How to format your references using the Materials Characterization citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Materials Characterization. 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
J. Kaiser, ECOLOGY: When Do Many Species Matter?, Science. 289 (2000) 1283.
A journal article with 2 authors
Y.T. Didenko, K.S. Suslick, The energy efficiency of formation of photons, radicals and ions during single-bubble cavitation, Nature. 418 (2002) 394–397.
A journal article with 3 authors
J.J. Tewksbury, R.B. Huey, C.A. Deutsch, Ecology. Putting the heat on tropical animals, Science. 320 (2008) 1296–1297.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
S. Uji, H. Shinagawa, T. Terashima, T. Yakabe, Y. Terai, M. Tokumoto, A. Kobayashi, H. Tanaka, H. Kobayashi, Magnetic-field-induced superconductivity in a two-dimensional organic conductor, Nature. 410 (2001) 908–910.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
M.R. Islam, A.B. Chhetri, M.M. Khan, The Greening of Petroleum Operations, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, 2010.
An edited book
J. Hassink, M. Van Dijk, eds., FARMING FOR HEALTH, Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht, 2006.
A chapter in an edited book
S.J. Scudder, Anatomy of a Southwest Florida Sand Burial Mound Smith Mound at the Pineland Site Complex, in: E.J. Reitz, S.J. Scudder, C.M. Scarry (Eds.), Case Studies in Environmental Archaeology, Springer, New York, NY, 2008: pp. 81–93.

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 Materials Characterization.

Blog post
E. Andrew, Physicists Finally Capture High-Energy Cosmic Neutrinos After 40 Years Of Trying, IFLScience. (2013).


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, Space Program Safety: Funding for NASA’s Safety Organizations Should Be Centralized, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 1990.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
A.M. Wester, Readers’ trust, socio-demographic, and acuity influences in citizen journalism credibility for disrupted online newspapers, Doctoral dissertation, University of Phoenix, 2013.

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, Seeking Stars, Finding Creationism, 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 titleMaterials Characterization
AbbreviationMater. Charact.
ISSN (print)1044-5803
ScopeMechanical Engineering
Mechanics of Materials
General Materials Science
Condensed Matter Physics

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