Politician To Be Freed. New York Times A10.

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by name and year in parentheses:

This sentence cites one reference (Jensen, 2015).
This sentence cites two references (Guttman and Rinn, 2012; Jensen, 2015).

Here are examples of in-text citations with multiple authors:

  • Two authors: (Guttman and Rinn, 2012)
  • Three or more authors: (Turner et al., 2008)

About the journal

Full journal titleDigital Investigation
ISSN (print)1742-2876
ScopeComputer Science Applications
Medical Laboratory Technology

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