How to format your references using the World Wide Web citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for World Wide Web. 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
Helm, D.: Climate policy: The Kyoto approach has failed. Nature. 491, 663–665 (2012)
A journal article with 2 authors
Fyodorov, D.V., Kadonaga, J.T.: Dynamics of ATP-dependent chromatin assembly by ACF. Nature. 418, 897–900 (2002)
A journal article with 3 authors
Reinhard, J., Srinivasan, M.V., Zhang, S.: Olfaction: scent-triggered navigation in honeybees. Nature. 427, 411 (2004)
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Lv, X., Jiang, H., Li, B., Liang, Q., Wang, S., Zhao, Q., Jiao, J.: The crucial role of Atg5 in cortical neurogenesis during early brain development. Sci. Rep. 4, 6010 (2014)

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Banerjee, S., Lawrence, V.: Managing Dementia in a Multicultural Society. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK (2010)
An edited book
Szymanski, B.K., Yener, B. eds: Advances in Pervasive Computing and Networking. Springer US, Boston, MA (2005)
A chapter in an edited book
Sánchez, J., Guinaldo, M., Dormido, S.: Event-Triggered Anticipative Control over Packet-Based Networks. In: Guinaldo Losada, M., Rodríguez Rubio, F., and Dormido Bencomo, S. (eds.) Asynchronous Control for Networked Systems. pp. 79–110. Springer International Publishing, Cham (2015)

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 World Wide Web.

Blog post
Andrew, E.: Medics Given The Go Ahead For A Trial Of Suspended Animation


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: Transportation: Federal Assessments Levied on Commercial Maritime Industry. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC (1993)

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Avila, R.: Support and Resources for Homeless Families: A Grant Proposal, (2017)

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
Vecsey, G.: A Tournament Filled With Hope and Grace and Wind, (2010)

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 titleWorld Wide Web
AbbreviationWorld Wide Web
ISSN (print)1386-145X
ISSN (online)1573-1413
ScopeComputer Networks and Communications
Hardware and Architecture

Other styles