How to format your references using the The Journal of Systems & Software citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for The Journal of Systems & Software. 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
Buckingham, M., 2000. A cellular cornucopia. Nature 408, 773.
A journal article with 2 authors
Casali, A., Struhl, G., 2004. Reading the Hedgehog morphogen gradient by measuring the ratio of bound to unbound Patched protein. Nature 431, 76–80.
A journal article with 3 authors
Joughin, I., Alley, R.B., Holland, D.M., 2012. Ice-sheet response to oceanic forcing. Science 338, 1172–1176.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Schär, C., Vidale, P.L., Lüthi, D., Frei, C., Häberli, C., Liniger, M.A., Appenzeller, C., 2004. The role of increasing temperature variability in European summer heatwaves. Nature 427, 332–336.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Wolf, R.A., 2012. Atmospheric Pressure Plasma for Surface Modification. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ.
An edited book
Li, M., Boehm, B., Osterweil, L.J. (Eds.), 2006. Unifying the Software Process Spectrum: International Software Process Workshop, SPW 2005, Beijing, China, May 25-27, 2005, Revised Selected Papers, Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.
A chapter in an edited book
Nasraoui, O., Saka, E., 2007. Web Usage Mining in Noisy and Ambiguous Environments: Exploring the Role of Concept Hierarchies, Compression, and Robust User Profiles, in: Berendt, B., Hotho, A., Mladenic, D., Semeraro, G. (Eds.), From Web to Social Web: Discovering and Deploying User and Content Profiles: Workshop on Web Mining, WebMine 2006, Berlin, Germany, September 18, 2006. Revised Selected and Invited Papers, Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, pp. 82–101.

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 The Journal of Systems & Software.

Blog post
Fang, J., 2014. Curiosity Captures Clouds on Mars [WWW Document]. IFLScience. URL (accessed 10.30.18).


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, 2006. Social Security Numbers: More Could be Done to Protect SSNs (No. GAO-06-586T). U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Horton, C.R., 2013. Financial crisis within the nonprofit sector (Doctoral dissertation). Capella University, Minneapolis, MN.

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
Erdbrink, T., 2017. As Toll Rises, Iran Says ISIS Recruited Attackers From Within Country. New York Times A9.

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by name and year in parentheses:

This sentence cites one reference (Buckingham, 2000).
This sentence cites two references (Buckingham, 2000; Casali and Struhl, 2004).

Here are examples of in-text citations with multiple authors:

  • Two authors: (Casali and Struhl, 2004)
  • Three or more authors: (Schär et al., 2004)

About the journal

Full journal titleThe Journal of Systems & Software
AbbreviationJ. Syst. Softw.
ISSN (print)0164-1212
ScopeHardware and Architecture
Information Systems

Other styles