How to format your references using the Operational Research citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Operational Research. 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
Slack JMW (2011) Development. Planarian pluripotency. Science 332:799–800
A journal article with 2 authors
Hopkins R, Rausher MD (2011) Identification of two genes causing reinforcement in the Texas wildflower Phlox drummondii. Nature 469:411–414
A journal article with 3 authors
Reina JH, Susa CE, Fanchini FF (2014) Extracting information from qubit-environment correlations. Sci Rep 4:7443
A journal article with 5 or more authors
Chen J, de Felipe KS, Clarke M, et al (2004) Legionella effectors that promote nonlytic release from protozoa. Science 303:1358–1361

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Zito R (2011) Electrochemical Water Processing. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ
An edited book
Goldengorin B (2012) Data Correcting Approaches in Combinatorial Optimization. Springer, New York, NY
A chapter in an edited book
Ames M, Burcon S (2016) The Gendered Self-Help Reel: How Romantic Comedies Instruct Women on Dating Dos and Don’ts. In: Burcon S (ed) How Pop Culture Shapes the Stages of a Woman’s Life: From Toddlers-in-Tiaras to Cougars-on-the-Prowl. Palgrave Macmillan UK, London, pp 58–84

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 Operational Research.

Blog post
Luntz S (2017) Poachers Are Using Scientific Papers To Locate Endangered Species’ Whereabouts. In: IFLScience. Accessed 30 Oct 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 (1990) Guaranteed Student Loans: Profits of Secondary Market Lenders Vary Widely. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Gupta P (2017) Enhanced acquisition of data in the presence of transfaulty nodes in a wireless sensor network. Doctoral dissertation, California State University, Long Beach

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
Saslow L (2006) For Roosevelt Schools, New Year and New Woes. New York Times LI2

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by name and year in parentheses:

This sentence cites one reference (Slack 2011).
This sentence cites two references (Hopkins and Rausher 2011; Slack 2011).

Here are examples of in-text citations with multiple authors:

  • Two authors: (Hopkins and Rausher 2011)
  • Three or more authors: (Chen et al. 2004)

About the journal

Full journal titleOperational Research
ISSN (print)1109-2858
ISSN (online)1866-1505
ScopeManagement of Technology and Innovation
Strategy and Management
Computational Theory and Mathematics
Management Science and Operations Research
Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty
Modelling and Simulation
Numerical Analysis

Other styles