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
S. Curry, Journal club. A crystallographer takes a jaunt into immunology, Nature. 457 (2009) 133.
A journal article with 2 authors
B.B. Lowell, B.M. Spiegelman, Towards a molecular understanding of adaptive thermogenesis, Nature. 404 (2000) 652–660.
A journal article with 3 authors
V. Pelechano, W. Wei, L.M. Steinmetz, Extensive transcriptional heterogeneity revealed by isoform profiling, Nature. 497 (2013) 127–131.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
M.M. Golas, B. Sander, C.L. Will, R. Lührmann, H. Stark, Molecular architecture of the multiprotein splicing factor SF3b, Science. 300 (2003) 980–984.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
A. Rezzoug, M. El-Hadi Zaïm, Non-conventional Electrical Machines, John Wiley & Sons, Inc, Hoboken, NJ, 2011.
An edited book
N. Mastorakis, V. Mladenov, V.T. Kontargyri, eds., Proceedings of the European Computing Conference: Volume 2, Springer US, Boston, MA, 2009.
A chapter in an edited book
M.J.W. Hall, M. Reginatto, Quantization of Classical Ensembles via an Exact Uncertainty Principle, in: M. Reginatto (Ed.), Ensembles on Configuration Space: Classical, Quantum, and Beyond, Springer International Publishing, Cham, 2016: pp. 85–113.

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, Cloudy Issue: We Need To Fix The Barrier Reef’s Murky Waters, 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, Social Research and Development of Limited Use to National Policymakers, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 1977.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
V.A. Brown, Silenced Voices That Cry in the Night: The Transformative Experience of Spouses of Wounded Warriors - Is it Transformative Learning? A Phenomenological Study, 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
M. Paulson, Sale of Albee Collection To Benefit Foundation, New York Times. (2017) C3.

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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