How to format your references using the The Lancet Oncology citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for The Lancet Oncology. 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
Halpern JP. Astronomy. Gamma-ray pulsars old and new. Science 2009; 325: 821–2.
A journal article with 2 authors
Liu Y, Yan H. Chemistry. Designer curvature. Science 2009; 325: 685–6.
A journal article with 3 authors
Green SP, Jones C, Stasch A. Stable magnesium(I) compounds with Mg-Mg bonds. Science 2007; 318: 1754–7.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Korneev SA, Kemenes I, Bettini NL, et al. Axonal trafficking of an antisense RNA transcribed from a pseudogene is regulated by classical conditioning. Sci Rep 2013; 3: 1027.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
ASAE. 7 Measures of Success. Washington, DC: ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership, 2013.
An edited book
Menetrey J, Zaffagnini S, Fritschy D, Dijk N van, editors. ESSKA Instructional Course Lecture Book: Geneva 2012. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer, 2012.
A chapter in an edited book
Di Iorio CT, Carinci F. Privacy and Health Care Information Systems: Where Is the Balance? In: George C, Whitehouse D, Duquenoy P, eds. eHealth: Legal, Ethical and Governance Challenges. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer, 2013: 77–105.

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 Lancet Oncology.

Blog post
Fang J. Costa Rican Surge In Snakebites Linked To El Niño Cycles. IFLScience. 2015; published online Sept 14.


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. Social Security Downsizing: Significant Savings but Some Service Quality and Operational Problems. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1991.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Helgoe CA. The impact of federal policy on teachers’ use of science manipulatives: A survey of teacher philosophy and practices. 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
Al-Batati S, Hubbard B. Bank Defends Dealing With Al Qaeda When It Called the Shots. New York Times. 2016; : A8.

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by sequential numbers in superscript:

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 titleThe Lancet Oncology
AbbreviationLancet Oncol.
ISSN (print)1470-2045
ISSN (online)1474-5488

Other styles