How to format your references using the Precambrian Research citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Precambrian 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.
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
Brody, H., 2012. Graphene. Nature 483, S29.
A journal article with 2 authors
Conte, M.H., Weber, J.C., 2002. Plant biomarkers in aerosols record isotopic discrimination of terrestrial photosynthesis. Nature 417, 639–641.
A journal article with 3 authors
Zwieniecki, M.A., Melcher, P.J., Michele Holbrook, N.M., 2001. Hydrogel control of xylem hydraulic resistance in plants. Science 291, 1059–1062.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Gu, Z., Steinmetz, L.M., Gu, X., Scharfe, C., Davis, R.W., Li, W.-H., 2003. Role of duplicate genes in genetic robustness against null mutations. Nature 421, 63–66.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Feldmann, D., 2015. Social Movements For Good. John Wiley & Sons, Inc, Hoboken, NJ.
An edited book
Lukszo, Z., Deconinck, G., Weijnen, M.P.C. (Eds.), 2010. Securing Electricity Supply in the Cyber Age: Exploring the Risks of Information and Communication Technology in Tomorrow’s Electricity Infrastructure, Topics in Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality. Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht.
A chapter in an edited book
Resmerita, S., Derler, P., Pree, W., Naderlinger, A., 2010. 5 Modeling and Simulation of TDL Applications, in: Giese, H., Karsai, G., Lee, E., Rumpe, B., Schätz, B. (Eds.), Model-Based Engineering of Embedded Real-Time Systems: International Dagstuhl Workshop, Dagstuhl Castle, Germany, November 4-9, 2007. Revised Selected Papers, Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, pp. 107–128.

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 Precambrian Research.

Blog post
Andrew, E., 2015. Scientists Design Biological Safety Switch For GMOs [WWW Document]. IFLScience. URL (accessed 10.30.18).


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, 1970. Economies Obtainable by Increasing Days at Sea of Oceanographic Research and Survey Ships (No. B-133188). 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
Stuart, K., 2013. The Relationship Between Weather and Lunar Changes on Student Achievement and Measures School Districts Utilize to Combat Potential Impact (Doctoral dissertation). Lindenwood University, St. Charles, MO.

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
Greenhouse, L., 2007. Court to Weigh Disparities in Cocaine Laws. New York Times A15.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Brody, 2012).
This sentence cites two references (Brody, 2012; Conte and Weber, 2002).

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

  • Two authors: (Conte and Weber, 2002)
  • Three or more authors: (Gu et al., 2003)

About the journal

Full journal titlePrecambrian Research
AbbreviationPrecambrian Res.
ISSN (print)0301-9268
ScopeGeochemistry and Petrology

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