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

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Current Opinion in Cell 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
Giardini D: Geothermal quake risks must be faced. Nature 2009, 462:848–849.
A journal article with 2 authors
Tobias DJ, Hemminger JC: Chemistry. Getting specific about specific ion effects. Science 2008, 319:1197–1198.
A journal article with 3 authors
Vukusic P, Sambles JR, Lawrence CR: Colour mixing in wing scales of a butterfly. Nature 2000, 404:457.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Birnbaum KM, Boca A, Miller R, Boozer AD, Northup TE, Kimble HJ: Photon blockade in an optical cavity with one trapped atom. Nature 2005, 436:87–90.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Pan GW: Wavelets in Electromagnetics and Device Modeling. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; 2003.
An edited book
Guger C, Vaughan T, Allison B (Eds): Brain-Computer Interface Research: A State-of-the-Art Summary 3. Springer International Publishing; 2014.
A chapter in an edited book
Katz M, Shaikovsky I: Rich Input and Select Components. In Practical RichFaces. Edited by Shaikovsky I. Apress; 2011:95–132.

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 Cell Biology.

Blog post
Andrew E: Discovery Channel Promises To Stop Lying To Us. IFLScience 2015,


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: Space Exploration: Cost, Schedule, and Performance of NASA’s Magellan Mission to Venus. U.S. Government Printing Office; 1988.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Luo SX: Theoretical models of olfactory discrimination in Drosophila. 2009,

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
Burghardt LF: An Animal Sanctuary Is Under Pressure to Move. New York Times 2006,

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 Cell Biology
AbbreviationCurr. Opin. Cell Biol.
ISSN (print)0955-0674
ISSN (online)1879-0410
ScopeCell Biology

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