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
Coaker, G., 2014. Botany. Pathogen specialization. Science 343, 496–497.
A journal article with 2 authors
Romney, D.K., Miller, S.J., 2015. Chemistry. Climbing Jacob’s ladder. Science 347, 829.
A journal article with 3 authors
Torre, R., Bartolini, P., Righini, R., 2004. Structural relaxation in supercooled water by time-resolved spectroscopy. Nature 428, 296–299.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Zhang, Y., Schnepp, Z., Cao, J., Ouyang, S., Li, Y., Ye, J., Liu, S., 2013. Biopolymer-activated graphitic carbon nitride towards a sustainable photocathode material. Sci. Rep. 3, 2163.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Cicek, V., 2017. Corrosion Engineering and Cathodic Protection Handbook. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ.
An edited book
Stuart, J.A., 2013. Bioactive Polyphenols from Wine Grapes, SpringerBriefs in Cell Biology. Springer, New York, NY.
A chapter in an edited book
Sha, R., Zhang, X., Liao, S., Constantinou, P.E., Ding, B., Wang, T., Garibotti, A.V., Zhong, H., Israel, L.B., Wang, X., Wu, G., Chakraborty, B., Chen, J., Zhang, Y., Yan, H., Shen, Z., Shen, W., Sa-Ardyen, P., Kopatsch, J., Zheng, J., Lukeman, P.S., Sherman, W.B., Mao, C., Jonoska, N., Seeman, N.C., 2005. Structural DNA Nanotechnology: Molecular Construction and Computation, in: Calude, C.S., Dinneen, M.J., Păun, G., Pérez-Jímenez, M.J., Rozenberg, G. (Eds.), Unconventional Computation: 4th International Conference, UC 2005, Sevilla, Spain, October 3 – 7, 2005. Proceedings, Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, pp. 20–31.

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. Mining For Metals In Society’s Waste [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, 1992. Space Station: NASA’s Software Development Approach Increases Safety and Cost Risks (No. IMTEC-92-39). 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
Bryant, T.L., 2017. The Influence of High School Preparation on Black Male Students’ Ability to Succeed at the Post-Secondary Level (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
Kelly, M., 1992. THE 1992 CAMPAIGN: The Democrats; Clinton Accuses Bush of Dodging Responsibilities. New York Times A20.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Coaker, 2014).
This sentence cites two references (Coaker, 2014; Romney and Miller, 2015).

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

  • Two authors: (Romney and Miller, 2015)
  • Three or more authors: (Zhang et al., 2013)

About the journal

Full journal titleiScience
ISSN (print)2589-0042

Other styles