How to format your references using the Positivity citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Positivity. 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
Wadman, M.: Biochemist strikes gold. Nature. 441, 689 (2006)
A journal article with 2 authors
Davis, C.S., McGillicuddy, D.J., Jr: Transatlantic abundance of the N2-fixing colonial cyanobacterium Trichodesmium. Science. 312, 1517–1520 (2006)
A journal article with 3 authors
Peters, A.J., Chen, S.X., Komiyama, T.: Emergence of reproducible spatiotemporal activity during motor learning. Nature. 510, 263–267 (2014)
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Finne, A.P., Araki, T., Blaauwgeers, R., Eltsov, V.B., Kopnin, N.B., Krusius, M., Skrbek, L., Tsubota, M., Volovik, G.E.: An intrinsic velocity-independent criterion for superfluid turbulence. Nature. 424, 1022–1025 (2003)

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Lindahl, D.: Trump University Commercial Real Estate 101. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ (2008)
An edited book
Takayasu, M., Watanabe, T., Takayasu, H. eds: Econophysics Approaches to Large-Scale Business Data and Financial Crisis. Springer Japan, Tokyo (2010)
A chapter in an edited book
Claude, F., Navarro, G.: Extended Compact Web Graph Representations. In: Elomaa, T., Mannila, H., and Orponen, P. (eds.) Algorithms and Applications: Essays Dedicated to Esko Ukkonen on the Occasion of His 60th Birthday. pp. 77–91. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg (2010)

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 Positivity.

Blog post
Andrew, E.: This Atom Makes Quantum Computing Light Work,


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: Continuing Educational Programs for Scientists and Engineers. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC (1978)

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Enriquez, M.: Music therapy to hospice patients of Visiting Nurse Association of Inland Counties: A grant proposal, (2010)

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
Biersdorfer, J.D., Couturier, K.: Treasure Your Photos and Music? A Guide to Backing Up Critical Data, (2017)

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by sequential numbers in square brackets:

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 titlePositivity
ISSN (print)1385-1292
ISSN (online)1572-9281
ScopeGeneral Mathematics
Theoretical Computer Science

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