How to format your references using the Oncotarget citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Oncotarget. 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.
EndNoteDownload the output style file
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
Albarède F. Geophysics. Helium feels the heat in Earth’s mantle. Science. 2005; 310: 1777–8.
A journal article with 2 authors
Paz-Silva GA, Lidar DA. Optimally combining dynamical decoupling and quantum error correction. Sci Rep. 2013; 3: 1530.
A journal article with 3 authors
Sato T, Atomi H, Imanaka T. Archaeal type III RuBisCOs function in a pathway for AMP metabolism. Science. 2007; 315: 1003–6.
A journal article with 14 or more authors
Mura A, Adriani A, Connerney JEP, Bolton S, Altieri F, Bagenal F, Bonfond B, Dinelli BM, Gérard J-C, Greathouse T, Grodent D, Levin S, Mauk B, et al. Juno observations of spot structures and a split tail in Io-induced aurorae on Jupiter. Science. 2018; 361: 774–7.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Gaffney S, Francis C. Honesty Sells. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; 2009.
An edited book
Reid J. JavaScript Programmer’s Reference. Valentine T, editor. Berkeley, CA: Apress; 2013. XX, 296 p p.
A chapter in an edited book
Feng Y, Luo S, Pan L. An Extensive Method to Detect the Image Digital Watermarking Based on the Known Template. In: Zhuang Y, Yang S-Q, Rui Y, He Q, editors. Advances in Multimedia Information Processing - PCM 2006: 7th Pacific Rim Conference on Multimedia, Hangzhou, China, November 2-4, 2006 Proceedings. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer; 2006. p. 31–40.

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 Oncotarget.

Blog post
Luntz S. World’s Largest Aquatic Insect Discovered [Internet]. IFLScience. IFLScience; 2014 [cited 2018 Oct 30]. Available 2018 Oct 30, from


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. Review of Contractors’ Pension and Other Benefits for Employees Working at NASA’s Scientific and Technical Information Facility. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 1981 Jan. Report No.: HRD-81-49.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Laird EC. Training social workers to use solution-focused interviewing with Child Protective Services clients: A grant proposal [Doctoral dissertation]. [Long Beach, CA]: 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
Stewart JB. They Exposed a Scandal, But Merited Just a Footnote. New York Times. 2017; : B1.

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 titleOncotarget
ISSN (online)1949-2553

Other styles