How to format your references using the Organic Letters citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Organic Letters. 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.
EndNoteDownload the output style file
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
White, T. D. Obituary: F. Clark Howell (1925-2007). Nature 2007, 447 (7140), 52.
A journal article with 2 authors
Schulze, A.; Harris, A. L. How Cancer Metabolism Is Tuned for Proliferation and Vulnerable to Disruption. Nature 2012, 491 (7424), 364–373.
A journal article with 3 authors
Fried, S. I.; Münch, T. A.; Werblin, F. S. Mechanisms and Circuitry Underlying Directional Selectivity in the Retina. Nature 2002, 420 (6914), 411–414.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Fairhall, A. L.; Lewen, G. D.; Bialek, W.; de Ruyter Van Steveninck, R. R. Efficiency and Ambiguity in an Adaptive Neural Code. Nature 2001, 412 (6849), 787–792.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Bolstad, W. M. Understanding Computational Bayesian Statistics; John Wiley & Sons, Inc.: Hoboken, NJ, 2009.
An edited book
Multimedia Services in Intelligent Environments: Integrated Systems; Tsihrintzis, G. A., Jain, L. C., Eds.; Smart Innovation, Systems and Technologies; Springer: Berlin, Heidelberg, 2010; Vol. 3.
A chapter in an edited book
Wagner, M.; Wellmer, F.-W. A Hierarchy of Natural Resources with Respect to Sustainable Development—A Basis for a Natural Resources Efficiency Indicator. In Mining, Society, and a Sustainable World; Richards, J., Ed.; Springer: Berlin, Heidelberg, 2010; pp 91–121.

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 Organic Letters.

Blog post
Hale, T. Top Scientist Bizarrely Claims Women “Don’t Understand’’ Fracking” (accessed Oct 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. Broadcast and Cable Television: Requirements for Identifying Sponsored Programming Should Be Clarified; GAO-13-237; U.S. Government Printing Office: Washington, DC, 2013.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Lu, Y.-C. From Confrontation to Accommodation: China’s Policy toward the U.S. in the Post-Cold War Era. Doctoral dissertation, George Washington University: Washington, DC, 2009.

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
Calvert, M. F. A Hush Falls Where Rockets Once Roared. New York Times. April 21, 2013, p BU8.

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by sequential numbers in superscript:

This sentence cites one reference 1.
This sentence cites two references 1,2.
This sentence cites four references 1–4.

About the journal

Full journal titleOrganic Letters
AbbreviationOrg. Lett.
ISSN (print)1523-7060
ISSN (online)1523-7052
Organic Chemistry
Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

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