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
Kump, L.R., 2008. The rise of atmospheric oxygen. Nature 451, 277–278.
A journal article with 2 authors
Bell, A.M., Robinson, G.E., 2011. Genomics. Behavior and the dynamic genome. Science 332, 1161–1162.
A journal article with 3 authors
Stanley, J.D., Goddio, F., Schnepp, G., 2001. Nile flooding sank two ancient cities. Nature 412, 293–294.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Pan, Y., Wan, J., Liu, Y., Yang, Q., Liang, W., Singhal, P.C., Saleem, M.A., Ding, G., 2014. sPLA2 IB induces human podocyte apoptosis via the M-type phospholipase A2 receptor. Sci. Rep. 4, 6660.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Hagen, J., 2005. Industrial Catalysis. Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim, FRG.
An edited book
Guzzo, T.J., Drach, G.W., Wein, A.J. (Eds.), 2013. Primer of Geriatric Urology. Springer, New York, NY.
A chapter in an edited book
Haines, A.J., Dimitrova, L.L., Wallace, L.M., Williams, C.A., 2015. 1-Dimensional Synthetic Examples, in: Dimitrova, L.L., Wallace, L.M., Williams, C.A. (Eds.), Enhanced Surface Imaging of Crustal Deformation: Obtaining Tectonic Force Fields Using GPS Data, SpringerBriefs in Earth Sciences. Springer International Publishing, Cham, pp. 45–62.

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
Luntz, S., 2016. Egyptian Bats’ Calls Reveal Who They Are Talking To [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, 2009. Federal Research: NASA Should Better Inform Researchers about How to Appeal Dissemination Decisions (No. GAO-10-200). 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
McKinney, R.W., 2017. The Optimal Balance of Liberal Education and Career Readiness in the Context of the American Promise: A Critical Analysis of the American Association of Colleges and Universities Liberal Education and America’s Promise Challenge (Doctoral dissertation). University of Louisiana, Lafayette, LA.

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
Walsh, M.W., 2017. Tiny Territory, Debt in Billions: Fears Spread to Virgin Islands. New York Times A1.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Kump, 2008).
This sentence cites two references (Bell and Robinson, 2011; Kump, 2008).

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

  • Two authors: (Bell and Robinson, 2011)
  • Three or more authors: (Pan et al., 2014)

About the journal

Full journal titleiScience
ISSN (print)2589-0042

Other styles