How to format your references using the Operations Research citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Operations 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
Goldberg DE (2002) Parasitology. When the host is smarter than the parasite. Science 296(5567):482–483.
A journal article with 2 authors
Kaufman MT, Churchland AK (2013) Cognitive neuroscience: sensory noise drives bad decisions. Nature 496(7444):172–173.
A journal article with 3 authors
Torres MA, West AJ, Li G (2014) Sulphide oxidation and carbonate dissolution as a source of CO2 over geological timescales. Nature 507(7492):346–349.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Milotti E, Vyshemirsky V, Sega M, Stella S, Chignola R (2013) Metabolic scaling in solid tumours. Sci. Rep. 3:1938.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Serval JF, Tranié JP (2014) The Monetary System (John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK).
An edited book
Hartlep ND, Hensley BO eds. (2015) Critical Storytelling in Uncritical Times: Stories Disclosed in a Cultural Foundations of Education Course (SensePublishers, Rotterdam).
A chapter in an edited book
Schwarz S, Tyas TH, Prawitasari-Hadiyono JE (2014) Methodological Basis of a Culture-Specific Coping Approach. Zaumseil M, Schwarz S, von Vacano M, Sullivan GB, Prawitasari-Hadiyono JE, eds. Cultural Psychology of Coping with Disasters: The Case of an Earthquake in Java, Indonesia. (Springer, New York, NY), 129–152.

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 Operations Research.

Blog post
Davis J (2015) FDA Approves First 3D-Printed Drug. IFLScience. Retrieved (October 30, 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 (2005) Digital Broadcast Television Transition: Estimated Cost of Supporting Set-Top Boxes to Help Advance the DTV Transition (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
Gaudet CJ (2013) A General Approach to the Direct Detection of Dark Matter. Doctoral dissertation. (University of Louisiana, Lafayette, LA).

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
Koblin J, Wingfield N (2017) Amazon Suspends Executive Accused of Sex Harassment. New York Times (October 13).

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Goldberg 2002).
This sentence cites two references (Goldberg 2002, Kaufman and Churchland 2013).

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

  • Two authors: (Kaufman and Churchland 2013)
  • Three or more authors: (Milotti et al. 2013)

About the journal

Full journal titleOperations Research
AbbreviationOper. Res.
ISSN (print)0030-364X
ISSN (online)1526-5463
ScopeComputer Science Applications
Management Science and Operations Research

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