How to format your references using the Informatics citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Informatics. 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
Schmollinger, J. Easing the Journey Back Home. Nature 2002, 416, 5.
A journal article with 2 authors
Clapier, C.R.; Cairns, B.R. Regulation of ISWI Involves Inhibitory Modules Antagonized by Nucleosomal Epitopes. Nature 2012, 492, 280–284.
A journal article with 3 authors
Idzko, M.; Ferrari, D.; Eltzschig, H.K. Nucleotide Signalling during Inflammation. Nature 2014, 509, 310–317.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
O’Hagan, D.; Schaffrath, C.; Cobb, S.L.; Hamilton, J.T.G.; Murphy, C.D. Biochemistry: Biosynthesis of an Organofluorine Molecule. Nature 2002, 416, 279.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Packard, A. Digital Media Law; Wiley-Blackwell: Oxford, UK, 2010; ISBN 9781444318197.
An edited book
Advances in Swarm Intelligence: Third International Conference, ICSI 2012, Shenzhen, China, June 17-20, 2012 Proceedings, Part I; Tan, Y., Shi, Y., Ji, Z., Eds.; Lecture Notes in Computer Science; Springer: Berlin, Heidelberg, 2012; Vol. 7331; ISBN 9783642309755.
A chapter in an edited book
Choudhury, N. Patient Selection and Monitoring for Immunotherapies: Challenges for Immune Checkpoint Antibody and Cell Therapies. In Immunopharmacogenomics; Nakamura, Y., Ed.; Springer Japan: Tokyo, 2015; pp. 85–101 ISBN 9784431557258.

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 Informatics.

Blog post
Andrew, E. The Riddle Behind Zebra Stripes (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 F-22 Aircraft: Progress of the Engineering and Manufacturing Development Program; U.S. Government Printing Office: Washington, DC, 1998;

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Wells, J.P. A Case Study of Educators’ Perceptions of the Effects of High -Stakes Testing and Accountability Policies on High- and Low-Poverty Middle Schools in a Maryland School District. Doctoral dissertation, George Washington University: Washington, DC, 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
Williams, J. New Ways to Woo Jaded Consumers. New York Times 2017, C5.

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 titleInformatics
AbbreviationInformatics (MDPI)
ISSN (online)2227-9709

Other styles