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
F. Pearce, Dubious assumptions prime population bomb, Nature. 473 (2011) 125.
A journal article with 2 authors
K. Wang, E.I. Stiefel, Toward separation and purification of olefins using dithiolene complexes: an electrochemical approach, Science. 291 (2001) 106–109.
A journal article with 3 authors
Y. Li, X. Zhang, D. Cao, The role of shape complementarity in the protein-protein interactions, Sci. Rep. 3 (2013) 3271.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
S.R. Chamberlain, U. Müller, A.D. Blackwell, L. Clark, T.W. Robbins, B.J. Sahakian, Neurochemical modulation of response inhibition and probabilistic learning in humans, Science. 311 (2006) 861–863.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
C. Cauvin, F. Escobar, A. Serradj, Cartography and the Impact of the Quantitative Revolution, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, 2010.
An edited book
C.G. Williams, ed., Landscapes, Genomics and Transgenic Conifers, Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht, 2006.
A chapter in an edited book
di L.M. Catena, Biografie, in: I. Davoli (Ed.), Oltre i Materiali. La Scienza Tra Le Nostre Dita: Quaranta Storie Di Lavoro e Formazione, Springer, Milano, 2011: pp. 35–204.

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
J. O`Callaghan, Cassini Snaps Best Ever Image Of Saturn’s Odd Moon Pandora, IFLScience. (2016).


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, Nanotechnology: Nanomaterials Are Widely Used in Commerce, but EPA Faces Challenges in Regulating Risk, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 2010.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
M.G. Griffin, The lived experience of first line managers during planned organizational change: A phenomenological study of one firm in the residential construction industry, Doctoral dissertation, George Washington University, 2008.

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, In Every Breath, a Cancer Risk?, New York Times. (2016) D2.

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

Other styles