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
Hartwell, L. (2004). Genetics. Robust interactions. Science 303, 774–775.
A journal article with 2 authors
Jenuwein, T., and Allis, C.D. (2001). Translating the histone code. Science 293, 1074–1080.
A journal article with 3 authors
Kuhn, G., Hijri, M., and Sanders, I.R. (2001). Evidence for the evolution of multiple genomes in arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. Nature 414, 745–748.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Li, S., Wang, R., Li, D., Ma, J., Li, H., He, X., Chang, Z., and Weng, Y. (2014). Thermal-triggerd proteinquake leads to disassembly of DegP hexamer as an imperative activation step. Sci. Rep. 4, 4834.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Hitchner, J.R. (2017). Financial Valuation (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.).
An edited book
Tsikalas, F., Dypvik, H., and Smelror, M. eds. (2011). The Mjølnir Impact Event and its Consequences: Geology and Geophysics of a Late Jurassic/Early Cretaceous Marine Impact Event (Springer).
A chapter in an edited book
Kuksin, S.B. (2008). Three theorems on perturbed KdV. In Hamiltonian Dynamical Systems and Applications NATO Science for Peace and Security Series., W. Craig, ed. (Springer Netherlands), pp. 85–92.

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
Taub, B. (2016). Nearly All Illegal Elephant Ivory Smuggled Out Of Africa Is From Recent Kills. 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 (1997). Aviation Safety: Opportunities Exist for FAA to Refine the Controller Staffing Process (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
Boyer, T.H. (2008). Removal of natural organic matter by anion exchange: Multiscale experimentation and mathematical modeling.

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
Protess, B. (2017). Lawyer Is Now Regulating Banking Industry He Has Spent a Career Protecting. New York Times, A20.

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by sequential numbers in superscript:

This sentence cites one reference 2.
This sentence cites two references 2,4.
This sentence cites four references 2,4,6,8.

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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