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
Simon, J. (2014). Condensed-matter physics: magnetic fields without magnetic fields. Nature 515, 202–203.
A journal article with 2 authors
Towbin, J.A., and Bowles, N.E. (2002). The failing heart. Nature 415, 227–233.
A journal article with 3 authors
Santamaría, L., Diaz, M., and Valladares, F. (2013). Science in Europe. Dark clouds over Spanish science. Science 340, 1292.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Hasselmann, M., Gempe, T., Schiøtt, M., Nunes-Silva, C.G., Otte, M., and Beye, M. (2008). Evidence for the evolutionary nascence of a novel sex determination pathway in honeybees. Nature 454, 519–522.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Yaacoub, E.E., and Dawy, Z. (2012). Resource Allocation in Uplink OFDMA Wireless Systems (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.).
An edited book
Bernardi, S. (2013). Model-Driven Dependability Assessment of Software Systems J. Merseguer and D. C. Petriu, eds. (Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer).
A chapter in an edited book
Penprase, B. (2016). New Liberal Arts and Sciences Institutions in India and Singapore: The Role of STEM Education. In Experiences in Liberal Arts and Science Education from America, Europe, and Asia: A Dialogue across Continents, W. C. Kirby and M. C. van der Wende, eds. (New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan US), pp. 61–73.

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
Andrew, E. (2014). Some Of The Most Awful Parasites In The World. 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 (2002). NASA: Compliance With Cost Limits Cannot Be Verified (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
Johnson, J.G. (2012). An Exploration of the Psychosocial Aspects of Weight Among College Students in the College Environment.

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
Williams, J. (2017). A Different Kind of Dystopian Novel. New York Times, C5.

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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