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
Holmes, C.D., 2014. Air pollution and forest water use. Nature 507, E1-2.
A journal article with 2 authors
Li, Y., Sun, Q., 2014. The superior catalytic CO oxidation capacity of a Cr-phthalocyanine porous sheet. Sci. Rep. 4, 4098.
A journal article with 3 authors
Wei, B., Dai, M., Yin, P., 2012. Complex shapes self-assembled from single-stranded DNA tiles. Nature 485, 623–626.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Pickart, R.S., Spall, M.A., Ribergaard, M.H., Moore, G.W.K., Milliff, R.F., 2003. Deep convection in the Irminger Sea forced by the Greenland tip jet. Nature 424, 152–156.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Bock, R., 2005. Handbuch der analytisch-chemischen Aufschlussmethoden. Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim, FRG.
An edited book
Tonon, G. (Ed.), 2016. Indicators of Quality of Life in Latin America, 1st ed. 2016. ed, Social Indicators Research Series. Springer International Publishing, Cham.
A chapter in an edited book
Husmann, M., Nebeling, M., Norrie, M.C., 2013. MultiMasher: A Visual Tool for Multi-device Mashups, in: Sheng, Q.Z., Kjeldskov, J. (Eds.), Current Trends in Web Engineering: ICWE 2013 International Workshops ComposableWeb, QWE, MDWE, DMSSW, EMotions, CSE, SSN, and PhD Symposium, Aalborg, Denmark, July 8-12, 2013. Revised Selected Papers, Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Springer International Publishing, Cham, pp. 27–38.

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
Davis, J., 2015. China’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions Could Peak Within 10 Years [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, 2012. Air Passenger Screening: Transportation Security Administration Could Improve Complaint Processes (No. GAO-13-43). 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
Herman, G.S., 2013. Terahertz local oscillator via difference frequency generation in iii-v semiconductors using frequency stabilized lasers (Doctoral dissertation). University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ.

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
Protess, B., 2017. Law Firm Stocks Ranks With Ex-Federal Officials. New York Times B5.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Holmes, 2014).
This sentence cites two references (Holmes, 2014; Li and Sun, 2014).

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

  • Two authors: (Li and Sun, 2014)
  • Three or more authors: (Pickart et al., 2003)

About the journal

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

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