How to format your references using the Cell Systems citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Cell Systems. 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
Eisenstein, M. (2012). Pregnancy: Delivery from breast cancer. Nature 485, S54.
A journal article with 2 authors
Keusch, G.T., and Medlin, C.A. (2003). Tapping the power of small institutions. Nature 422, 561–562.
A journal article with 3 authors
Schaller, J., Weiske, A., and Berger, F. (2013). Thunderbolt in biogeochemistry: galvanic effects of lightning as another source for metal remobilization. Sci. Rep. 3, 3122.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Zheng, H., Zhang, X., Zhang, Z., Tian, Y., Chen, H., Li, C., and Zhang, Y. (2013). Parametric amplification and cascaded-nonlinearity processes in common atomic system. Sci. Rep. 3, 1885.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Zhang, P.G., and Chan, T. (2011). The Chinese Yuan (John Wiley & Sons (Asia) Pte. Ltd.).
An edited book
Papathanassis, A., Lukovic, T., and Vogel, M. eds. (2012). Cruise Tourism and Society: A Socio-economic Perspective (Springer).
A chapter in an edited book
Boel, R., and Marinică, N. (2015). Leader–Follower Coordination Control for Urban Traffic. In Coordination Control of Distributed Systems Lecture Notes in Control and Information Sciences., J. H. van Schuppen and T. Villa, eds. (Springer International Publishing), pp. 35–44.

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 Systems.

Blog post
Andrew, E. (2014). Man Suffering From Headaches Turns Out To Have A Rare Species Of TAPEWORM Living In His 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 (1999). Transportation Safety: Information Concerning Why a 1980 Aircraft Report Was Not Provided Earlier to the National Transportation Safety Board (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
Bryant, J.D. (2014). The Investigation of Self-Determination in Students Participating in Higher Education with an Invisible Disability.

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
Feeney, K. (2006). Endless Options in a Wrap. New York Times, NJ6.

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by sequential numbers in superscript:

This sentence cites one reference 2.
This sentence cites two references 2,4.
This sentence cites four references 2,4,6,8.

About the journal

Full journal titleCell Systems
AbbreviationCell Syst.
ISSN (print)2405-4712
ISSN (online)2405-4720

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