How to format your references using the Theoretical Computer Science citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Theoretical Computer Science. 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
R.A. Metzger, The stars my incarnation, Nature. 408 (2000) 35.
A journal article with 2 authors
L.G. Domb, M. Pagel, Sexual swellings advertise female quality in wild baboons, Nature. 410 (2001) 204–206.
A journal article with 3 authors
G. Zhu, G.B. Golding, A.M. Dean, The selective cause of an ancient adaptation, Science. 307 (2005) 1279–1282.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
J.T.-H. Yeh, R. Binari, T. Gocha, R. Dasgupta, N. Perrimon, PAPTi: a peptide aptamer interference toolkit for perturbation of protein-protein interaction networks, Sci. Rep. 3 (2013) 1156.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
N.H. Chan, Time Series: Applications to Finance with R and S-Plus®, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, 2010.
An edited book
T. McEwan, J. Gulliksen, D. Benyon, eds., People and Computers XIX — The Bigger Picture: Proceedings of HCI 2005, Springer, London, 2006.
A chapter in an edited book
W. Hauschild, E. Lemke, Partial Discharge Measurement, in: E. Lemke (Ed.), High-Voltage Test and Measuring Techniques, Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 2014: pp. 157–231.

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 Theoretical Computer Science.

Blog post
J. Fang, This Gene Gave Mosquitoes The Taste For Human Blood, IFLScience. (2014). (accessed October 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, Tax Systems Modernization: Actions Underway But IRS Has Not Yet Corrected Management and Technical Weaknesses, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 1996.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
J.A. Cusick, Does size really matter? How synchrony and size affect the dynamic of aggression between two sympatric species of dolphin in the Bahamas, Doctoral dissertation, Florida Atlantic University, 2012.

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
J. Koblin, AMC Networks Takes Minority Stake in Funny or Die, New York Times. (2016) B8.

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 titleTheoretical Computer Science
AbbreviationTheor. Comput. Sci.
ISSN (print)0304-3975
ScopeGeneral Computer Science
Theoretical Computer Science

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