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
Gauntlett, J. Physics. Brane New Worlds. Nature 2000, 404, 28–29.
A journal article with 2 authors
Blázquez, M.A.; Weigel, D. Integration of Floral Inductive Signals in Arabidopsis. Nature 2000, 404, 889–892.
A journal article with 3 authors
Melchor, R.N.; Buchwaldt, R.; Bowring, S. A Late Eocene Date for Late Triassic Bird Tracks. Nature 2013, 495, E1-2.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Tapponnier, P.; Zhiqin, X.; Roger, F.; Meyer, B.; Arnaud, N.; Wittlinger, G.; Jingsui, Y. Oblique Stepwise Rise and Growth of the Tibet Plateau. Science 2001, 294, 1671–1677.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society (TMS) Supplemental Proceedings; John Wiley & Sons, Inc.: Hoboken, NJ, 2011; ISBN 9781118062173.
An edited book
Pulmonary Dysfunction and Disease; Pokorski, M., Ed.; Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology; Springer International Publishing: Cham, 2016; Vol. 934; ISBN 9783319420097.
A chapter in an edited book
Yi, H.; Tian, X. A Study to Neuron Ensemble of Cognitive Cortex ISI Coding Represent Stimulus. In Advances in Neural Networks - ISNN 2010: 7th International Symposium on Neural Networks, ISNN 2010, Shanghai, China, June 6-9, 2010, Proceedings, Part I; Zhang, L., Lu, B.-L., Kwok, J., Eds.; Lecture Notes in Computer Science; Springer: Berlin, Heidelberg, 2010; pp. 27–32 ISBN 9783642132773.

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
Andrew, E. Stunning, Crystal-Clear Images Of Pluto – But What Do They Mean? 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 Student Loans: Selected Characteristics of Schools in Two Major Federal Loan Programs; U.S. Government Printing Office: Washington, DC, 1997;

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Dooling, S.M. Like A Unicorn in Captivity. Doctoral dissertation, University of Maryland, College Park: College Park, MD, 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
Walsh, M.W. Bill Proposed to Give Regulatory Protection to Puerto Rico Mutual Fund Investors. New York Times 2015, B3.

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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