How to format your references using the Cell Reports citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Cell Reports. 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.
EndNoteFind the style here: output styles overview
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
Melançon, C.E., 3rd (2015). Biochemistry: Elusive source of sulfur unravelled. Nature 518, 45–46.
A journal article with 2 authors
Drain, P.K., and Barry, M. (2010). Global health. Fifty years of U.S. embargo: Cuba’s health outcomes and lessons. Science 328, 572–573.
A journal article with 3 authors
Zimmerman, A., Bai, L., and Ginty, D.D. (2014). The gentle touch receptors of mammalian skin. Science 346, 950–954.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Some, S., Xu, Y., Kim, Y., Yoon, Y., Qin, H., Kulkarni, A., Kim, T., and Lee, H. (2013). Highly sensitive and selective gas sensor using hydrophilic and hydrophobic graphenes. Sci. Rep. 3, 1868.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Blair, R., and Regenstein, J.M. (2015). Genetic Modification and Food Quality (Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd).
An edited book
(2009). Textbook of Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery (Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer).
A chapter in an edited book
Pacelli, V. (2016). The Case Study of Lehman Brothers. In Managing Reputation in The Banking Industry: Theory and Practice, S. Dell’Atti, and A. Trotta, eds. (Cham: Springer International Publishing), pp. 101–119.

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 Cell Reports.

Blog post
Andrew, E. (2014). Study Sheds Light On The Origin Of Huntington’s Disease Within The Brain (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 (1978). Productivity, Science and Technology: Keys to U.S. Economic Growth (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
Hankins, S. (2010). A policy analysis of the Americans with Disability Act of 1990. Doctoral dissertation. California State University, Long Beach.

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
Craig, S. (2015). Despite Risks, Cuomo Bets on Solar Power to Lift Buffalo. New York Times A15.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Melançon, 2015).
This sentence cites two references (Drain and Barry, 2010; Melançon, 2015).

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

  • Two authors: (Drain and Barry, 2010)
  • Three or more authors: (Some et al., 2013)

About the journal

Full journal titleCell Reports
AbbreviationCell Rep.
ISSN (print)2211-1247
ScopeGeneral Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology

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