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
Scully, T. Public Health: Society at Large. Nature 2014, 508, S50-1.
A journal article with 2 authors
Martin, C.H.; Wainwright, P.C. Multiple Fitness Peaks on the Adaptive Landscape Drive Adaptive Radiation in the Wild. Science 2013, 339, 208–211.
A journal article with 3 authors
Levine, D.I.; Toffel, M.W.; Johnson, M.S. Randomized Government Safety Inspections Reduce Worker Injuries with No Detectable Job Loss. Science 2012, 336, 907–911.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Kresse, G.; Schmid, M.; Napetschnig, E.; Shishkin, M.; Köhler, L.; Varga, P. Structure of the Ultrathin Aluminum Oxide Film on NiAl(110). Science 2005, 308, 1440–1442.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Burgess, M. Analytical Network and System Administration; John Wiley & Sons, Ltd: Chichester, UK, 2005; ISBN 9780470861073.
An edited book
Civic Learning, Democratic Citizenship and the Public Sphere; Biesta, G., De Bie, M., Wildemeersch, D., Eds.; Springer Netherlands: Dordrecht, 2014; ISBN 9789400772588.
A chapter in an edited book
Zhang, L.; Zhu, Y.; Shi, P.; Lu, Q. Control. In Time-Dependent Switched Discrete-Time Linear Systems: Control and Filtering; Zhu, Y., Shi, P., Lu, Q., Eds.; Studies in Systems, Decision and Control; Springer International Publishing: Cham, 2016; pp. 87–125 ISBN 9783319288499.

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
Davis, J. Legal Hunting Of Wolves May Actually Increase Poaching Available online: (accessed on 30 October 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 Education Grants: Promise Neighborhoods Promotes Collaboration but Needs National Evaluation Plan; U.S. Government Printing Office: Washington, DC, 2014;

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Davis, L.V. Oxidation Effects on the Magnetic Properties of Iron Phthalocyanine Thin Films. 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
Barron, J. Bar Cars Are Coming Back, but Don’t Expect a Seat. New York Times 2016, A20.

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