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
D.F. Babcock, Development. Smelling the roses?, Science. 299 (2003) 1993–1994.
A journal article with 2 authors
Z. Zhu, J.E. Hoffman, Condensed-matter physics: Catching relativistic electrons, Nature. 513 (2014) 319–320.
A journal article with 3 authors
H.V. Thulasiram, H.K. Erickson, C.D. Poulter, Chimeras of two isoprenoid synthases catalyze all four coupling reactions in isoprenoid biosynthesis, Science. 316 (2007) 73–76.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
P. Blanchon, A. Eisenhauer, J. Fietzke, V. Liebetrau, Rapid sea-level rise and reef back-stepping at the close of the last interglacial highstand, Nature. 458 (2009) 881–884.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
W. Zhang, I. Shmulevich, J. Astola, Microarray Quality Control, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, 2005.
An edited book
A. Prince, ed., Mucosal Immunology of Acute Bacterial Pneumonia, Springer, New York, NY, 2013.
A chapter in an edited book
S. Modrow, F. Dietrich, U. Truyen, H. Schätzl, Cell Damage, in: D. Falke, U. Truyen, H. Schätzl (Eds.), Molecular Virology, Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 2013: pp. 49–56.

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, Scientists Discover Fossils from the Most Massive Penguin Ever, IFLScience. (2014). (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, K-12 Education: Internal Controls for Program Management and Oversight Can Help Ensure the Success of School Choice Programs, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 2015.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
W.E. Byrd, Relational programming in miniKanren: Techniques, applications, and implementations, Doctoral dissertation, Indiana University, 2009.

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
L. Marx, A Modern Marriage With Multiple Parts, New York Times. (2015) ST17.

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