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
H. Sontheimer, Brain cancer: Tumour cells on neighbourhood watch, Nature. 528 (2015) 49–50.
A journal article with 2 authors
J. Gillon, D. Yakir, Influence of carbonic anhydrase activity in terrestrial vegetation on the 18O content of atmospheric CO2, Science. 291 (2001) 2584–2587.
A journal article with 3 authors
L. Dai, K.S. Korolev, J. Gore, Slower recovery in space before collapse of connected populations, Nature. 496 (2013) 355–358.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Y. Cao, N. Wang, H. Tian, J. Guo, Y. Wei, H. Chen, Y. Miao, W. Zou, K. Pan, Y. He, H. Cao, Y. Ke, M. Xu, Y. Wang, M. Yang, K. Du, Z. Fu, D. Kong, D. Dai, Y. Jin, G. Li, H. Li, Q. Peng, J. Wang, W. Huang, Perovskite light-emitting diodes based on spontaneously formed submicrometre-scale structures, Nature. 562 (2018) 249–253.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
C. Demaria, Introduction to Private Equity, John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester, UK, 2013.
An edited book
M.A. Elgamel, Interconnect Noise Optimization in Nanometer Technologies, Springer US, Boston, MA, 2006.
A chapter in an edited book
E.M. Makaudze, G.M. Gelles, The Challenges of Providing Water and Sanitation to Urban Slum Settlements in South Africa, in: Q. Grafton, K.A. Daniell, C. Nauges, J.-D. Rinaudo, N.W.W. Chan (Eds.), Understanding and Managing Urban Water in Transition, Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht, 2015: pp. 121–133.

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
B. Taub, World’s Rarest Great Ape Threatened By Nigerian Highway, IFLScience. (2016).


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, Hispanic Employment: Best Practices Used by Selected Agencies and Companies, 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
C. Camaya, Teachers’ perceptions of social skills instruction for children with autism spectrum disorders, Doctoral dissertation, University of Phoenix, 2015.

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
S. Kishkovsky, Thousands In Moscow Rally to Call By Patriarch, New York Times. (2012) 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 [1,2].
This sentence cites four references [1–4].

About the journal

Full journal titleMethodsX
ISSN (print)2215-0161

Other styles