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
King M-C (2011) Genome-sequencing anniversary. A healthy son. Science 331:1026
A journal article with 2 authors
Vyleta NP, Jonas P (2014) Loose coupling between Ca2+ channels and release sensors at a plastic hippocampal synapse. Science 343:665–670
A journal article with 3 authors
Bibby TS, Nield J, Barber J (2001) Iron deficiency induces the formation of an antenna ring around trimeric photosystem I in cyanobacteria. Nature 412:743–745
A journal article with 5 or more authors
Whitham TG, Difazio SP, Schweitzer JA, et al (2008) Extending genomics to natural communities and ecosystems. Science 320:492–495

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Law H (2013) The Psychology of Coaching, Mentoring and Learning. John Wiley & Sons, Oxford
An edited book
Li W (2015) Planning and Scheduling for Maritime Container Yards: Supporting and Facilitating the Global Supply Network. Springer International Publishing, Cham
A chapter in an edited book
Carvalho G, Carvalho A, Rocha E, et al (2014) A Formal Model for Natural-Language Timed Requirements of Reactive Systems. In: Merz S, Pang J (eds) Formal Methods and Software Engineering: 16th International Conference on Formal Engineering Methods, ICFEM 2014, Luxembourg, Luxembourg, November 3-5, 2014. Proceedings. Springer International Publishing, Cham, pp 43–58

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
Andrew E (2015) One-Third of Earth’s Largest Groundwater Basins are “in Distress.” 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 (1988) Civil Agency Aircraft: Agencies’ Use of Certain Aircraft to Transport Passengers. 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
Anderson SL (2008) Ninth grade transition: Best practices for a successful transition to high school. Doctoral dissertation, Capella University

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
Robbins L (2014) Chemistry Lab Fire Injures 2 At a Manhattan High School. New York Times A16

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (King 2011).
This sentence cites two references (King 2011; Vyleta and Jonas 2014).

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

  • Two authors: (Vyleta and Jonas 2014)
  • Three or more authors: (Whitham et al. 2008)

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