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
Gilmour, J. Geochemistry. The Solar System’s First Clocks. Science 2002, 297, 1658–1659.
A journal article with 2 authors
Jayawardhana, R.; Ivanov, V.D. Discovery of a Young Planetary-Mass Binary. Science 2006, 313, 1279–1281.
A journal article with 3 authors
Piovia-Scott, J.; Spiller, D.A.; Schoener, T.W. Effects of Experimental Seaweed Deposition on Lizard and Ant Predation in an Island Food Web. Science 2011, 331, 461–463.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Yue, Q.; Xiong, S.; Cai, D.; Wu, Z.; Zhang, X. Facile and Quantitative Electrochemical Detection of Yeast Cell Apoptosis. Sci. Rep. 2014, 4, 4373.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Mahlberg, R.; Gilles, A.; Läsch, A. Hämatologie; Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA: Weinheim, Germany, 2004; ISBN 9783527662494.
An edited book
Biological Basis of Alcohol-Induced Cancer; Vasiliou, V., Zakhari, S., Seitz, H.K., Hoek, J.B., Eds.; Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology; Springer International Publishing: Cham, 2015; Vol. 815; ISBN 9783319096131.
A chapter in an edited book
Thiel-Bonney, C.; von Hofacker, N. Feeding Disorders in Infants and Young Children. In Regulatory Disorders in Infants: Assessment, Diagnosis, and Treatment; Cierpka, M., Ed.; Springer International Publishing: Cham, 2016; pp. 89–118 ISBN 9783319435541.

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
Carpineti, A. Astronomers Capture The Fireworks Of Newborn Stars 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 Information Technology: DOD Needs to Strengthen Management of Its Statutorily Mandated Software and System Process Improvement Efforts; U.S. Government Printing Office: Washington, DC, 2009;

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Estrin, E.M. Individual Doubles: A Look at Twinship and Attachment Theory. Doctoral dissertation, Pacifica Graduate Institute: Carpinteria, CA, 2012.

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
Saslow, L. SAILING. New York Times 2008, LI8.

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