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
de Lozanne, A. (2004). Physics. Music of the spheres at the atomic scale. Science 305, 348–349.
A journal article with 2 authors
Wentz, F.J., and Schabel, M. (2000). Precise climate monitoring using complementary satellite data sets. Nature 403, 414–416.
A journal article with 3 authors
Baughman, R.H., Zakhidov, A.A., and de Heer, W.A. (2002). Carbon nanotubes--the route toward applications. Science 297, 787–792.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Zhang, W., Wang, K., Luo, Y., Fang, Y., Yan, J., Zhang, T., Zhu, X., Chen, H., Wang, W., and Mo, J. (2014). Methane uptake in forest soils along an urban-to-rural gradient in Pearl River Delta, South China. Sci. Rep. 4, 5120.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Malcolm, D. (2012). The British and Irish Short Story Handbook (Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd).
An edited book
(2014). ISAC and ARIEL: The TRIUMF Radioactive Beam Facilities and the Scientific Program (Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands).
A chapter in an edited book
Komar, A., and Dvorak, J. (2011). Theoretical Issues of Food Chain Security and Case Studies in the Czech Army. In Environmental Security and Ecoterrorism, H. Alpas, S.M. Berkowicz, and I. Ermakova, eds. (Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands), pp. 55–71.

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. (2017). Researchers Have Created The World’s First Genetically Modified Ants (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 (2006). Information Technology: Agencies Need to Improve the Accuracy and Reliability of Investment Information (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
Orbinati, A.G. (2015). Spirituality and learning: An exploration into the understanding of spirituality in adult education. Doctoral dissertation. Capella 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
Hussey, K. (2015). Troubling Text Before a Couple Vanished in Connecticut: ‘Did You Hurt Mom?’ New York Times A33.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (de Lozanne, 2004).
This sentence cites two references (de Lozanne, 2004; Wentz and Schabel, 2000).

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

  • Two authors: (Wentz and Schabel, 2000)
  • Three or more authors: (Zhang 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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