How to format your references using the Thorax citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Thorax. 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
Kiser B. Early child development: Body of knowledge. Nature 2015;523:286–9.
A journal article with 2 authors
Amini A, Cheng C. Nature of hardness evolution in nanocrystalline NiTi shape memory alloys during solid-state phase transition. Sci Rep 2013;3:2476.
A journal article with 3 authors
Urban FE, Cole JE, Overpeck JT. Influence of mean climate change on climate variability from a 155-year tropical Pacific coral record. Nature 2000;407:989–93.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Han R, Li W, Pan W, et al. 1D magnetic materials of Fe₃O₄ and Fe with high performance of microwave absorption fabricated by electrospinning method. Sci Rep 2014;4:7493.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Stephans RA. System Safety for the 21 st Century. Hoboken, NJ: : John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 2004.
An edited book
Clover DE. The Nature of Transformation: Environmental Adult Education. Rotterdam: : SensePublishers 2013.
A chapter in an edited book
Gergs A, Classen S, Strauss T, et al. Ecological Recovery Potential of Freshwater Organisms: Consequences for Environmental Risk Assessment of Chemicals. In: de Voogt P, ed. Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology Volume 236. Cham: : Springer International Publishing 2016. 259–94.

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 Thorax.

Blog post
Andrew E. Cooking The Books: When That Sensational New Research Finding Isn’t All It Seems. IFLScience. 2015. (accessed 30 Oct 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. National Weather Service: Modernization Activities Affecting Northwestern Pennsylvania. Washington, DC: : U.S. Government Printing Office 1997.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Daum MA. Busy Fingers, Wordless Thoughts: Entering the Knot of Compulsive Hair Twisting. 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
Kishkovsky S. A TV Extravaganza of Music! Comedy! Militia! K.G.B.! New York Times. 2005;:A4.

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 titleThorax
ISSN (print)0040-6376
ISSN (online)1468-3296
ScopePulmonary and Respiratory Medicine

Other styles