How to format your references using the Instruments citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Instruments. 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
Callaway, E. Evolutionary Biology: The Lost Appetites. Nature 2012, 486, S16-7.
A journal article with 2 authors
Blau, W.J.; Fleming, A.J. Materials Science. Designer Nanotubes by Molecular Self-Assembly. Science 2004, 304, 1457–1458.
A journal article with 3 authors
Song, W.; Kinloch, I.A.; Windle, A.H. Nematic Liquid Crystallinity of Multiwall Carbon Nanotubes. Science 2003, 302, 1363.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Holmes, K.C.; Angert, I.; Kull, F.J.; Jahn, W.; Schröder, R.R. Electron Cryo-Microscopy Shows How Strong Binding of Myosin to Actin Releases Nucleotide. Nature 2003, 425, 423–427.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Heiberger, R.M. Computation for the Analysis of Designed Experiments; John Wiley & Sons, Inc.: Hoboken, NJ, 2015; ISBN 9781119102809.
An edited book
The Role of Ecological Chemistry in Pollution Research and Sustainable Development; Bahadir, A.M., Duca, G., Eds.; NATO Science for Peace and Security Series C: Environmental Security; Springer Netherlands: Dordrecht, 2009; ISBN 9789048129010.
A chapter in an edited book
Harik, V. New Trends in Nanoscale Mechanics of Nanostructures, Graphene Sheets and Nanocomposites. In Trends in Nanoscale Mechanics: Mechanics of Carbon Nanotubes, Graphene, Nanocomposites and Molecular Dynamics; Harik, V., Ed.; Springer Netherlands: Dordrecht, 2014; pp. 141–150 ISBN 9789401792622.

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 Instruments.

Blog post
Fang, J. Alien-Looking Spiky, Leggy Worm Gets a Head for the First Time Available online: (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 Amtrak Training: Improvements Needed for Employees Who Inspect and Maintain Rail Equipment; U.S. Government Printing Office: Washington, DC, 1992;

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Chavez, J.A. Principal Stress Analysis of Rock Fracture Data from the Long Beach Oil Field, Los Angeles Basin, California. Doctoral dissertation, California State University, Long Beach: Long Beach, CA, 2015.

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
Baker, L. High Mountain Hiking With a Golden Reward. New York Times 2006, F3.

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 titleInstruments
ISSN (online)2410-390X

Other styles