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
Bertola, F. (2002). Astronomy. Putting galaxies on the scale. Science 295, 283–284.
A journal article with 2 authors
Li, W., and Walz, J.Y. (2014). Porous nanocomposites with integrated internal domains: application to separation membranes. Sci. Rep. 4, 4418.
A journal article with 3 authors
Ji, Z., Gao, H., and Yu, H. (2015). CELL DIVISION CYCLE. Kinetochore attachment sensed by competitive Mps1 and microtubule binding to Ndc80C. Science 348, 1260–1264.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Gagneux, S., Long, C.D., Small, P.M., Van, T., Schoolnik, G.K., and Bohannan, B.J.M. (2006). The competitive cost of antibiotic resistance in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Science 312, 1944–1946.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Cox, D.A. (2004). Galois Theory (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.).
An edited book
Balas, V.E., Fodor, J., and Várkonyi-Kóczy, A.R. eds. (2013). New Concepts and Applications in Soft Computing (Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer).
A chapter in an edited book
Mokhtari, M., and Martaj, N. (2012). Chapitre 5 Applications de la modélisation physique. In Electronique Appliquée, Electromécanique sous Simscape & SimPowerSystems (Matlab/Simulink), N. Martaj, ed. (Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer), pp. 327–348.

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. (2015). Why Do People Decide To Go Gluten- Or Wheat-Free? 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 (1971). Need To Improve Policies and Procedures for Approving Grants Under the Emergency School Assistance Program (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
Thompson, K. (2015). Paid formal caregivers and caregiver burden: A quantitative study.

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
Kishkovsky, S., and Herszenhorn, D.M. (2012). Punk Band’s Moscow Trial Offers Platform for Orthodox Protesters. New York Times, A11.

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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