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
Khalil AM (2009) Journal club. A geneticist views two theories of X-chromosome inactivation in a broad context. Nature 458:263
A journal article with 2 authors
Fugmann SD, Schatz DG (2002) Immunology. One AID to unite them all. Science 295:1244–1245
A journal article with 3 authors
Shahabi A, Wang H, Upmanyu M (2014) Shaping van der Waals nanoribbons via torsional constraints: scrolls, folds and supercoils. Sci Rep 4:7004
A journal article with 5 or more authors
Oda Y, Hosokawa N, Wada I, Nagata K (2003) EDEM as an acceptor of terminally misfolded glycoproteins released from calnexin. Science 299:1394–1397

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Calloway J (2009) Becoming a Category of One. Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ
An edited book
Toulouevski YN (2015) Electric Arc Furnace with Flat Bath: Achievements and Prospects. Springer International Publishing, Cham
A chapter in an edited book
Elmitwalli TA, Al-Sarawey A, El-Sherbiny MF (2008) Egyptian Effluent Standards for Treated Sewage: Evaluation and Recommendations. In: Baz IA, Otterpohl R, Wendland C (eds) Efficient Management of Wastewater: Its Treatment and Reuse in Water-Scarce Countries. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, pp 41–51

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 D (2017) Too Many Tabs – Why Some People Can Multitask Online And Others Can’t. 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 (2003) Information Technology: Departmental Leadership Crucial to Success of Investment Reforms at Interior. 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
Ramey JD (2013) A Case Study: Achievement Studies of Persistent, Transitional, and Transient Populations within the Blitz Program Model at a Large Midwestern Elementary School. Doctoral dissertation, Lindenwood 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
Walsh MW (2011) A Proposal for Drawing a Clearer Picture of Public Pension Finances. New York Times B6

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Khalil 2009).
This sentence cites two references (Fugmann and Schatz 2002; Khalil 2009).

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

  • Two authors: (Fugmann and Schatz 2002)
  • Three or more authors: (Oda et al. 2003)

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