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
E. Barbier, Sustainability: Tax “societal ills” to save the planet, Nature. 483 (2012) 30.
A journal article with 2 authors
A.K. Boal, A.C. Rosenzweig, Biochemistry. A radical route for nitrogenase carbide insertion, Science. 337 (2012) 1617–1618.
A journal article with 3 authors
K. Planutis, M. Planutiene, R.F. Holcombe, A novel signaling pathway regulates colon cancer angiogenesis through Norrin, Sci. Rep. 4 (2014) 5630.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
S. Matsubara, Q. Ding, Y. Miyazaki, T. Kuwahata, K. Tsukasa, S. Takao, mTOR plays critical roles in pancreatic cancer stem cells through specific and stemness-related functions, Sci. Rep. 3 (2013) 3230.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
J.A. Aquino, The International Family Guide to US University Admissions, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK, 2017.
An edited book
M. Berekovic, W. Fornaciari, U. Brinkschulte, C. Silvano, eds., Architecture of Computing Systems - ARCS 2011: 24th International Conference, Como, Italy, February 24-25, 2011. Proceedings, Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 2011.
A chapter in an edited book
Y. Zhong, Gastric Cancer, in: M. Alaoui-Jamali (Ed.), Alternative and Complementary Therapies for Cancer: Integrative Approaches and Discovery of Conventional Drugs, Springer US, Boston, MA, 2010: pp. 105–133.

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
J. Davis, Half Of E.U. Countries Opt Out Of Growing GM Crops, 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, Denial of Protest Involving Solicitation’s Evaluation Standard, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 1975.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
L.M. Van Exel, Applying database refactoring techniques to procedural SQL, Doctoral dissertation, California State University, Long Beach, 2012.

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
G. Vecsey, A Usual Suspect Slips Into a Party Owned by Outsiders, New York Times. (2011) D3.

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