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
Hofmann, D.C. (2010). Materials science. Shape memory bulk metallic glass composites. Science 329, 1294–1295.
A journal article with 2 authors
Tanaka, M., and Lisberger, S.G. (2001). Regulation of the gain of visually guided smooth-pursuit eye movements by frontal cortex. Nature 409, 191–194.
A journal article with 3 authors
Sakakura, A., Ukai, A., and Ishihara, K. (2007). Enantioselective halocyclization of polyprenoids induced by nucleophilic phosphoramidites. Nature 445, 900–903.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Hsiung, F., Ramirez-Weber, F.-A., Iwaki, D.D., and Kornberg, T.B. (2005). Dependence of Drosophila wing imaginal disc cytonemes on Decapentaplegic. Nature 437, 560–563.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Cabaniss, D.L., Cherry, S., Douglas, C.J., and Schwartz, A. (2010). Psychodynamic Psychotherapy (Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd).
An edited book
(2013). Citizen in Sensor Networks: First International Workshop, CitiSens 2012, Montpellier, France, August 27, 2012, Revised Selected Papers (Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer).
A chapter in an edited book
Tsikalas, F., Faleide, J.I., Werner, S.C., Torsvik, T., Gudlaugsson, S.T., and Eldholm, O. (2011). Impact Geophysics and Modelling. In The Mjølnir Impact Event and Its Consequences: Geology and Geophysics of a Late Jurassic/Early Cretaceous Marine Impact Event, F. Tsikalas, H. Dypvik, and M. Smelror, eds. (Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer), pp. 75–137.

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
Davis, J. (2015). Do You Have Aphantasia? (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 (1998). Year 2000 Computing Crisis: Testing and Other Challenges Confronting Federal Agencies (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
Watson, A.M. (2009). A novel role for MUC7 mucin glycoprotein in the innate immunity and genetic propensity of asthma. 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
Hodara, S. (2013). At Hopper’s Home, Legally This Time. New York Times NJ9.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Hofmann, 2010).
This sentence cites two references (Hofmann, 2010; Tanaka and Lisberger, 2001).

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

  • Two authors: (Tanaka and Lisberger, 2001)
  • Three or more authors: (Hsiung et al., 2005)

About the journal

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

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