How to format your references using the Surface Science citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Surface 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
H.M. Blau, A twist of fate, Nature. 419 (2002) 437.
A journal article with 2 authors
R.K. Vinnakota, D.A. Genov, Terahertz optoelectronics with surface plasmon polariton diode, Sci. Rep. 4 (2014) 4899.
A journal article with 3 authors
R. Schuch, D. Nelson, V.A. Fischetti, A bacteriolytic agent that detects and kills Bacillus anthracis, Nature. 418 (2002) 884–889.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
J. Lavé, D. Yule, S. Sapkota, K. Basant, C. Madden, M. Attal, R. Pandey, Evidence for a great medieval earthquake (~1100 A.D.) in the central Himalayas, Nepal, Science. 307 (2005) 1302–1305.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
P. Franco, Understanding Bitcoin, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK, 2014.
An edited book
B. Forte, ed., Functional Equations and Inequalities, Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 2011.
A chapter in an edited book
A. Malek, D. Peng, W. Yang, R. Balawender, A. Holas, Testing exchange – correlation functionals at fractional electron numbers, in: H. Guo, D. Xie, W. Yang (Eds.), Guosen Yan: A Festschrift from Theoretical Chemistry Accounts, Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 2015: pp. 21–27.

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 Surface Science.

Blog post
R. Andrews, Movement Has Been Detected Along The San Andreas Fault, IFLScience. (2016). (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, General Government Information Systems Issue Area--Active Assignments, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 1997.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
A. McClenahan, The Impact of Media Promulgated Fear on the Psyche: Love Will Prevail, Doctoral dissertation, Pacifica Graduate Institute, 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
M. Pilon, Monopoly Goes Corporate, New York Times. (2013) SR12.

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 titleSurface Science
AbbreviationSurf. Sci.
ISSN (print)0039-6028
ScopeMaterials Chemistry
Surfaces, Coatings and Films
Condensed Matter Physics
Surfaces and Interfaces

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