How to format your references using the Journal of Complexity citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Journal of Complexity. 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.
EndNoteDownload the output style file
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
D. Adam, British chemists warned of impending stagnation, Nature. 421 (2003) 100.
A journal article with 2 authors
D.L. Des Marais, M.D. Rausher, Escape from adaptive conflict after duplication in an anthocyanin pathway gene, Nature. 454 (2008) 762–765.
A journal article with 3 authors
M.H. Kao, A.J. Doupe, M.S. Brainard, Contributions of an avian basal ganglia-forebrain circuit to real-time modulation of song, Nature. 433 (2005) 638–643.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
L. Muchnik, S. Pei, L.C. Parra, S.D.S. Reis, J.S. Andrade Jr, S. Havlin, H.A. Makse, Origins of power-law degree distribution in the heterogeneity of human activity in social networks, Sci. Rep. 3 (2013) 1783.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
J.J. Stoker, Differential Geometry, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, 1988.
An edited book
G. Rehm, H. Uszkoreit, eds., The Latvian Language in the Digital Age, Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 2012.
A chapter in an edited book
E.J. Sullivan, J.V. Candy, SEQUENTIAL DETECTION ESTIMATION AND NOISE CANCELATION, in: J. Byrnes (Ed.), Imaging for Detection and Identification, Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht, 2007: pp. 97–105.

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 Journal of Complexity.

Blog post
T. Hale, You Can Now Access All Of NASA’s Research Online For Free, IFLScience. (2016). (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, Flaws in Controls Over the Supplemental Security Income Computerized System Cause Millions in Erroneous Payments, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 1979.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
K.E. Myers, The First Determination of the Proton’s Weak Charge Through Parity-Violating Asymmetry Measurements in Elastic e + p and e + Al Scattering, Doctoral dissertation, George Washington University, 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
G. Johnson, An Apple a Day, and Other Myths, New York Times. (2014) D3.

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 titleJournal of Complexity
AbbreviationJ. Complex.
ISSN (print)0885-064X
ScopeAlgebra and Number Theory
Applied Mathematics
Control and Optimization
Numerical Analysis
Statistics and Probability

Other styles