How to format your references using the International Journal of Surgery Open citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for International Journal of Surgery Open. 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
Bohannon J. Artificial intelligence. The synthetic therapist. Science 2015;349:250–1.
A journal article with 2 authors
Behnia R, Munro S. Organelle identity and the signposts for membrane traffic. Nature 2005;438:597–604.
A journal article with 3 authors
Nilewski C, Geisser RW, Carreira EM. Total synthesis of a chlorosulpholipid cytotoxin associated with seafood poisoning. Nature 2009;457:573–6.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Li C-H, Benedick AJ, Fendel P, Glenday AG, Kärtner FX, Phillips DF, et al. A laser frequency comb that enables radial velocity measurements with a precision of 1 cm s(-1). Nature 2008;452:610–2.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Budisa N. Engineering the Genetic Code. Weinheim, FRG: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA; 2005.
An edited book
Skjeltorp AT, Belushkin AV, editors. Evolution from Cellular to Social Scales. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands; 2008.
A chapter in an edited book
Medvinsky AB, Gonik MM, Tyutyunov YV, Li B-L, Rusakov AV, Malchow H. Insecticidal Bt Crops Under Massive Bt-resistant Pest Invasion: Mathematical Simulation. In: Hosking RJ, Venturino E, editors. Aspects of Mathematical Modelling: Applications in Science, Medicine, Economics and Management, Basel: Birkhäuser; 2008, p. 81–94.

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 International Journal of Surgery Open.

Blog post
Andrew E. First Atomic Bomb Test May Mark The Beginning Of The Anthropocene. IFLScience 2015. (accessed October 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. School Improvement Grants: Education Should Take Additional Steps to Enhance Accountability for Schools and Contractors. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 2012.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Baker NS. Bridging the Gap: Finding the Language of Soul. Doctoral dissertation. Pacifica Graduate Institute, 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
Steel E, Grynbaum MM. Top Fox News Lawyer, Key Figure in Sexual Harassment Cases, Goes on Leave. New York Times 2017:B3.

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 titleInternational Journal of Surgery Open
AbbreviationInt. J. Surg. Open
ISSN (print)2405-8572

Other styles