How to format your references using the Quality of Life Research citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Quality of Life 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
Chyba, C. F. (2000). Energy for microbial life on Europa. Nature, 403(6768), 381–382.
A journal article with 2 authors
Wang, G., & Or, D. (2014). Trophic interactions induce spatial self-organization of microbial consortia on rough surfaces. Scientific reports, 4, 6757.
A journal article with 3 authors
Lu, K., Lu, L., & Suresh, S. (2009). Strengthening materials by engineering coherent internal boundaries at the nanoscale. Science (New York, N.Y.), 324(5925), 349–352.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Yoon, J. W., Choi, Y., Hahn, C., Kim, G., Song, S. H., Yang, K.-Y., … Berini, P. (2018). Time-asymmetric loop around an exceptional point over the full optical communications band. Nature, 562(7725), 86–90.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Good, P. I. (2006). A Manager’s Guide to the Design and Conduct of Clinical Trials. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Sako, K., & Sarkar, P. (Eds.). (2013). Advances in Cryptology - ASIACRYPT 2013: 19th International Conference on the Theory and Application of Cryptology and Information Security, Bengaluru, India, December 1-5, 2013, Proceedings, Part I (Vol. 8269). Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Essex, S., & Torchilin, V. (2014). Liposomal Formulations for Focal and Targeted Drug Delivery in Cancer and Other Diseases. In A. J. Domb & W. Khan (Eds.), Focal Controlled Drug Delivery (pp. 93–116). Boston, MA: Springer US.

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 Quality of Life Research.

Blog post
Hale, T. (2016, September 15). Theft Of DNA Samples Raises Questions On Ownership Of Genetic Information. IFLScience. IFLScience. Retrieved October 30, 2018, from


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. (2010). License Suspensions for Nondriving Offenses: Practices in Four States That May Ease the Financial Impact on Low-Income Individuals (No. GAO-10-217). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Valenzuela, M. A. (2017). Pitties for the Kiddies: An Animal-Assisted Therapy Program (Doctoral dissertation). California State University, Long Beach, Long Beach, CA.

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
Williams, J. (2016, December 19). My Year in Reading. New York Times, p. BR4.

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 titleQuality of Life Research
AbbreviationQual. Life Res.
ISSN (print)0962-9343
ISSN (online)1573-2649
ScopePublic Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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