How to format your references using the Seminars in Spine Surgery citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Seminars in Spine Surgery. 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
Jayaraman KS. India budgets for boost in research. Nature. 2003;422(6927):6.
A journal article with 2 authors
Watanabe N, Mitchison TJ. Single-molecule speckle analysis of actin filament turnover in lamellipodia. Science. 2002;295(5557):1083-1086.
A journal article with 3 authors
Berger J, Swenson JE, Persson IL. Recolonizing carnivores and naïve prey: conservation lessons from Pleistocene extinctions. Science. 2001;291(5506):1036-1039.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Gong Y, Han T, Yin X, et al. Prevalence of depressive symptoms and work-related risk factors among nurses in public hospitals in southern China: a cross-sectional study. Sci Rep. 2014;4:7109.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Ni Z, Pacoret C, Benosman R, Régnier S. Haptic Feedback Teleoperation of Optical Tweezers. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; 2014.
An edited book
Davis M, Schonberg E, eds. From Linear Operators to Computational Biology: Essays in Memory of Jacob T. Schwartz. Springer; 2013.
A chapter in an edited book
Sexton D. Computational Infrastructure and Basic Data Analysis for High-Throughput Sequencing. In: Rodríguez-Ezpeleta N, Hackenberg M, Aransay AM, eds. Bioinformatics for High Throughput Sequencing. Springer; 2012:55-65.

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 Seminars in Spine Surgery.

Blog post
Fang J. Lizard Penis Evolved Much Faster Than Their Other Parts. IFLScience. Published January 13, 2015. Accessed October 30, 2018.


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. Auto Safety: NHTSA Has Options to Improve the Safety Defect Recall Process. U.S. Government Printing Office; 2011.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Aguirre BL. The Rise in Pharmaceutical Drug Abuse among American Adolescents. Doctoral dissertation. California State University, Long Beach; 2010.

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
Stewart JB. Tiny School Outgains the Ivies. Here’s How. New York Times. February 9, 2017:B1.

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 titleSeminars in Spine Surgery
AbbreviationSemin. Spine Surg.
ISSN (print)1040-7383
ScopeOrthopedics and Sports Medicine

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