How to format your references using the Materials Science & Engineering A citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Materials Science & Engineering A. 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. Albarede, A geochemist wonders about the Solar System’s true age, Nature. 454 (2008) 807.
A journal article with 2 authors
P.D. Cerdán, J. Chory, Regulation of flowering time by light quality, Nature. 423 (2003) 881–885.
A journal article with 3 authors
M.M. Baksh, M. Jaros, J.T. Groves, Detection of molecular interactions at membrane surfaces through colloid phase transitions, Nature. 427 (2004) 139–141.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
M.J. Grimson, J.C. Coates, J.P. Reynolds, M. Shipman, R.L. Blanton, A.J. Harwood, Adherens junctions and beta-catenin-mediated cell signalling in a non-metazoan organism, Nature. 408 (2000) 727–731.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
A. Sobel, All for One, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, 2009.
An edited book
C. Catalano, M. Anzidei, A. Napoli, eds., Cardiovascular CT and MR Imaging: From Technique to Clinical Interpretation, Springer, Milano, 2013.
A chapter in an edited book
Y. He, Y. Su, Silicon-Based Nanoagents for Cancer Therapy, in: Y. Su (Ed.), Silicon Nano-Biotechnology, Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 2014: pp. 75–91.

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 Science & Engineering A.

Blog post
R. Andrews, Brain Samples Of Nazi Victims Found In Major German Research Institute, IFLScience. (2016). (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, Transportation Security Administration’s Suspension of the Butane Lighter Ban Onboard Commercial Aircraft, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 2008.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
A.J. Thompson, Textiles as Indicators of Hopewellian Culture Burial Practices, Doctoral dissertation, Ohio State University, 2003.

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. Greenhouse, Roberts Is at Court’s Helm, But He Isn’t Yet in Control, New York Times. (2006) A1.

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 Science & Engineering A
AbbreviationMater. Sci. Eng. A Struct. Mater.
ISSN (print)0921-5093
ScopeMechanical Engineering
Mechanics of Materials
General Materials Science
Condensed Matter Physics

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