How to format your references using the Retina citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Retina. 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
Vogel J. Biochemistry. A bacterial seek-and-destroy system for foreign DNA. Science. 2014;344(6187):972-973.
A journal article with 2 authors
Ahmed S, Hodgkin J. MRT-2 checkpoint protein is required for germline immortality and telomere replication in C. elegans. Nature. 2000;403(6766):159-164.
A journal article with 3 authors
Faucher-Giguère CA, Lidz A, Hernquist L. Numerical simulations unravel the cosmic web. Science. 2008;319(5859):52-55.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Zhou Z, Bedwell GJ, Li R, Prevelige PE Jr, Gupta A. Formation mechanism of chalcogenide nanocrystals confined inside genetically engineered virus-like particles. Sci Rep. 2014;4:3832.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Schmidt RH, Rodrick GE. Food Safety Handbook. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; 2005.
An edited book
Hotokka M, Brändas EJ, Maruani J, Delgado-Barrio G, eds. Advances in Quantum Methods and Applications in Chemistry, Physics, and Biology. Vol 27. Springer International Publishing; 2013.
A chapter in an edited book
Matsuzaki K, Shimojo M, Tarbell TD, Harra LK, Deluca EE. Data Archive of the Hinode Mission. In: Sakurai T, ed. The Hinode Mission. Springer; 2009:21-26.

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 Retina.

Blog post
Andrew E. The Female Enigmas Of Bletchley Park In The 1940s Should Encourage Those Of Tomorrow. IFLScience. Published January 29, 2015. Accessed October 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. Transportation Infrastructure: Highway Pavement Design Guide Is Outdated. U.S. Government Printing Office; 1997.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Djajalaksana YM. A National Survey of Instructional Strategies Used to Teach Information Systems Courses: An Exploratory Investigation. Doctoral dissertation. University of South Florida; 2011.

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
Woideck G. Buddha Provides Tap Shoes. New York Times. May 13, 2016:A14.

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 titleRetina
ISSN (print)0275-004X
ISSN (online)1539-2864
ScopeGeneral Medicine

Other styles