How to format your references using the Formal Methods in System Design citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Formal Methods in System Design. 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
Laughlin G (2015) Astronomy: A Mars-sized exoplanet. Nature 522:290–291
A journal article with 2 authors
Čorić I, List B (2012) Asymmetric spiroacetalization catalysed by confined Brønsted acids. Nature 483:315–319
A journal article with 3 authors
Smilkov D, Hidalgo CA, Kocarev L (2014) Beyond network structure: How heterogeneous susceptibility modulates the spread of epidemics. Sci Rep 4:4795
A journal article with 5 or more authors
Pertz O, Hodgson L, Klemke RL, Hahn KM (2006) Spatiotemporal dynamics of RhoA activity in migrating cells. Nature 440:1069–1072

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Krings A, Braham RR (2008) Guide to Tendrillate Climbers of Costa Rican Mountains. Blackwell Publishing, Oxford, UK
An edited book
Nakashizuka T (2007) Sustainability and Diversity of Forest Ecosystems: An Interdisciplinary Approach. Springer Japan, Tokyo
A chapter in an edited book
Kalnins A, Barzdins J (2016) Metamodel Specialization for DSL Tool Building. In: Arnicans G, Arnicane V, Borzovs J, Niedrite L (eds) Databases and Information Systems: 12th International Baltic Conference, DB&IS 2016, Riga, Latvia, July 4-6, 2016, Proceedings. Springer International Publishing, Cham, pp 68–82

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 Formal Methods in System Design.

Blog post
Fang J (2014) A Man’s Arachnophobia Was Literally Cut Out Of His Brain. In: IFLScience. Accessed 30 Oct 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 (1986) The School Dropout Problem. 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
Venegas Carro GI (2017) The Slow Movements of Anton Bruckner’s Symphonies: Dialogical Perspectives. Doctoral dissertation, University of Arizona

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
Feeney K (2011) A Focus on Cheese. New York Times NJ10

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 titleFormal Methods in System Design
AbbreviationForm. Methods Syst. Des.
ISSN (print)0925-9856
ISSN (online)1572-8102
ScopeHardware and Architecture
Theoretical Computer Science

Other styles