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. Huybers P. Early Pleistocene glacial cycles and the integrated summer insolation forcing. Science. 2006;313:508–11.
A journal article with 2 authors
1. Higgins CF, Linton KJ. Structural biology. The xyz of ABC transporters. Science. 2001;293:1782–4.
A journal article with 3 authors
1. Weeks AR, Marec F, Breeuwer JA. A mite species that consists entirely of haploid females. Science. 2001;292:2479–82.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
1. Joh HM, Choi JY, Kim SJ, Chung TH, Kang T-H. Effect of additive oxygen gas on cellular response of lung cancer cells induced by atmospheric pressure helium plasma jet. Sci Rep. 2014;4:6638.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
1. Rossiter A. Professional Excellence. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; 2008.
An edited book
1. Losic D, Santos A, editors. Nanoporous Alumina: Fabrication, Structure, Properties and Applications. Cham: Springer International Publishing; 2015.
A chapter in an edited book
1. Saifullah AM, Tsin YH. A Self-stabilizing Algorithm For 3-Edge-Connectivity. In: Stojmenovic I, Thulasiram RK, Yang LT, Jia W, Guo M, Mello RF de, editors. Parallel and Distributed Processing and Applications: 5th International Symposium, ISPA 2007 Niagara Falls, Canada, August 29-31, 2007 Proceedings. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer; 2007. p. 6–19.

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. Hale T. NASA Finds Long-Lost Spacecraft After Nearly Two Years Of No Contact. IFLScience. 2016.


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. Commercial Space Launches: FAA Needs Continued Planning and Monitoring to Oversee the Safety of the Emerging Space Tourism Industry. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 2006.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
1. Emmerling-Baker D. A Qualitative Interpretive Phenomenological Study of K5 Teacher Perceptions of Classroom Empathy Instruction. Doctoral dissertation. Northcentral University; 2017.

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. Kelly C. Choosing to Live Abroad in Retirement. New York Times. 2014;:B4.

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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