How to format your references using the Science Advances citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Science Advances. 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
A. G. de Wijn, Astronomy. Measuring solar magnetism. Science. 338, 476–477 (2012).
A journal article with 2 authors
M. Thomson, J. Gunawardena, Unlimited multistability in multisite phosphorylation systems. Nature. 460, 274–277 (2009).
A journal article with 3 authors
Z. Zhu, D. J. Gauthier, R. W. Boyd, Stored light in an optical fiber via stimulated Brillouin scattering. Science. 318, 1748–1750 (2007).
A journal article with 6 or more authors
N. Shibata, S. J. Pennycook, T. R. Gosnell, G. S. Painter, W. A. Shelton, P. F. Becher, Observation of rare-earth segregation in silicon nitride ceramics at subnanometre dimensions. Nature. 428, 730–733 (2004).

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
A. Krings, R. R. Braham, Guide to Tendrillate Climbers of Costa Rican Mountains (Blackwell Publishing, Oxford, UK, 2008).
An edited book
M. Bonitz, J. Lopez, K. Becker, H. Thomsen, Eds., Complex Plasmas: Scientific Challenges and Technological Opportunities (Springer International Publishing, Cham, 2014), vol. 82 of Springer Series on Atomic, Optical, and Plasma Physics.
A chapter in an edited book
T. J. Cleophas, A. H. Zwinderman, in Statistics Applied to Clinical Studies, A. H. Zwinderman, Ed. (Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht, 2012), pp. 61–68.

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 Science Advances.

Blog post
E. Andrew, The Science Of How These Twin Sisters Look So Different. IFLScience (2015).


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, “Airport Improvement Program: Analysis of Discretionary Spending for Fiscal Years 1996-98” (RCED-99-160R, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 1999).

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
M. Jackson, thesis, Northcentral University, Scottsdale, AZ (2012).

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
T. N. Y. Times, What Else Is on the Ballot in the U.S.? Minimum Wage, Death Penalty and Guns. New York Times (2016), p. A18.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (1).
This sentence cites two references (1, 2).

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

  • Two authors: (1)
  • Three authors: (1)
  • Four or more authors: (1)

About the journal

Full journal titleScience Advances
AbbreviationSci. Adv.
ISSN (online)2375-2548

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