I have received this reviewers comment ("REFERENCES" section should be block ), what does it mean?

Update: There comment was

All reference in the “"REFERENCES" section should be block

  • What referencing system does the journal/conference use? Nov 3, 2016 at 2:05
  • In which journal do reviewers care about typesetting?
    – Cape Code
    Nov 3, 2016 at 5:52
  • @CapeCode It is a conference
    – Paulo
    Nov 3, 2016 at 5:54
  • @CapeCode: In some fields, it is usual to use the final format already for the manuscript (and non-adherence can be a reason for desk-rejection), while in others, that is not done at all (and actually seen as presumptuous, as if showing overconfidence in acceptance). Likewise, in some fields, authors are expected to nail down the camera-ready layout themselves based on guidelines, while in others, copy editors do that. I'd suspect the more a given field tends towards the former extremes, the more likely reviewers will point out possible layouting issues to help the authors. Nov 3, 2016 at 8:09

2 Answers 2


Based on the updated question, I'm more inclined to think that the reviewer is asking you to adopt a certain style to the actual references. I think you need to find out what that is. Perhaps some aspect of the references need to be in all caps. But I imagine once you know the style that applies which should be clear from either looking up author instructions or looking at previous publications.

My original guess: I think a block font can sometimes refer to an upper case font. My guess is that the style guide in operation requires that your references heading be written as "REFERENCES" rather than "References". Thus, I imagine the reviewer is simply asking you to conform to this stylistic requirement.

More broadly, make sure you know which style guide applies when submitting your work and endeavour to conform to its requirements.

  • their comment was : All reference in the “"REFERENCES" section should be block
    – Paulo
    Nov 3, 2016 at 1:55
  • @paulo that changes things. Then it is probably referring to some aspect of the style of references themselves Nov 3, 2016 at 2:03

"Block" style normally just indicates that no lines should be indented. That is a pretty common style layout for reference sections in papers.

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