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
Knapp S. What’s in a name? Nature. 2000; 408: 33.
A journal article with 2 authors
Jung GY, Stephanopoulos G. A functional protein chip for pathway optimization and in vitro metabolic engineering. Science. 2004; 304: 428–31.
A journal article with 3 authors
Pagel M, Atkinson QD, Meade A. Frequency of word-use predicts rates of lexical evolution throughout Indo-European history. Nature. 2007; 449: 717–20.
A journal article with 14 or more authors
Novotny V, Drozd P, Miller SE, Kulfan M, Janda M, Basset Y, Weiblen GD. Why are there so many species of herbivorous insects in tropical rainforests? Science. 2006; 313: 1115–8.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Remy J-G, Letamendia C. LTE Services. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; 2014.
An edited book
Skersys T, Butleris R, Butkiene R, editors. Information and Software Technologies: 19th International Conference, ICIST 2013, Kaunas, Lithuania, October 2013. Proceedings. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer; 2013. XIV, 416 p. 164 illus p.
A chapter in an edited book
Guedes EB, de Assis FM, Medeiros RAC. Zero-Error Capacity of Quantum Channels. In: de Assis FM, Medeiros RAC, editors. Quantum Zero-Error Information Theory. Cham: Springer International Publishing; 2016. p. 79–106.

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
O`Callaghan J. IceCube Observatory Confirms The Discovery Of Cosmic Neutrinos. IFLScience. IFLScience; 2015. 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. Airport Competition: Essential Air Service Slots at O’Hare International Airport. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 1994 Mar. Report No.: RCED-94-118FS.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Casem J. Moku Ka Pawa: Drawn to the Light [Doctoral dissertation]. [Long Beach, CA]: California State University, Long Beach; 2009.

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
Bernstein N. 22 Unclaimed Bodies Endured a Grim Detour Before Burial. New York Times. 2016; : A1.

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