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
Knapp, S. (2013). Evolution. What, where, and when? Science 341, 1182–1184.
A journal article with 2 authors
Lyon, B.E., and Eadie, J.M. (2004). An obligate brood parasite trapped in the intraspecific arms race of its hosts. Nature 432, 390–393.
A journal article with 3 authors
Dick, H.J.B., Lin, J., and Schouten, H. (2003). An ultraslow-spreading class of ocean ridge. Nature 426, 405–412.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Fan, B., Guo, L., Li, N., Chen, J., Lin, H., Zhang, X., Shen, M., Rao, Y., Wang, C., and Ma, L. (2014). Earlier vegetation green-up has reduced spring dust storms. Sci. Rep. 4, 6749.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Ward, S. (2014). TraderMind (Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd).
An edited book
Decreusefond, L., and Najim, J. eds. (2012). Stochastic Analysis and Related Topics: In Honour of Ali Süleyman Üstünel, Paris, June 2010 (Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer).
A chapter in an edited book
Majtner, T., Yildirim-Yayilgan, S., and Hardeberg, J.Y. (2016). Efficient Melanoma Detection Using Texture-Based RSurf Features. In Image Analysis and Recognition: 13th International Conference, ICIAR 2016, in Memory of Mohamed Kamel, Póvoa de Varzim, Portugal, July 13-15, 2016, Proceedings Lecture Notes in Computer Science., A. Campilho and F. Karray, eds. (Cham: Springer International Publishing), pp. 30–37.

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). Bizarre Cloud Formation Spotted In Australian Skies. 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 (2008). Digital Television Transition: Information on the Implementation of the Converter Box Subsidy Program and Consumer Participation in the 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
Rangwala, R. (2005). The Role of the PDZ Protein, Erbin, in Schwann Cells.

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
Vecsey, G. (2011). For Coach and His Stars, a Win-Win Situation. New York Times, D6.

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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