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
P. Smaglik, Bricks & mortar. Nature. 430, 384 (2004).
A journal article with 2 authors
M. Affolter, K. Basler, Cell biology. Cytonemes show their colors. Science. 332, 312–313 (2011).
A journal article with 3 authors
Z. Huang, P. S. White, M. Brookhart, Ligand exchanges and selective catalytic hydrogenation in molecular single crystals. Nature. 465, 598–601 (2010).
A journal article with 6 or more authors
C. H. Schunck, Y.-I. Shin, A. Schirotzek, W. Ketterle, Determination of the fermion pair size in a resonantly interacting superfluid. Nature. 454, 739–743 (2008).

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
D. R. Pierce, Project Scheduling and Management for Construction (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, 2013).
An edited book
M. H. Bronchud, M. A. Foote, G. Giaccone, O. Olopade, P. Workman, Eds., Principles of Molecular Oncology (Humana Press, Totowa, NJ, Third Edition., 2008).
A chapter in an edited book
A. Dallai, E. Boni, L. Francalanci, P. Tortoli, "Vector Doppler Method Based on an Automatic Transverse Angle Tracking Procedure" in Acoustical Imaging: Volume 30, M. P. André, J. P. Jones, H. Lee, Eds. (Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht, 2011), Acoustical Imaging, pp. 39–45.

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
D. Andrew, Protect Your Privacy During Turbulent Times: A Hacker’s Guide To Being Cyber-Safe. 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, “Health Information Technology: Early Efforts Initiated but Comprehensive Privacy Approach Needed for National Strategy” (GAO-07-238, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 2007).

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
J. L. Estrin, thesis, Pacifica Graduate Institute, Carpinteria, CA (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, Valentine in Boston? That’s Entertainment. New York Times (2011), p. B17.

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text

About the journal

Full journal titleScience
ISSN (print)0036-8075
ISSN (online)1095-9203

Other styles