How to format your references using the Materials citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Materials. 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
Hakim, A.M. Perspective: Silent, but Preventable, Perils. Nature 2014, 510, S12.
A journal article with 2 authors
Ren, W.; Cheng, H.-M. Materials Science: When Two Is Better than One. Nature 2013, 497, 448–449.
A journal article with 3 authors
Kaib, N.A.; Raymond, S.N.; Duncan, M. Planetary System Disruption by Galactic Perturbations to Wide Binary Stars. Nature 2013, 493, 381–384.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Lénárt, P.; Bacher, C.P.; Daigle, N.; Hand, A.R.; Eils, R.; Terasaki, M.; Ellenberg, J. A Contractile Nuclear Actin Network Drives Chromosome Congression in Oocytes. Nature 2005, 436, 812–818.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Shand, M.A. The Chemistry and Technology of Magnesia; John Wiley & Sons, Inc.: Hoboken, NJ, 2006; ISBN 9780471980575.
An edited book
Comprehensive Guide to Autism; Patel, V.B., Preedy, V.R., Martin, C.R., Eds.; Springer: New York, NY, 2014; ISBN 9781461447870.
A chapter in an edited book
Müller, C.; Schibli, R. Folate Receptor-Targeted Radionuclide Imaging Agents. In Targeted Drug Strategies for Cancer and Inflammation; Jackman, A.L., Leamon, C.P., Eds.; Springer US: Boston, MA, 2011; pp. 65–92 ISBN 9781441984166.

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.

Blog post
Andrew, E. Unusual Animal Intelligence Available online: (accessed on 30 October 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 High Speed Ground Transportation: Strategic Approach Needed for Introduction of HSGT; U.S. Government Printing Office: Washington, DC, 1993;

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Lenz, R.M. Iron, Arsenic, and Elevated Salinity in the Lower Mississippi River Alluvial Aquifer of Louisiana. Doctoral dissertation, University of Louisiana: Lafayette, LA, 2017.

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
Kelly, C. Physical Therapy and the Camaraderie of Healing. New York Times 2009, D5.

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
AbbreviationMaterials (Basel)
ISSN (online)1996-1944
ScopeGeneral Materials Science

Other styles