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

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Current Opinion in Chemical 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
Burke B: Cell biology. Nuclear pore complex models gel. Science 2006, 314:766–767.
A journal article with 2 authors
Keene WC, Pszenny AAP: Comment on “Reactions at interfaces as a source of sulfate formation in sea-salt particles” (I). Science 2004, 303:628; author reply 628.
A journal article with 3 authors
Cusick RD, Kim Y, Logan BE: Energy capture from thermolytic solutions in microbial reverse-electrodialysis cells. Science 2012, 335:1474–1477.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Yip CK, Kimbrough TG, Felise HB, Vuckovic M, Thomas NA, Pfuetzner RA, Frey EA, Finlay BB, Miller SI, Strynadka NCJ: Structural characterization of the molecular platform for type III secretion system assembly. Nature 2005, 435:702–707.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Peat J, Elliott E, Baur L, Keena V: Scientific Writing Easy when you know how. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; 2002.
An edited book
Ghetta V, Gorse D, Mazière D, Pontikis V (Eds): Materials Issues for Generation IV Systems: Status, Open Questions and Challenges. Springer Netherlands; 2008.
A chapter in an edited book
Dea S: Hume, Spinoza and the Achilles Inference. In The Achilles of Rationalist Psychology. Edited by Lennon TM, Stainton RJ. Springer Netherlands; 2008:93–113.

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 Chemical Biology.

Blog post
Andrews R: Cryovolcanoes Discovered On Dwarf Planet Ceres. IFLScience 2016,


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: Improper Use of Federal Student Aid Funds for Lobbying Activities. U.S. Government Printing Office; 1982.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Strickland KC: A historical analysis of the AIDS epidemic in South Africa. 2012,

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
Crow K: A New Battleground for an Old War: The Internet. New York Times 2001,

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 Chemical Biology
AbbreviationCurr. Opin. Chem. Biol.
ISSN (print)1367-5931
ISSN (online)1879-0402
Analytical Chemistry

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