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
Pither, J., 2007. Comment on “Dispersal limitations matter for microbial morphospecies.” Science 316, 1124; author reply 1124.
A journal article with 2 authors
Johnson, P.A., Jia, X., 2005. Nonlinear dynamics, granular media and dynamic earthquake triggering. Nature 437, 871–874.
A journal article with 3 authors
Bunge, J., Epstein, S.S., Peterson, D.G., 2006. Comment on “Computational improvements reveal great bacterial diversity and high metal toxicity in soil.” Science 313, 918; author reply 918.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Algra, R.E., Verheijen, M.A., Borgström, M.T., Feiner, L.-F., Immink, G., van Enckevort, W.J.P., Vlieg, E., Bakkers, E.P.A.M., 2008. Twinning superlattices in indium phosphide nanowires. Nature 456, 369–372.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Vaughan, D., Robinson, N., Lucas, N., Arulkumaran, S., 2010. Handbook of Obstetric High Dependency Care. Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK.
An edited book
Hess, D.C. (Ed.), 2015. Cell Therapy for Brain Injury. Springer International Publishing, Cham.
A chapter in an edited book
Levering, M., 2013. God and Natural Law: Reflections on Genesis 22, in: Contreras, F.J. (Ed.), The Threads of Natural Law: Unravelling a Philosophical Tradition. Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht, pp. 65–83.

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
Hamilton, K., 2016. Explained: Why A Reboot Is The Go-To Computer Fix [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, 2017. High Risk: Actions Needed to Address Serious Weaknesses in Federal Management of Programs Serving Indian Tribes (No. GAO-17-587T). 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
Bourne, B.B., 2009. Phenomenological study of response to organizational change: Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Generation Y (Doctoral dissertation). University of Phoenix, Phoenix, AZ.

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
Kelly, S., 2000. Op-Art. New York Times A27.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Pither, 2007).
This sentence cites two references (Johnson and Jia, 2005; Pither, 2007).

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

  • Two authors: (Johnson and Jia, 2005)
  • Three or more authors: (Algra et al., 2008)

About the journal

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

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