Quoting from Science Magazine's General Information for Authors,
Reports (up to ~2500 words including references, notes and captions or ~3 printed pages) ...
This seems to suggest that references are to be counted towards the word limit.
But the reference style guide says,
Science includes titles in references. These are displayed in the online HTML version, but not in the print or the PDF versions of papers.
The printed (and PDF) version of papers do not have full titles in the references, which makes the reference list much shorter than in the HTML version. In the end this makes a huge difference in the word count. If I include titles, the word count of just the references makes up more than 30% of the stated word limit. This doesn't seem very reasonable!
In general, I am finding it very hard to navigate the author guidelines. Can someone provide a link to where the word limit (and what counts towards it) is most clearly stated for this journal? In particular: do references count towards the word limit, and if they do, does that include the titles? What about counting things like formulas, which might contribute significantly if counted variable by variable, as a naive word processor would do?
I'm seeing much higher word counts in already published Reports than what the guideline says. For example, this random report appears to have ~4000 words without references, as counted by pasting to Word from the HTML page.