How to format your references using the Current Opinion in Biotechnology citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Current Opinion in Biotechnology. 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
Poskett J: Mathematics: a life computed. Nature 2012, 486:321.
A journal article with 2 authors
Oncescu V, Erickson D: High volumetric power density, non-enzymatic, glucose fuel cells. Sci Rep 2013, 3:1226.
A journal article with 3 authors
Belevich I, Verkhovsky MI, Wikström M: Proton-coupled electron transfer drives the proton pump of cytochrome c oxidase. Nature 2006, 440:829–832.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Tachiwana H, Kagawa W, Shiga T, Osakabe A, Miya Y, Saito K, Hayashi-Takanaka Y, Oda T, Sato M, Park S-Y, et al.: Crystal structure of the human centromeric nucleosome containing CENP-A. Nature 2011, 476:232–235.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
De Spiegeleer J, Schoutens W, Van Hulle C: The Handbook of Hybrid Securities. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd; 2014.
An edited book
Danieli GA, Minelli A, Pievani T (Eds): Stephen J. Gould: The Scientific Legacy. Springer; 2013.
A chapter in an edited book
Dultz LA, Sim V, Todd SR: Surgical Procedures in the Intensive Care Unit. In Common Problems in Acute Care Surgery. Edited by Moore LJ, Turner KL, Todd SR. Springer; 2013:59–71.

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 Opinion in Biotechnology.

Blog post
Andrews R: The Asgardia “Space Nation” Team Will Reveal Their Plans To The World Next Week. IFLScience 2017,


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: Proposed Closure of VOA Dixon Relay Station. U.S. Government Printing Office; 1979.

Theses and dissertations

Theses including Ph.D. dissertations, Master's theses or Bachelor theses follow the basic format outlined below.

Doctoral dissertation
Nelson AF: Anxiety in the process of individuation. An in-depth psychological study. 2014,

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
Dominus I by S: ‘You Have to Keep Putting Yourself Out There.’ New York Times 2014,

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 titleCurrent Opinion in Biotechnology
AbbreviationCurr. Opin. Biotechnol.
ISSN (print)0958-1669
ISSN (online)1879-0429
Biomedical Engineering

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