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
Ruth T: Accelerating production of medical isotopes. Nature 2009, 457:536–537.
A journal article with 2 authors
Berke JD, Eichenbaum HB: Drug addiction and the hippocampus. Science 2001, 294:1235.
A journal article with 3 authors
Stanley JD, Goddio F, Schnepp G: Nile flooding sank two ancient cities. Nature 2001, 412:293–294.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Fang C, Frontiera RR, Tran R, Mathies RA: Mapping GFP structure evolution during proton transfer with femtosecond Raman spectroscopy. Nature 2009, 462:200–204.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Dacey JS, Fiore LB, Brion-Meisels S: Your Child’s Social and Emotional Well-Being. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd; 2016.
An edited book
Rodríguez F: Modeling and Control of Greenhouse Crop Growth. Springer International Publishing; 2015.
A chapter in an edited book
Liu F-J: Theoretical Foundation for Spirituality-Oriented Holistic Art Education: Integration of Eastern and Western Aesthetics. In Creative Arts in Education and Culture: Perspectives from Greater China. Edited by Leong S, Leung BW. Springer Netherlands; 2013:55–67.

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
Fang J: Cooling Newborns Lowers Their Risk for Brain Damage. IFLScience 2014,


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 Acquisitions: Assessment of Overhead Persistent Infrared Technology Report. U.S. Government Printing Office; 2014.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Smith T: Outsider leadership transitions: A phenomenological study of Army Reserve General Officers. 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
Shear MD: In Era of Vitriol, Somber Duty Skids Into Spectacle. New York Times 2017,

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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