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
Barnes, D.K.A.: Biodiversity: invasions by marine life on plastic debris. Nature. 416, 808–809 (2002)
A journal article with 2 authors
Dupuy, T.J., Kraus, A.L.: Distances, luminosities, and temperatures of the coldest known substellar objects. Science. 341, 1492–1495 (2013)
A journal article with 3 authors
Beachy, P.A., Karhadkar, S.S., Berman, D.M.: Tissue repair and stem cell renewal in carcinogenesis. Nature. 432, 324–331 (2004)
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Islam, S.T., Huszczynski, S.M., Nugent, T., Gold, A.C., Lam, J.S.: Conserved-residue mutations in Wzy affect O-antigen polymerization and Wzz-mediated chain-length regulation in Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1. Sci. Rep. 3, 3441 (2013)

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Eynon, J.: The Design Manager’s Handbook. Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK (2013)
An edited book
Yada, K. ed: Data Mining for Service. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg (2014)
A chapter in an edited book
Lanchon, H.: Torsion Elastoplastique D’Arbres Cylindriques Problemes Ouverts. In: Capriz, G. and Stampacchia, G. (eds.) New Variational Techniques in Mathematical Physics. pp. 121–148. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg (2011)

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
Davis, J.: Massive Glacier In Northeastern Greenland Is Melting At An Accelerated Rate,


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: Status of Office of Education’s National Direct Student Loan Funds at Selected Postsecondary Education Institutions. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC (1978)

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Mosing, P.R.: Maternal perceptions of their infants: Do perceptions predict maternal motivation to nurture?, (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
Wilson, M.: Jurors See Key Evidence in Chelsea Bombing: Articles on How to Build Bombs, (2017)

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