How to format your references using the Systems citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Systems. 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
Harris, J. Soil Microbial Communities and Restoration Ecology: Facilitators or Followers? Science 2009, 325, 573–574.
A journal article with 2 authors
Poulet, J.F.A.; Petersen, C.C.H. Internal Brain State Regulates Membrane Potential Synchrony in Barrel Cortex of Behaving Mice. Nature 2008, 454, 881–885.
A journal article with 3 authors
Lim, H.S.; Rim, Y.S.; Kim, H.J. Photoresist-Free Fully Self-Patterned Transparent Amorphous Oxide Thin-Film Transistors Obtained by Sol-Gel Process. Sci. Rep. 2014, 4, 4544.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Knipscheer, P.; Räschle, M.; Smogorzewska, A.; Enoiu, M.; Ho, T.V.; Schärer, O.D.; Elledge, S.J.; Walter, J.C. The Fanconi Anemia Pathway Promotes Replication-Dependent DNA Interstrand Cross-Link Repair. Science 2009, 326, 1698–1701.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Baudin, P. Wireless Transceiver Architecture; John Wiley & Sons, Ltd: Chichester, UK, 2014; ISBN 9781118874813.
An edited book
Genetic and Evolutionary Computing: Proceeding of the Eighth International Conference on Genetic and Evolutionary Computing, October 18-20, 2014, Nanchang, China; Sun, H., Yang, C.-Y., Lin, C.-W., Pan, J.-S., Snasel, V., Abraham, A., Eds.; Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing; Springer International Publishing: Cham, 2015; Vol. 329; ISBN 9783319122854.
A chapter in an edited book
Silfwerbrand, J.; Beushausen, H.; Courard, L. Bond. In Bonded Cement-Based Material Overlays for the Repair, the Lining or the Strengthening of Slabs or Pavements: State-of-the-Art Report of the RILEM Technical Committee 193-RLS; Bissonnette, B., Courard, L., Fowler, D.W., Granju, J.-L., Eds.; Springer Netherlands: Dordrecht, 2011; pp. 51–79 ISBN 9789400712386.

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 Systems.

Blog post
Andrew, E. Uranus-Like Planet Discovered 25,000 Light-Years Away (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 The United States in Europe: Staying the Course to Win the Peace; U.S. Government Printing Office: Washington, DC, 1992;

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Glock, M. Cultural Futuristics: Bringing Consciousness to Cultural Complexes and Soul to Scenario Based Planning. Doctoral dissertation, Pacifica Graduate Institute: Carpinteria, CA, 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
Davis, J.H.; Rappeport, A.; Kelly, K.; Abrams, R. White House’s Tax Plan Puts Business at the Fore. New York Times 2017, A1.

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 titleSystems
ISSN (online)2079-8954

Other styles