How to format your references using the Forests citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Forests. 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
Prum, R.O. Evolution. Who’s Your Daddy? Science 2008, 322, 1799–1800.
A journal article with 2 authors
Broecker, W.S.; Clark, E. Glacial-to-Holocene Redistribution of Carbonate Ion in the Deep Sea. Science 2001, 294, 2152–2155.
A journal article with 3 authors
Yoshimura, K.; Onda, Y.; Fukushima, T. Sediment Particle Size and Initial Radiocesium Accumulation in Ponds Following the Fukushima DNPP Accident. Sci. Rep. 2014, 4, 4514.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Martínez-Sansigre, A.; Rawlings, S.; Lacy, M.; Fadda, D.; Marleau, F.R.; Simpson, C.; Willott, C.J.; Jarvis, M.J. The Obscuration by Dust of Most of the Growth of Supermassive Black Holes. Nature 2005, 436, 666–669.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Marti, P. Baustatik; Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH: D-69451 Weinheim, Germany, 2014; ISBN 9783433604397.
An edited book
Non-Coding RNAs in Colorectal Cancer; Slaby, O., Calin, G.A., Eds.; Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology; Springer International Publishing: Cham, 2016; Vol. 937; ISBN 9783319420578.
A chapter in an edited book
Pelton, S.; Sadarangani, M.; Glennie, L.; Levin, M. Clinical Aspects of Meningococcal Disease. In Handbook of Meningococcal Disease Management; Feavers, I., Pollard, A.J., Sadarangani, M., Eds.; Springer International Publishing: Cham, 2016; pp. 57–73 ISBN 9783319086279.

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 Forests.

Blog post
Fang, J. Exoplanet With Gigantic Rings 200 Times Bigger than Saturn’s Discovered Available online: (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 Highway Funding: The Federal Highway Administration’s Funding Apportionment Model; U.S. Government Printing Office: Washington, DC, 1997;

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Young, J.L. A Community College’s Loss of Accreditation: A Case Study. Doctoral dissertation, California State University, Long Beach: Long Beach, CA, 2010.

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
McKINLEY, J.C., Jr Man Charged With Murder In Shooting At Rap Show. New York Times 2017, A21.

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 titleForests
ISSN (online)1999-4907

Other styles