How to format your references using the Materials Letters: X citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Materials Letters: X. 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.
EndNoteFind the style here: output styles overview
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.E. Lenski, Genetics and evolution. Come fly, and leave the baggage behind, Science. 294 (2001) 533–534.
A journal article with 2 authors
J.J. Bull, C.R. Parrish, Microbiology. A binding contract for anthrax, Science. 297 (2002) 201–202.
A journal article with 3 authors
U. Kaiser, A. Schwarz, R. Wiesendanger, Magnetic exchange force microscopy with atomic resolution, Nature. 446 (2007) 522–525.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
D.S. Merrell, S.M. Butler, F. Qadri, N.A. Dolganov, A. Alam, M.B. Cohen, S.B. Calderwood, G.K. Schoolnik, A. Camilli, Host-induced epidemic spread of the cholera bacterium, Nature. 417 (2002) 642–645.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
M. Levene, An Introduction to Search Engines and Web Navigation, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, 2010.
An edited book
K.-D. Schewe, B. Thalheim, eds., Semantics in Data and Knowledge Bases: 4th International Workshops, SDKB 2010, Bordeaux, France, July 5, 2010, Revised Selected Papers, Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 2011.
A chapter in an edited book
M. Khiari, P. Boizumault, B. Crémilleux, Combining Constraint Programming and Constraint-Based Mining for Pattern Discovery, in: F. Guillet, G. Ritschard, D.A. Zighed (Eds.), Advances in Knowledge Discovery and Management: Volume 2, Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 2012: pp. 85–103.

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 Letters: X.

Blog post
J. Fang, Ancient Humans Had A Lot More DNA Than We Do, 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, Aerial Refueling Initiative: Cross-Service Analysis Needed To Determine Best Approach, 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
S.K. Kennedy-Reid, Exploring the Habitus: A Phenomenological Study of Transformative Learning Processes, Doctoral dissertation, George Washington University, 2012.

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
J.C. McKINLEY Jr, City Will Pay $4 Million in N.B.A. Player’s Arrest, New York Times. (2017) A21.

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 Letters: X
ISSN (print)2590-1508

Other styles