How to format your references using the BMC Molecular Biology citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for BMC Molecular Biology. 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.
EndNoteDownload the output style file
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
1. Smith C. Drug target validation: Hitting the target. Nature. 2003;422:341, 343, 345 passim.
A journal article with 2 authors
1. Lukin MD, Imamoğlu A. Controlling photons using electromagnetically induced transparency. Nature. 2001;413:273–6.
A journal article with 3 authors
1. McCarty KF, Nobel JA, Bartelt NC. Vacancies in solids and the stability of surface morphology. Nature. 2001;412:622–5.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
1. Verma R, Aravind L, Oania R, McDonald WH, Yates JR 3rd, Koonin EV, et al. Role of Rpn11 metalloprotease in deubiquitination and degradation by the 26S proteasome. Science. 2002;298:611–5.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
1. Good PI. Introduction to Statistics through Resampling Methods and R/S-Plus®. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; 2005.
An edited book
1. Gould IM, Meer JWM van der, editors. Antibiotic Policies: Fighting Resistance. Boston, MA: Springer US; 2008.
A chapter in an edited book
1. Aseeva R, Serkov B, Sivenkov A. Heat Release Characteristics and Combustion Heat of Timber. In: Serkov B, Sivenkov A, editors. Fire Behavior and Fire Protection in Timber Buildings. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands; 2014. p. 119–37.

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 BMC Molecular Biology.

Blog post
1. Andrews R. The National Park Where Rangers Have A Licence To Kill Poachers. IFLScience. 2017. Accessed 30 Oct 2018.


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
1. Government Accountability Office. Passenger Rail Security: Consistent Incident Reporting and Analysis Needed to Achieve Program Objectives. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 2012.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
1. Conti AI. Dirty hands, virtue ethics, and consequentialism. Doctoral dissertation. California State University, Long Beach; 2012.

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
1. Vecsey G. U.S. Coach Doesn’t Play the Superstar Card. New York Times. 2011;:B15.

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 titleBMC Molecular Biology
AbbreviationBMC Mol. Biol.
ISSN (online)1471-2199
ScopeMolecular Biology

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