How to format your references using the Societies citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Societies. 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
Stevenson, D.J. A planetary perspective on the deep Earth. Nature 2008, 451, 261–265.
A journal article with 2 authors
Zhang, J.; Chan, F.K.-M. Cell biology. RIPK3 takes another deadly turn. Science 2014, 343, 1322–1323.
A journal article with 3 authors
Wen, J.; Zhou, S.; Chen, J. Colorimetric detection of Shewanella oneidensis based on immunomagnetic capture and bacterial intrinsic peroxidase activity. Sci. Rep. 2014, 4, 5191.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Whiteley, M.; Bangera, M.G.; Bumgarner, R.E.; Parsek, M.R.; Teitzel, G.M.; Lory, S.; Greenberg, E.P. Gene expression in Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms. Nature 2001, 413, 860–864.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Barron, E.N. Game Theory; John Wiley & Sons, Inc.: Hoboken, NJ, 2013; ISBN 9781118547168.
An edited book
Carey, F.A. Advanced Organic Chemistry: Part A: Structure and Mechanisms; Sundberg, R.J., Ed.; Advanced Organic Chemistry; 5th ed.; Springer US: Boston, MA, 2007; ISBN 9780387448978.
A chapter in an edited book
Abbott, A.G.; Arús, P.; Scorza, R. Peach. In Fruits and Nuts; Kole, C., Ed.; Genome Mapping and Molecular Breeding in Plants; Springer: Berlin, Heidelberg, 2007; pp. 137–156 ISBN 9783540345312.

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 Societies.

Blog post
Fang, J. The unprecedented chin size of an ancient porpoise (accessed on Oct 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 FDA’s Activities Involving Sanitary Conditions at Food Shortage Warehouses; U.S. Government Printing Office: Washington, DC, 1974;

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Hobbs, E. Rehearing Florence Price: A Closer Look at Her Symphony in E Minor. Doctoral dissertation, California State University, Long Beach: Long Beach, CA, 2017.

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
Corkery, M.; Walsh, M.W. Governor of Puerto Rico Warns of Looming Default Without Bankruptcy Plan. New York Times 2015, B6.

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by sequential numbers in square brackets:

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 titleSocieties
AbbreviationSocieties (Basel)
ISSN (online)2075-4698

Other styles