How to format your references using the Methods and Protocols citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Methods and Protocols. 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
Clark, P.U. Climate change. Ice sheets in transition. Science 2012, 337, 656–658.
A journal article with 2 authors
Verger, P.J.P.; Boobis, A.R. Global food supply. Reevaluate pesticides for food security and safety. Science 2013, 341, 717–718.
A journal article with 3 authors
Barsh, G.S.; Farooqi, I.S.; O’Rahilly, S. Genetics of body-weight regulation. Nature 2000, 404, 644–651.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Weller, E.; Cai, W.; Min, S.-K.; Wu, L.; Ashok, K.; Yamagata, T. More-frequent extreme northward shifts of eastern Indian Ocean tropical convergence under greenhouse warming. Sci. Rep. 2014, 4, 6087.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Chin, W. Reservoir Engineering in Modern Oilfields; John Wiley & Sons, Inc.: Hoboken, NJ, 2016; ISBN 9781119284628.
An edited book
Hyperbolic Problems and Regularity Questions; Padula, M., Zanghirati, L., Eds.; Trends in Mathematics; Birkhäuser: Basel, 2007; ISBN 9783764374501.
A chapter in an edited book
Pistrosch, F.; Schaper, F.; Hanefeld, M. The Metabolic Syndrome and Cardiovascular Disease. In The Metabolic Syndrome: Pharmacology and Clinical Aspects; Beck-Nielsen, H., Ed.; Springer: Vienna, 2013; pp. 43–54 ISBN 9783709113301.

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 Methods and Protocols.

Blog post
Taub, B. Physical Inactivity Is Just As Bad As Genetic Predisposition When It Comes To Developing Dementia Available online: (accessed on Oct 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 GAO Role in the Evaluation of Federally Funded Education Programs; U.S. Government Printing Office: Washington, DC, 1972;

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Kolakoski, M. The appeal to be heard and the trope of listening in classic film and African American literature. Doctoral dissertation, University of Arizona: Tucson, AZ, 2013.

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
Crow, K. Fireman’s Spirit Is the Wind Beneath a Bird’s Wings. New York Times 2001, 146.

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 titleMethods and Protocols
AbbreviationMethods Protoc.
ISSN (online)2409-9279

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