How to format your references using the iScience citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for iScience. 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
Maldacena, J., 2014. Cosmology. Testing gauge/gravity duality on a quantum black hole. Science 344, 806–807.
A journal article with 2 authors
Bilham, R., England, P., 2001. Plateau “pop-up” in the great 1897 Assam earthquake. Nature 410, 806–809.
A journal article with 3 authors
Sherwood, S.C., Lanzante, J.R., Meyer, C.L., 2005. Radiosonde daytime biases and late-20th century warming. Science 309, 1556–1559.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Yuan, G., Rogers, E.T.F., Roy, T., Adamo, G., Shen, Z., Zheludev, N.I., 2014. Planar super-oscillatory lens for sub-diffraction optical needles at violet wavelengths. Sci. Rep. 4, 6333.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Zink, M., 2005. Scalable Video on Demand. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd,., West Sussex, England.
An edited book
Vittersø, J. (Ed.), 2016. Handbook of Eudaimonic Well-Being, International Handbooks of Quality-of-Life. Springer International Publishing, Cham.
A chapter in an edited book
Ktari, S., Hecker, A., 2011. A Peer-to-Peer Social Network Overlay for Efficient Information Retrieval and Diffusion, in: Park, J.J., Yang, L.T., Lee, C. (Eds.), Future Information Technology: 6th International Conference, FutureTech 2011, Loutraki, Greece, June 28-30, 2011, Proceedings, Part II, Communications in Computer and Information Science. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, pp. 24–33.

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 iScience.

Blog post
Andrew, E., 2015. Are Vaccines Making Viruses More Dangerous? [WWW Document]. IFLScience. URL (accessed 10.30.18).


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, 2016. K-12 Education: Better Use of Information Could Help Agencies Identify Disparities and Address Racial Discrimination (No. GAO-16-345). U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Butler-Roberts, J., 2017. Fashioning distinction: construction of identity through dress and photography in nineteenth-century Paris (Doctoral dissertation). California State University, Long Beach, Long Beach, CA.

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
Brantley, B., 2016. King Leontes Is Insane. It’s as Simple (and as Scary) as That. New York Times C7.

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by name and year in parentheses:

This sentence cites one reference (Maldacena, 2014).
This sentence cites two references (Bilham and England, 2001; Maldacena, 2014).

Here are examples of in-text citations with multiple authors:

  • Two authors: (Bilham and England, 2001)
  • Three or more authors: (Yuan et al., 2014)

About the journal

Full journal titleiScience
ISSN (print)2589-0042

Other styles