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
Eisenberg, R.S. Science and the law. Patent swords and shields. Science 2003, 299, 1018–1019.
A journal article with 2 authors
Funk, J.L.; Vitousek, P.M. Resource-use efficiency and plant invasion in low-resource systems. Nature 2007, 446, 1079–1081.
A journal article with 3 authors
Uraguchi, D.; Ueki, Y.; Ooi, T. Chiral organic ion pair catalysts assembled through a hydrogen-bonding network. Science 2009, 326, 120–123.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Khakh, B.S.; Zhou, X.; Sydes, J.; Galligan, J.J.; Lester, H.A. State-dependent cross-inhibition between transmitter-gated cation channels. Nature 2000, 406, 405–410.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Jacobsson, M.; Niemegeers, I.; Heemstra de Groot, S. Personal Networks; John Wiley & Sons, Ltd: Chichester, UK, 2010; ISBN 9780470666746.
An edited book
Herrera, F. Multilabel Classification: Problem Analysis, Metrics and Techniques; Charte, F., Rivera, A.J., del Jesus, M.J., Eds.; Springer International Publishing: Cham, 2016; ISBN 9783319411101.
A chapter in an edited book
Murty, M.N.; Panda, M. Current Status of Environmental and Economic Accounting: Review of Some Countries Experiences and Way Forward for India. In Nature, Economy and Society: Understanding the Linkages; Ghosh, N., Mukhopadhyay, P., Shah, A., Panda, M., Eds.; Springer India: New Delhi, 2016; pp. 51–85 ISBN 9788132224037.

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. Could a supernova be visible from Earth in the next 50 years? (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 Evaluation of the Office of Economic Opportunity’s Performance Contracting Experiment; U.S. Government Printing Office: Washington, DC, 1973;

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Spruill, E.L. A correlational analysis relating organizational climate to employee performance: A case study. Doctoral dissertation, University of Phoenix: Phoenix, AZ, 2008.

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
Schwartz, J. Climate Change Reroutes a Yukon River in a Geological Instant, Scientists Say. New York Times 2017, A7.

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 [1,1].
This sentence cites four references [1,1,1,1].

About the journal

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

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