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CSE Manual for Scientific Style and Format

How to document scientific writing using the CSE Manual

Citation-Name (C-N) System

Citation-Name (C-N) System: First, compile the list of references for your paper or document.  Place references in alphabetic order by authors’ last names and number them accordingly. These numbers are used for the in-text references in C-N system regardless of the sequence in which they appear in the text of the work. For example, if a work by Winter is first in-text reference in the your document and is#35 in your reference list, the in-text reference will also be numbered as 35. Use the same number for subsequent in-text references to the same document.

  • If you have several in-text references at the same point, place their corresponding reference list number in numeric order.
  • If the in-text reference numbers are not in continuous numeric sequence, separate them by commas.
  • If there are more than 2 in a continuous sequence connect them by a hyphen.
  • If there are only 2 consecutive numbers, separate them by a comma.

How to alphabetize your authors in a reference list using C-N system

Particles such as “de”, “la”, “van”, “van de”, and “von” are treated as part of the surname.
Alphabetize according to the particle regardless of nationality.

Examples: Crayton A

                               de la Salle JK

                               Grant BM

When organizations serve as authors, eliminate “The” in the organizations’ name, “American Cancer Society” not “The American Cancer Society”. When a component of an organization is an author, order the components in descending  hierarchical order.

Examples: Stony Brook University, School of Dental Medicine, Department of General Dentistry.

If no authors are present, order items by titles. Ignore “a”, “an”, and “the” at the beginning of a title when alphabetizing.

Example: A work with a title “The American Experience” should be filed under “A”  not under” T”.

Order the acronyms in document titles as if they were words and do not use their full names instead of the acronyms.

Example: “The CAS Registry” should be placed before “Chemical Abstracts Service” as an author.

When a title begins with a number, treat that number as a written word and order it accordingly.

Example: “10 rules for healthy habits” should be filed under “T” , as if it were “Ten rules….”

How to sequence the authors in a Reference list using C-N system

For multiple works by the same authors, order the works by their titles in the Citation-Name System.

Example: Felid TS, Arnes NC, Doyle JA, Dawson TE, Donoghue MJ. Dark and disturbed: a new image of early angiosperm ecology. Paleobiology. 2004; 30: 82-107.

Felid TS, Arnes NC, Dawson TE. The ancestral ecology of angiosperms: emerging perspectives from extant basal lineages. International Journal of Plant Sciences, 2003; 164: S129-S142.


When there are several works with the same author (alone and/or with coauthors), place the single-authored work before the works written with coauthors, regardless the titles of the works cited. In such a a grouping, place the multi-authored publication in alphabetical order by the second author’s last name, regardless of the number authors.

            Example: Felid TS. Are vessels in seed plants evolutionary innovations to similar ecological contexts?

Felid TS, Arnes NC.  Form, function, and environments of the early angiosperms.

Felid TS, Brodribb T, Jaffre T, Holbrook NM. Acclimation of leafy anatomy , photosynthetic light….

Felid TS, Zwieniecki MA, Brodribb T, Jaffre T,  Donoghue MJ, Holbrook NM. Structure and function of tracheary elements…..