How to format your references using the Heliyon citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Heliyon. 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
R.J. Hijmans, Comment on “Changes in climatic water balance drive downhill shifts in plant species’ optimum elevations,” Science. 334 (2011) 177; author reply 177.
A journal article with 2 authors
U. Sheth, R. Parker, Decapping and decay of messenger RNA occur in cytoplasmic processing bodies, Science. 300 (2003) 805–808.
A journal article with 3 authors
S.L. Katz, D.A. Syme, R.E. Shadwick, High-speed swimming. Enhanced power in yellowfin tuna, Nature. 410 (2001) 770–771.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
T. Freeth, A. Jones, J.M. Steele, Y. Bitsakis, Calendars with Olympiad display and eclipse prediction on the Antikythera Mechanism, Nature. 454 (2008) 614–617.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
A.E. Marteel-Parrish, M.A. Abraham, Green Chemistry and Engineering, John Wiley & Sons, Inc, Hoboken, NJ, 2013.
An edited book
B. Aktas, F. Mikailov, eds., Advances in Nanoscale Magnetism: Proceedings of the International Conference on Nanoscale Magnetism ICNM-2007 June 25–29, Istanbul, Turkey, Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 2009.
A chapter in an edited book
S.K. Rajamani, Verification, Testing and Statistics, in: A. Cavalcanti, D.R. Dams (Eds.), FM 2009: Formal Methods: Second World Congress, Eindhoven, The Netherlands, November 2-6, 2009. Proceedings, Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 2009: pp. 33–40.

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 Heliyon.

Blog post
D. Andrew, After Our Universe’s Cosmic Dawn, What Happened To All Its Original Hydrogen?, IFLScience. (2016).


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, Public Transportation: New Starts Program Is in a Period of Transition, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 2006.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
M. Becker, Women’s Descriptions Six Months Post Notification of Positive BRCA 1/2 Genetic Mutations, Doctoral dissertation, Capella University, 2017.

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
W. Hu, Want to Relax at Park or Pool in New York? Join the Crowd, New York Times. (2016) A1.

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 titleHeliyon
ISSN (print)2405-8440

Other styles