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. Levine, Science careers. Finance’s quant(um) mechanics. Science. 322, 1264–1265 (2008).
A journal article with 2 authors
T. Poggio, E. Bizzi, Generalization in vision and motor control. Nature. 431, 768–774 (2004).
A journal article with 3 authors
D. Bolmatov, E. T. Musaev, K. Trachenko, Symmetry breaking gives rise to energy spectra of three states of matter. Sci. Rep. 3, 2794 (2013).
A journal article with 6 or more authors
A. P. Carter, W. M. Clemons, D. E. Brodersen, R. J. Morgan-Warren, B. T. Wimberly, V. Ramakrishnan, Functional insights from the structure of the 30S ribosomal subunit and its interactions with antibiotics. Nature. 407, 340–348 (2000).

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Arthur D. Little, Inc., Making EHS an Integral Part of Process Design (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, 2010).
An edited book
H. Bahrami, Super-Flexibility for Knowledge Enterprises: A Toolkit for Dynamic Adaptation (Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 2010).
A chapter in an edited book
A. Valmari, G. Franceschinis, in Tools and Algorithms for the Construction and Analysis of Systems: 16th International Conference, TACAS 2010, Held as Part of the Joint European Conferences on Theory and Practice of Software, ETAPS 2010, Paphos, Cyprus, March 20-28, 2010. Proceedings, J. Esparza, R. Majumdar, Eds. (Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 2010), Lecture Notes in Computer Science, pp. 38–52.

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, Could We Grow Crops In Space? IFLScience (2014).


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, “Basic Agreements With Educational Institutions or Nonprofit Organizations for Award of Research and Development Contracts” (B-200941, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 1980).

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
T. H. Cuthbertson, thesis, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN (2014).

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
G. Vecsey, A Personal Loss for a Hofstra Alumnus. New York Times (2009), p. B19.

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text

About the journal

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

Other styles