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
R. Neier, Chemistry. A two-catalyst photochemistry route to homochiral rings, Science. 344 (2014) 368–369.
A journal article with 2 authors
Z. Huang, X. Li, Origin of flaw-tolerance in nacre, Sci. Rep. 3 (2013) 1693.
A journal article with 3 authors
J. Esper, E.R. Cook, F.H. Schweingruber, Low-frequency signals in long tree-ring chronologies for reconstructing past temperature variability, Science. 295 (2002) 2250–2253.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
A. Eden, F. Gaudet, A. Waghmare, R. Jaenisch, Chromosomal instability and tumors promoted by DNA hypomethylation, Science. 300 (2003) 455.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
S.E. Straus, D.L. Sackett, Mentorship in Academic Medicine, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK, 2013.
An edited book
L. Perlovsky, Emotional Cognitive Neural Algorithms with Engineering Applications: Dynamic Logic: FromVague to Crisp, Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 2011.
A chapter in an edited book
J.M. Pendergast, J.L. Ward, S.B. de Pontet, The Special Value of Independent Directors to the Family Business, in: J.L. Ward, S.B. de Pontet (Eds.), Building a Successful Family Business Board: A Guide for Leaders, Directors, and Families, Palgrave Macmillan US, New York, NY, 2011: pp. 35–52.

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, 12,000-Year-Old Icebergs Could Soon Be Available At A Bar Near You, IFLScience. (2015). (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, DOD Business Transformation: Air Force’s Current Approach Increases Risk That Asset Visibility Goals and Transformation Priorities Will Not Be Achieved, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 2008.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
L. Fang, Do media help deter financial misreporting?, Doctoral dissertation, George Washington University, 2015.

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. Vecsey, Wisely Stepping Aside In a Bombarded City, New York Times. (2012) 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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