How to format your references using the Topics in Current Chemistry citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Topics in Current Chemistry. 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
Thornton G (2003) Materials science. Watching nanoparticles grow. Science 300:1378–1379
A journal article with 2 authors
Stahl AE, Feigenson L (2015) Cognitive development. Observing the unexpected enhances infants’ learning and exploration. Science 348:91–94
A journal article with 3 authors
Parkinson GN, Lee MPH, Neidle S (2002) Crystal structure of parallel quadruplexes from human telomeric DNA. Nature 417:876–880
A journal article with 5 or more authors
Henson SM, Costantino RF, Cushing JM, et al (2001) Lattice effects observed in chaotic dynamics of experimental populations. Science 294:602–605

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Lacalle D, Parrilla D (2015) The Energy World is Flat. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK
An edited book
Itenberg I (2009) Tropical Algebraic Geometry. Birkhäuser, Basel
A chapter in an edited book
Anderson JB, Beekman RH, Martin GR, Lannon C (2015) Quality Improvement in Pediatric Cardiology: The National Pediatric Cardiology Quality Improvement Collaborative. In: Barach PR, Jacobs JP, Lipshultz SE, Laussen PC (eds) Pediatric and Congenital Cardiac Care: Volume 2: Quality Improvement and Patient Safety. Springer, London, pp 51–67

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 Topics in Current Chemistry.

Blog post
Hale T (2017) Ants Use A “Princess Pheromone” To Identify Future Queens. In: IFLScience. 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 (1991) Teenage Drug Use: Uncertain Linkages With Either Pregnancy or School Dropout. 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
Johnson NJ (2017) Queered. Doctoral dissertation, California State University, Long Beach

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
Feeney K (2009) A Japanese Immersion Course. New York Times NJ12

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 titleTopics in Current Chemistry
AbbreviationTop. Curr. Chem. (J)
ISSN (print)2365-0869
ISSN (online)2364-8961

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