How to format your references using the Current Biology citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Current Biology. 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.
EndNoteDownload the output style file
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
Boyd, P. (2004). Ocean science. Ironing out algal issues in the Southern Ocean. Science 304, 396–397.
A journal article with 2 authors
Tanno, K.-I., and Willcox, G. (2006). How fast was wild wheat domesticated? Science 311, 1886.
A journal article with 3 authors
Cabernard, C., Prehoda, K.E., and Doe, C.Q. (2010). A spindle-independent cleavage furrow positioning pathway. Nature 467, 91–94.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Zhou, Y., Li, S., Zhou, W., Zu, X., and Gao, F. (2014). Evidencing the existence of intrinsic half-metallicity and ferromagnetism in zigzag gallium sulfide nanoribbons. Sci. Rep. 4, 5773.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Bai, Y. (2012). Practical Database Programming with Visual Basic.NET (Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd).
An edited book
Comin, M., Käll, L., Marchiori, E., Ngom, A., and Rajapakse, J. eds. (2014). Pattern Recognition in Bioinformatics: 9th IAPR International Conference, PRIB 2014, Stockholm, Sweden, August 21-23, 2014. Proceedings (Cham: Springer International Publishing).
A chapter in an edited book
Haas, M., and Mittnik, S. (2008). Portfolio Selection with Common Correlation Mixture Models. In Risk Assessment: Decisions in Banking and Finance Contributions to Economics., G. Bol, S. T. Rachev, and R. Würth, eds. (Heidelberg: Physica-Verlag HD), pp. 47–76.

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 Current Biology.

Blog post
Hamilton, K. (2016). World’s Oldest Muscle-Fibre Fossil Reveals The Origin Of Legs. IFLScience. Available at: [Accessed October 30, 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 (2000). Student Loans: Direct Loan Default Rates (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
VanQuickenborne, T. (2010). Exploring generative change.

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
Craig, S. (2015). Despite Risks, Cuomo Bets on Solar Power to Lift Buffalo. New York Times, A15.

In-text citations

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

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 titleCurrent Biology
AbbreviationCurr. Biol.
ISSN (print)0960-9822
ISSN (online)1879-0445
ScopeGeneral Agricultural and Biological Sciences
General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology

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