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
Xu P. Eppendorf 2005 winner. A Drosophila OBP required for pheromone signaling. Science. 2005; 310: 798–9.
A journal article with 2 authors
Hol FJH, Dekker C. Zooming in to see the bigger picture: microfluidic and nanofabrication tools to study bacteria. Science. 2014; 346: 1251821.
A journal article with 3 authors
Unterreithmeier QP, Weig EM, Kotthaus JP. Universal transduction scheme for nanomechanical systems based on dielectric forces. Nature. 2009; 458: 1001–4.
A journal article with 14 or more authors
Madhusudhan N, Harrington J, Stevenson KB, Nymeyer S, Campo CJ, Wheatley PJ, Deming D, Blecic J, Hardy RA, Lust NB, Anderson DR, Collier-Cameron A, Britt CBT, et al. A high C/O ratio and weak thermal inversion in the atmosphere of exoplanet WASP-12b. Nature. 2011; 469: 64–7.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
O’Gorman TW. Adaptive Tests of Significance Using Permutations of Residuals with R and SAS®. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; 2012.
An edited book
McGowan BL, Palmer RT, Wood JL, Hibbler DF, editors. Black Men in the Academy: Narratives of Resiliency, Achievement, and Success. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan US; 2016. XV, 234 p p.
A chapter in an edited book
de Jong PTVM. Cataract, Age-Related Macular Degeneration, and Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma: Risk Factors. In: Scholl HPN, Massof RW, West S, editors. Ophthalmology and the Ageing Society. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer; 2013. p. 33–55.

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
Andrew E. Here’s What Ariel Would Look Like If She Evolved In The Deep Ocean [Internet]. IFLScience. IFLScience; 2015 [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. Aviation Safety: FAA’s Assessment of Pre-flight Service Technology Options. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 1994 Jun. Report No.: AIMD-94-137BR.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Dougherty MH. Identification of needs reported by grandparents of grandchildren, from birth to twenty-one years, with disabilities in the commonwealth of Kentucky [Doctoral dissertation]. [Washington, DC]: George Washington University; 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
Wallace N. The Minivan vs. the Maserati. New York Times. 2016; : A27.

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