How to format your references using the Science citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Science. 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
A. M. Reynolds, Mussels realize Weierstrassian Lévy walks as composite correlated random walks. Sci. Rep. 4, 4409 (2014).
A journal article with 2 authors
J. Yang, M. Reth, Oligomeric organization of the B-cell antigen receptor on resting cells. Nature. 467, 465–469 (2010).
A journal article with 3 authors
N. R. Deleault, R. W. Lucassen, S. Supattapone, RNA molecules stimulate prion protein conversion. Nature. 425, 717–720 (2003).
A journal article with 6 or more authors
Y. Noda, S.-I. Noro, T. Akutagawa, T. Nakamura, Gold nanoparticle assemblies stabilized by bis(phthalocyaninato)lanthanide(III) complexes through van der Waals interactions. Sci. Rep. 4, 3758 (2014).

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
J. H. Relethford, 50 Great Myths of Human Evolution (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, 2017).
An edited book
W. Lu, G. Cai, W. Liu, W. Xing, Eds., Proceedings of the 2012 International Conference on Information Technology and Software Engineering: Software Engineering & Digital Media Technology (Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 2013), vol. 212 of Lecture Notes in Electrical Engineering.
A chapter in an edited book
P. J. Clayton, in The Medical Basis of Psychiatry, S. H. Fatemi, P. J. Clayton, Eds. (Humana Press, Totowa, NJ, 2008), pp. 47–71.

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.

Blog post
K. Evans, This Awesome Time-Lapse Video Shows One Year In The Life Of Earth. IFLScience (2016), (available at


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, “Space Station: National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s 1987 Cost Estimate” (NSIAD-87-180FS, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 1987).

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
T. Ho, thesis, California State University, Long Beach, Long Beach, CA (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
S. Hollander, The “Roswell” Army Fights for Its Show on the Web. New York Times (2001), p. 232.

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
ISSN (print)0036-8075
ISSN (online)1095-9203

Other styles