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
Heinrich, C.A.: Geochemistry. How fast does gold trickle out of volcanoes? Science. 314, 263–264 (2006)
A journal article with 2 authors
Dasgupta, P.S., Ehrlich, P.R.: Pervasive externalities at the population, consumption, and environment nexus. Science. 340, 324–328 (2013)
A journal article with 3 authors
Smilkov, D., Hidalgo, C.A., Kocarev, L.: Beyond network structure: How heterogeneous susceptibility modulates the spread of epidemics. Sci. Rep. 4, 4795 (2014)
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Zoltowski, B.D., Schwerdtfeger, C., Widom, J., Loros, J.J., Bilwes, A.M., Dunlap, J.C., Crane, B.R.: Conformational switching in the fungal light sensor Vivid. Science. 316, 1054–1057 (2007)

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Pelto, M.: Recent Climate Change Impacts on Mountain Glaciers. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK (2017)
An edited book
Davim, J.P. ed: Modern Manufacturing Engineering. Springer International Publishing, Cham (2015)
A chapter in an edited book
Cryer, H.M.: Blood Transfusion and Alternative Therapies. In: Bland, K.I., Büchler, M.W., Csendes, A., Sarr, M.G., Garden, O.J., and Wong, J. (eds.) General Surgery. pp. 43–52. Springer, London (2009)

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
O`Callaghan, J.: These Tiny Swimming Robots Could Remove Carbon Dioxide From The Oceans,


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: Public Transportation: Transit Agencies’ Actions to Address Increased Ridership Demand and Options to Help Meet Future Demand. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC (2010)

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Hernandez, L.: A culturally sensitive mentorship program for foster youth: A grant proposal, (2009)

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
Crow, K.: Veggies vs. a Courthouse: Worries and Reassurance, (2000)

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