How to format your references using the Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences. 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
Pielke RA Jr (2005) Meteorology: are there trends in hurricane destruction? Nature 438:E11; discussion E13
A journal article with 2 authors
Hachet O, Ephrussi A (2004) Splicing of oskar RNA in the nucleus is coupled to its cytoplasmic localization. Nature 428:959–963
A journal article with 3 authors
Duplessy JC, Roche DM, Kageyama M (2007) The deep ocean during the last interglacial period. Science 316:89–91
A journal article with 5 or more authors
Xiang X, Shi Y, Yang J, et al (2014) Rapid recovery of soil bacterial communities after wildfire in a Chinese boreal forest. Sci Rep 4:3829

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Cliteur P (2010) The Secular Outlook. Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK
An edited book
Kern E-M, Hegering H-G, Brügge B (2006) Managing Development and Application of Digital Technologies: Research Insights in the Munich Center for Digital Technology & Management (CDTM). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
A chapter in an edited book
Grimson R (2010) An Efficient Algorithm for the Sign Condition Problem in the Semi-algebraic Context. In: Mourrain B, Schaefer S, Xu G (eds) Advances in Geometric Modeling and Processing: 6th International Conference, GMP 2010, Castro Urdiales, Spain, June 16-18, 2010. Proceedings. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, pp 57–76

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 Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences.

Blog post
Andrews R (2016) New Superbug-Killing Antibiotic Found Hiding Inside Our Own Noses. In: IFLScience. Accessed 30 Oct 2018


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: Potential for Widespread Disruption Calls for Strong Leadership and Partnerships. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC

Theses and dissertations

Theses including Ph.D. dissertations, Master's theses or Bachelor theses follow the basic format outlined below.

Doctoral dissertation
Cornelius J (2017) Five Minute Meditation Used to Impact Workplace Meetings. Doctoral dissertation, Pepperdine 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
Crow K (2001) Skip the Climbing Wall: This Start-Up Just Wants to Hang On. New York Times H4

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by sequential numbers in square brackets:

This sentence cites one reference [1].
This sentence cites two references [1, 2].
This sentence cites four references [1–4].

About the journal

Full journal titleCellular and Molecular Life Sciences
AbbreviationCell. Mol. Life Sci.
ISSN (print)1420-682X
ISSN (online)1420-9071
ScopeCell Biology
Molecular Biology
Molecular Medicine
Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

Other styles