How to format your references using the Cancer Cell citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Cancer Cell. 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
Savage, N. (2012). Technology: Dancing with robots. Nature 492, S16-7.
A journal article with 2 authors
Hashizume, K., and Chaussidon, M. (2005). A non-terrestrial 16O-rich isotopic composition for the protosolar nebula. Nature 434, 619–622.
A journal article with 3 authors
Kinoshita, T., Wenger, T., and Weiss, D.S. (2004). Observation of a one-dimensional Tonks-Girardeau gas. Science 305, 1125–1128.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Ferres-Marco, D., Gutierrez-Garcia, I., Vallejo, D.M., Bolivar, J., Gutierrez-Aviño, F.J., and Dominguez, M. (2006). Epigenetic silencers and Notch collaborate to promote malignant tumours by Rb silencing. Nature 439, 430–436.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Ballast, D.K. (2010). Interior Detailing (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.).
An edited book
Cinquini, L. (2011). Nuovi modelli di business e creazione di valore: la Scienza dei Servizi (Milano: Springer).
A chapter in an edited book
Wang, D.W.D. (2014). The Urban Village of Huanggang: A Successful Communal Model? In Urban China in the New Era: Market Reforms, Current State, and the Road Forward, Z. Cheng, M. Wang, and J. Chen, eds. (Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer), pp. 63–83.

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 Cancer Cell.

Blog post
Andrew, E. (2014). Elephant Herd Teams Up To Rescue Baby (IFLScience).


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
Government Accountability Office (2000). IRS Modernization: Business Practice, Performance Management, and Information Technology Challenges (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office).

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Whitesides, V.J. (2017). The Large Ensemble/European Classical Music Paradigm and African American-Originated Dance-Musicking: A Dispositival Analysis of U.S. Secondary Music Education. Doctoral dissertation. George Washington University.

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
Reinhart, M.K. (2015). A Complicated Match Made on the Hardwood. New York Times ST1.

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by name and year in parentheses:

This sentence cites one reference (Savage, 2012).
This sentence cites two references (Hashizume and Chaussidon, 2005; Savage, 2012).

Here are examples of in-text citations with multiple authors:

  • Two authors: (Hashizume and Chaussidon, 2005)
  • Three or more authors: (Ferres-Marco et al., 2006)

About the journal

Full journal titleCancer Cell
AbbreviationCancer Cell
ISSN (print)1535-6108
ISSN (online)1878-3686
ScopeCancer Research
Cell Biology

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