How to format your references using the MethodsX citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for MethodsX. 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
R.A. Greenberg, Cancer. BRCA1, everything but the RING?, Science. 334 (2011) 459–460.
A journal article with 2 authors
M. Campillo, A. Paul, Long-range correlations in the diffuse seismic coda, Science. 299 (2003) 547–549.
A journal article with 3 authors
S. Otto, R.L.E. Furlan, J.K.M. Sanders, Selection and amplification of hosts from dynamic combinatorial libraries of macrocyclic disulfides, Science. 297 (2002) 590–593.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
D.M. Korzhnev, X. Salvatella, M. Vendruscolo, A.A. Di Nardo, A.R. Davidson, C.M. Dobson, L.E. Kay, Low-populated folding intermediates of Fyn SH3 characterized by relaxation dispersion NMR, Nature. 430 (2004) 586–590.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
J.P. Abulencia, L. Theodore, Open-Ended Problems, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, 2015.
An edited book
S.M. Fleming, C.D. Frith, eds., The Cognitive Neuroscience of Metacognition, Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 2014.
A chapter in an edited book
V. Zografos, A. Valentinitsch, M. Rempfler, F. Tombari, B. Menze, Hierarchical Multi-Organ Segmentation Without Registration in 3D Abdominal CT Images, in: B. Menze, G. Langs, A. Montillo, M. Kelm, H. Müller, S. Zhang, W. Cai, D. Metaxas (Eds.), Medical Computer Vision: Algorithms for Big Data: International Workshop, MCV 2015, Held in Conjunction with MICCAI 2015, Munich, Germany, October 9, 2015, Revised Selected Papers, Springer International Publishing, Cham, 2016: pp. 37–46.

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 MethodsX.

Blog post
E. Andrew, Why is the Universe Accelerating?, IFLScience. (2015). (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, Protest of Proposal Rejection, 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
H. Yu, Parasitism of subterranean termites (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae: Termitidae) by entomopathogenic nematodes (Nematoda: Steinernematidae: Heterorhabditidae), Doctoral dissertation, University of Arizona, 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
M. Cooper, ‘The Third Tenor’ Exits, New York Times. (2017) C1.

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 titleMethodsX
ISSN (print)2215-0161

Other styles