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
Rahman, N. (2014). Realizing the promise of cancer predisposition genes. Nature 505, 302–308.
A journal article with 2 authors
Boehr, D.D., and Wright, P.E. (2008). Biochemistry. How do proteins interact? Science 320, 1429–1430.
A journal article with 3 authors
Smith, M.H., Ploegh, H.L., and Weissman, J.S. (2011). Road to ruin: targeting proteins for degradation in the endoplasmic reticulum. Science 334, 1086–1090.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Guo, A., Wang, Y., Chen, B., Wang, Y., Yuan, J., Zhang, L., Hall, D., Wu, J., Shi, Y., Zhu, Q., et al. (2018). E-C coupling structural protein junctophilin-2 encodes a stress-adaptive transcription regulator. Science.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Smith, V. (2012). Toni Morrison (Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd).
An edited book
Lone, S.H. (2015). Chemical and Pharmacological Perspective of Artemisia amygdalina (Cham: Springer International Publishing).
A chapter in an edited book
Howard, A.M., Remy, S., Hyuk Park, C., Won Park, H., and Brooks, D. (2009). Intelligent Robotics for Assistive Healthcare and Therapy. In The Path to Autonomous Robots: Essays in Honor of George A. Bekey, G. Sukhatme, ed. (Boston, MA: Springer US), pp. 1–17.

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. (2015). Why Tomatoes are Fruits, and Strawberries Aren’t Berries (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 (1993). Telecommunications: Interruptions of Telephone Service (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
Wahid, R. (2012). Quality of life of cancer patients receiving chemotherapy. 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
(nyt), S.K. (2003). World Briefing | Europe: Russia: Soldier Kills 4 Comrades, Then Himself. New York Times A12.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Maxmen, 2013).
This sentence cites two references (Kasting, 2013; Taylor, 2002).

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

  • Two authors: (Boehr and Wright, 2008)
  • Three or more authors: (Hemphill et al., 2014)

About the journal

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

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