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

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Current Opinion in Structural 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
Plasterk RHA: RNA silencing: the genome’s immune system. Science 2002, 296:1263–1265.
A journal article with 2 authors
McBrearty S, Jablonski NG: First fossil chimpanzee. Nature 2005, 437:105–108.
A journal article with 3 authors
Tuomisto H, Ruokolainen K, Yli-Halla M: Dispersal, environment, and floristic variation of western Amazonian forests. Science 2003, 299:241–244.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Paggi M, Berardone I, Infuso A, Corrado M: Fatigue degradation and electric recovery in Silicon solar cells embedded in photovoltaic modules. Sci Rep 2014, 4:4506.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Hammes GG: Spectroscopy for the Biological Sciences. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; 2005.
An edited book
Baert AL (Ed): Encyclopedia of Diagnostic Imaging. Springer; 2008.
A chapter in an edited book
Wilbanks TJ, Fernandez S: Urban Systems As Place-Based Foci For Infrastructure Interactions. In Climate Change and Infrastructure, Urban Systems, and Vulnerabilities. Edited by Wilbanks TJ, Fernandez S. Island Press/Center for Resource Economics; 2014:41–54.

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 Structural Biology.

Blog post
Andrew D: Solved Mystery Of The Deep-Sea Mushroom Just Raises New Questions. 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: Contract Award Protest. U.S. Government Printing Office; 1973.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Slabaugh JL: The Occurrence of Alternans and Arrhythmias in a Multicellular, Cardiac Preparation. 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
Saslow L: Babylon Supervisor Wants Town to Go Green. 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 Structural Biology
AbbreviationCurr. Opin. Struct. Biol.
ISSN (print)0959-440X
ISSN (online)1879-033X
ScopeMolecular Biology
Structural Biology

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