How to format your references using the Insects citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Insects. 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
Wang, Q. China’s citizens must act to save their environment. Nature 2013, 497, 159.
A journal article with 2 authors
Begbie, J.; Graham, A. Integration between the epibranchial placodes and the hindbrain. Science 2001, 294, 595–598.
A journal article with 3 authors
Mathis, D.; Vence, L.; Benoist, C. beta-Cell death during progression to diabetes. Nature 2001, 414, 792–798.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Yen, L.; Svendsen, J.; Lee, J.-S.; Gray, J.T.; Magnier, M.; Baba, T.; D’Amato, R.J.; Mulligan, R.C. Exogenous control of mammalian gene expression through modulation of RNA self-cleavage. Nature 2004, 431, 471–476.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Sahalos, J.N. Orthogonal Methods for Array Synthesis; John Wiley & Sons, Ltd: Chichester, UK, 2006; ISBN 9780470028544.
An edited book
Hormone Receptors in Breast Cancer; Fuqua, S.A.W., Ed.; Cancer Treatment and Research; Springer US: Boston, MA, 2009; Vol. 147; ISBN 9780387094625.
A chapter in an edited book
Demaine, E.D.; Demaine, M.L.; Hawksley, A.; Ito, H.; Loh, P.-R.; Manber, S.; Stephens, O. Making Polygons by Simple Folds and One Straight Cut. In Computational Geometry, Graphs and Applications: 9th International Conference, CGGA 2010, Dalian, China, November 3-6, 2010, Revised Selected Papers; Akiyama, J., Bo, J., Kano, M., Tan, X., Eds.; Lecture Notes in Computer Science; Springer: Berlin, Heidelberg, 2011; pp. 27–43 ISBN 9783642249822.

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 Insects.

Blog post
Andrew, D. Alcohol Can Protect Eyewitness Memory (accessed on Oct 30, 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 Joint Strike Fighter Acquisition: Managing Competing Pressures Is Critical to Achieving Program Goals; U.S. Government Printing Office: Washington, DC, 2003;

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Collette, J.C. Validation of the tgFgfr1-EGFP Mouse Line as a Tool to Study Fibroblast Growth Factor Receptor 1 Cellular Localization and Expression After Experimental Manipulations. Doctoral dissertation, University of Louisiana: Lafayette, LA, 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
Wagner, J. Custom Cleats for the Polished Player. New York Times 2016, D6.

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 titleInsects
ISSN (online)2075-4450
ScopeInsect Science

Other styles