How to format your references using the Neurosurgical Focus citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Neurosurgical Focus. 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
Stringer C: Human evolution: Small remains still pose big problems. Nature 514:427–429, 2014
A journal article with 2 authors
Stroscio JA, Celotta RJ: Controlling the dynamics of a single atom in lateral atom manipulation. Science 306:242–247, 2004
A journal article with 3 authors
Ohl FW, Scheich H, Freeman WJ: Change in pattern of ongoing cortical activity with auditory category learning. Nature 412:733–736, 2001
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Rauh NR, Schmidt A, Bormann J, Nigg EA, Mayer TU: Calcium triggers exit from meiosis II by targeting the APC/C inhibitor XErp1 for degradation. Nature 437:1048–1052, 2005

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Choudhry M, Landuyt G: The Future of Finance. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2010
An edited book
Lazega E, Snijders TAB (eds): Multilevel Network Analysis for the Social Sciences: Theory, Methods and Applications. Cham: Springer International Publishing, 2016
A chapter in an edited book
Sabe M, Heupler F: Cardiac Output, in Anwaruddin S , Martin JM , Stephens JC , Askari AT (eds): Cardiovascular Hemodynamics: An Introductory Guide. Totowa, NJ: Humana Press, 2013, pp 65–73

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 Neurosurgical Focus.

Blog post
Davis J: Genetic Study Reveals The Surprising Ancestry Of Ancient Egyptians. IFLScience:2017 Available: Accessed 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: Information Technology: HUD Needs to Better Define Commitments and Disclose Risks for Modernization Projects in Future Expenditure Plans. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2010

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Cardillo-Geller L: Renegotiating relationships, patterns of grief and experiences of support: An examination of mothers’ relationships with their daughters following daughters’ loss of a husband in the September 11 th, 2001 World Trade Center attacks. 2010

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
Shpigel B: Pro Football; Bowles Hospitalized, and He May Not Coach. New York Times:D4, 2016

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by sequential numbers in superscript:

This sentence cites one reference 2.
This sentence cites two references 2,4.
This sentence cites four references 4,6–8.

About the journal

Full journal titleNeurosurgical Focus
AbbreviationNeurosurg. Focus
ISSN (online)1092-0684
ScopeGeneral Medicine
Clinical Neurology

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