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
Smaglik P (2005) Model mentors. Nature 434:802–803
A journal article with 2 authors
Fedorka KM, Mousseau TA (2004) Female mating bias results in conflicting sex-specific offspring fitness. Nature 429:65–67
A journal article with 3 authors
Brook BW, Sodhi NS, Ng PKL (2003) Catastrophic extinctions follow deforestation in Singapore. Nature 424:420–426
A journal article with 5 or more authors
Donaldson GP, Ladinsky MS, Yu KB, et al (2018) Gut microbiota utilize immunoglobulin A for mucosal colonization. Science 360:795–800

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Garrison DR, Vaughan ND (2007) Blended Learning in Higher Education. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, CA, USA
An edited book
Bogdandy A von (2009) Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
A chapter in an edited book
Veiga A (2011) Food Defence and Security: The New Reality. In: Alpas H, Berkowicz SM, Ermakova I (eds) Environmental Security and Ecoterrorism. Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht, pp 39–54

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
Davis J (2017) Scientists Identify The Genes Responsible For Cannabis’ Distinct Flavor. 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 (2001) District of Columbia: D.C. Public Schools Inappropriately Used Gas Utility Contract for Renovations. 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
Frieberg A (2008) The Project of Reconciliation: Journalists and religious activists in Polish -German relations, 1956–1972. Doctoral dissertation, University of North Carolina

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
Dwyer KP (2006) Workers Warm to Contract Jobs. New York Times 104

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Smaglik 2005).
This sentence cites two references (Fedorka and Mousseau 2004; Smaglik 2005).

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

  • Two authors: (Fedorka and Mousseau 2004)
  • Three or more authors: (Donaldson et al. 2018)

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