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
Trewavas, A. (2002). Mindless mastery. Nature 415, 841.
A journal article with 2 authors
Venkatesan, A.K., and Halden, R.U. (2014). Wastewater treatment plants as chemical observatories to forecast ecological and human health risks of manmade chemicals. Sci. Rep. 4, 3731.
A journal article with 3 authors
Charlesworth, J.D., Warren, T.L., and Brainard, M.S. (2012). Covert skill learning in a cortical-basal ganglia circuit. Nature 486, 251–255.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Kelly, B.C., Ikonomou, M.G., Blair, J.D., Morin, A.E., and Gobas, F.A.P.C. (2007). Food web-specific biomagnification of persistent organic pollutants. Science 317, 236–239.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Quinlan, J., and VanderBrug, J. (2016). Gender Lens Investing (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.).
An edited book
(2016). The Effects of Noise on Aquatic Life II (New York, NY: Springer).
A chapter in an edited book
Poupon, C., Poupon, F., Roche, A., Cointepas, Y., Dubois, J., and Mangin, J.-F. (2007). Real-Time MR Diffusion Tensor and Q-Ball Imaging Using Kalman Filtering. In Medical Image Computing and Computer-Assisted Intervention – MICCAI 2007: 10th International Conference, Brisbane, Australia, October 29 - November 2, 2007, Proceedings, Part I, N. Ayache, S. Ourselin, and A. Maeder, eds. (Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer), pp. 27–35.

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). The Unknown Crocodiles (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 (1984). Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s Oversight of National Public Radio (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
McKenzie, N.J. (2012). African/Black psychology: A qualitative investigation of distinguished Black psychologists. Doctoral dissertation. Pepperdine 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
Crow, K. (2001). A Sassy Lass Makes Way for Staid. New York Times 144.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Trewavas, 2002).
This sentence cites two references (Trewavas, 2002; Venkatesan and Halden, 2014).

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

  • Two authors: (Venkatesan and Halden, 2014)
  • Three or more authors: (Kelly et al., 2007)

About the journal

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

Other styles