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
Spielman IB (2015) Physics. Assembling a complex quantum ensemble. Science 348:185–186
A journal article with 2 authors
Pieters J, Ploegh H (2003) Microbiology. Chemical warfare and mycobacterial defense. Science 302:1900–1902
A journal article with 3 authors
Harley HE, Putman EA, Roitblat HL (2003) Bottlenose dolphins perceive object features through echolocation. Nature 424:667–669
A journal article with 5 or more authors
Zhou Z-Y, Li Y, Ding D-S, et al (2014) Generation of light with controllable spatial patterns via the sum frequency in quasi-phase matching crystals. Sci Rep 4:5650

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Chandra S (2016) Energy, Entropy and Engines. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK
An edited book
Rountree K, Morris C, Peatfield AAD (2012) Archaeology of Spiritualities. Springer, New York, NY
A chapter in an edited book
Barr RC, van Oosterom A (2010) Genesis of the Electrocardiogram. In: Macfarlane PW, van Oosterom A, Pahlm O, et al (eds) Comprehensive Electrocardiology. Springer, London, pp 167–190

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
Andrew E (2015) The Universe Really Is Weird: A Landmark Quantum Experiment Has Finally Proved It So. 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 (1999) Airline Deregulation: Changes in Airfares, Service Quality, and Barriers to Entry. 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
Morrow ST (2012) Coboundary theorems for collections of random variables with moment conditions. Doctoral dissertation, Indiana University

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
Gorman J (2016) A Hot Spot for River Otters? The Latrine. New York Times D2

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