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
Seewald, J.S. Organic-inorganic interactions in petroleum-producing sedimentary basins. Nature 2003, 426, 327–333.
A journal article with 2 authors
Payne, J.L.; Wagner, A. The robustness and evolvability of transcription factor binding sites. Science 2014, 343, 875–877.
A journal article with 3 authors
Green, J.L.; Bohannan, B.J.M.; Whitaker, R.J. Microbial biogeography: from taxonomy to traits. Science 2008, 320, 1039–1043.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Jackson, R.B.; Berthrong, S.T.; Cook, C.W.; Jobbágy, E.G.; McCulley, R.L. Comment on “A reservoir of nitrate beneath desert soils.” Science 2004, 304, 51; author reply 51.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Rossner, W.; Graubner, C.-A. Spannbetonbauwerke; Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA: Weinheim, Germany, 2012; ISBN 9783433602324.
An edited book
Blecker, T. Information and Management Systems for Product Customization; Friedrich, G., Kaluza, B., Abdelkafi, N., Kreutler, G., Eds.; Integrated Series in Information Systems; Springer US: Boston, MA, 2005; Vol. 7; ISBN 9780387233475.
A chapter in an edited book
Machnik, L.K.; Ewer, J.; Erickson, J. The Use of Spatial Technology in United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service Wilderness Recreation Site Surveys. In Mapping Wilderness: Concepts, Techniques and Applications; Carver, S.J., Fritz, S., Eds.; Springer Netherlands: Dordrecht, 2016; pp. 55–68 ISBN 9789401773973.

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
Carpineti, A. A Solar Storm Almost Started World War Three Available online: (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 Environmental Satellites: Improvements Needed in NOAA’s Mitigation Strategies as It Prepares for Potential Satellite Coverage Gaps; U.S. Government Printing Office: Washington, DC, 2015;

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Oteng, Y. Enquête sur la Pluralité Culturelle: Identité et Marginalisation dans le Roman Francophone Colonial et Postcolonial (Chraïbi, Kane, Kourouma, Boudjedra, Ben Jelloun). Doctoral dissertation, University of Cincinnati: Cincinnati, OH, 2001.

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
Crow, K. A Sassy Lass Makes Way for Staid. New York Times 2001, 144.

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