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
Deech R (2008) 30 years: from IVF to stem cells. Nature 454:280–281
A journal article with 2 authors
Mappes J, Lindström L (2012) Ecology. How did the cuckoo get its polymorphic plumage? Science 337:532–533
A journal article with 3 authors
Colley DG, LoVerde PT, Savioli L (2001) Infectious disease. Medical helminthology in the 21st century. Science 293:1437–1438
A journal article with 5 or more authors
Ponton F, Lebarbenchon C, Lefèvre T, et al (2006) Parasitology: parasite survives predation on its host. Nature 440:756

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Ahmad K (2005) Sourcebook of ATM and IP Internetworking. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ
An edited book
Margottini C, Canuti P, Sassa K (2013) Landslide Science and Practice: Volume 3: Spatial Analysis and Modelling. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
A chapter in an edited book
Scher CS, Chui I, Miller SM (2014) General Principles of Intraoperative Management of the Severe Blunt or Polytrauma Patient: The Resuscitative Phase. In: Scher CS (ed) Anesthesia for Trauma: New Evidence and New Challenges. Springer, New York, NY, pp 81–105

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
Hale T (2016) 10,000 Endangered “Scrotum Frogs” Have Died Near Lake Titicaca. 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 (1975) Problems in Administering Programs To Improve Law Enforcement Education. 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
Wang B (2017) An Embedded Method for Near-Wellbore Streamline Simulation. Doctoral dissertation, University of Louisiana

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
Koblin J, Peters JW (2016) Diverse Group of Rookie Moderators Is Chosen for the Presidential Debates. New York Times A13

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