How to format your references using the Scientific Reports citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Scientific Reports. 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
von Andrian, U. H. Immunology. T cell activation in six dimensions. Science 296, 1815–1817 (2002).
A journal article with 2 authors
Mehta, R. & Zhu, R. J. Blue or red? Exploring the effect of color on cognitive task performances. Science 323, 1226–1229 (2009).
A journal article with 3 authors
Pulendran, B., Palucka, K. & Banchereau, J. Sensing pathogens and tuning immune responses. Science 293, 253–256 (2001).
A journal article with 6 or more authors
Zhang, F. et al. Lacteal junction zippering protects against diet-induced obesity. Science 361, 599–603 (2018).

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Somjit, N., Robertson, I. & Chongcheawchamnan, M. Microwave and Millimetre-Wave Design for Wireless Communications. (John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 2016).
An edited book
Service-Oriented Computing: 11th International Conference, ICSOC 2013, Berlin, Germany, December 2-5, 2013, Proceedings. vol. 8274 (Springer, 2013).
A chapter in an edited book
Lennon, J. M., Psihogios, A. M., Murray, C. B., Holbein, C. E. & Holmbeck, G. N. Promoting Resilience During the Transition to Adolescence in Chronically Ill Children and Their Families. in Child and Adolescent Resilience Within Medical Contexts: Integrating Research and Practice (eds. DeMichelis, C. & Ferrari, M.) 51–75 (Springer International Publishing, 2016).

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 Scientific Reports.

Blog post
Andrew, E. Evolutionary Evidence Shows It’s Time to Revise How We Classify Life on Earth. 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. Aviation Security: Preliminary Observations on TSA’s Progress to Allow Airports to Use Private Passenger and Baggage Screening Services. (2004).

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
McAlpine, T. E. College students and career: An exploration of vocational anticipatory socialization. (University of North Carolina, 2008).

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
Billard, M. Dust Off the Old Stock. New York Times E5 (2010).

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 titleScientific Reports
AbbreviationSci. Rep.
ISSN (online)2045-2322

Other styles