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
Kessler, R. Prevention: Air of danger. Nature 2014, 509, S62-3.
A journal article with 2 authors
Lingwood, D.; Simons, K. Lipid rafts as a membrane-organizing principle. Science 2010, 327, 46–50.
A journal article with 3 authors
Xia, K.; Rosakis, A.J.; Kanamori, H. Laboratory earthquakes: the sub-Rayleigh-to-supershear rupture transition. Science 2004, 303, 1859–1861.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Tschauner, O.; Huang, S.; Greenberg, E.; Prakapenka, V.B.; Ma, C.; Rossman, G.R.; Shen, A.H.; Zhang, D.; Newville, M.; Lanzirotti, A.; et al. Ice-VII inclusions in diamonds: Evidence for aqueous fluid in Earth’s deep mantle. Science 2018, 359, 1136–1139.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Chu, P.P. FPGA Prototyping by Verilog Examples; John Wiley & Sons, Inc.: Hoboken, NJ, 2008; ISBN 9780470374283.
An edited book
Advances in Spatial and Temporal Databases: 10th International Symposium, SSTD 2007, Boston, MA, USA, July 16-18, 2007. Proceedings; Papadias, D., Zhang, D., Kollios, G., Eds.; Lecture Notes in Computer Science; Springer: Berlin, Heidelberg, 2007; Vol. 4605; ISBN 9783540735397.
A chapter in an edited book
Wyn, J. Youth Policy and the Problematic Nexus Between Education and Employment. In Interrogating Conceptions of “Vulnerable Youth” in Theory, Policy and Practice; Riele, K. te, Gorur, R., Eds.; SensePublishers: Rotterdam, 2015; pp. 49–61 ISBN 9789463001212.

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
Hale, T. Stunning Video Depicts Cassini Spacecraft’s Dramatic End (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 Biotechnology: Backlog of Patent Applications; U.S. Government Printing Office: Washington, DC, 1989;

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Surges, G. Generative Audio Systems: Musical Applications of Time-Varying Feedback Networks and Computational Aesthetics. Doctoral dissertation, University of California San Diego: La Jolla, 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
Sisario, B. Drake Is Back on Top, and Has a New Video, Too. New York Times 2016, C3.

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