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
Carthew RW: Molecular biology. A new RNA dimension to genome control. Science 313:305–306, 2006
A journal article with 2 authors
Benartzi S, Thaler RH: Economics. Behavioral economics and the retirement savings crisis. Science 339:1152–1153, 2013
A journal article with 3 authors
Gao F, Ding Z, Meng S: Three-dimensional metal-intercalated covalent organic frameworks for near-ambient energy storage. Sci Rep 3:1882, 2013
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Tanaka M, Collins SR, Toyama BH, Weissman JS: The physical basis of how prion conformations determine strain phenotypes. Nature 442:585–589, 2006

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Grist F: Basic Guide to Orthodontic Dental Nursing. Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010
An edited book
Ceri S, Brambilla M (eds): Search Computing: Trends and Developments. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer, 2011
A chapter in an edited book
Lusk E: New and Old Tools and Programming Models for High-Performance Computing, in Cappello F , Herault T , Dongarra J (eds): Recent Advances in Parallel Virtual Machine and Message Passing Interface: 14th European PVM/MPI User’s Group Meeting, Paris, France, September 30 - October 3, 2007. Proceedings, Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer, 2007, pp 7–7

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
Fang J: Largest Flying Bird Ever Had 6.4-Meter Wingspan. IFLScience:2014


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: No Child Left Behind Act: Education Should Clarify Guidance and Address Potential Compliance Issues for Schools in Corrective Action and Restructuring Status. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2007

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Bacus M: Disturb the Morning. 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
Koblin J: ‘Today’ Host Discussing NBC Exit After Lewd Tape. New York Times:B6, 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 3,4.
This sentence cites four references 3,4,6,8.

About the journal

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

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