How to format your references using the Development citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Development. 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
Git, A. (2012). Research tools: A recipe for disaster. Nature 484, 439–440.
A journal article with 2 authors
Boyd, R. and Mathew, S. (2007). Behavior. A narrow road to cooperation. Science 316, 1858–1859.
A journal article with 3 authors
Wu, B., Parquette, J. R. and RajanBabu, T. V. (2009). Regiodivergent ring opening of chiral aziridines. Science 326, 1662.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Nguyen, V. T., Kiss, T., Michels, A. A. and Bensaude, O. (2001). 7SK small nuclear RNA binds to and inhibits the activity of CDK9/cyclin T complexes. Nature 414, 322–325.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Wing, C. (2012). How Your House Works. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Selin, H. ed. (2014). Parenting Across Cultures: Childrearing, Motherhood and Fatherhood in Non-Western Cultures. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands.
A chapter in an edited book
Weresa, M. A. (2014). Policies Supporting Regional Innovation in Poland in 2014–2020: The European and National Perspective. In New Cohesion Policy of the European Union in Poland: How It Will Influence the Investment Attractiveness of Regions in 2014-2020 (ed. Ambroziak, A. A.), pp. 77–89. Cham: Springer International Publishing.

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 Development.

Blog post
O`Callaghan, J. (2016). It’s One Year Until A Total Solar Eclipse Sweeps Across America. IFLScience.


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 (2006). Information Technology: VA and DOD Face Challenges in Completing Key Efforts. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Hardiman, B. S. (2012). Resilience of Forest Carbon Storage through Disturbance and Succession.

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
Forsythe, M. and Stevenson, A. (2017). Chief of Chinese Firm Is Detained. New York Times B1.

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by name and year in parentheses:

This sentence cites one reference (Git, 2012).
This sentence cites two references (Boyd and Mathew, 2007; Git, 2012).

Here are examples of in-text citations with multiple authors:

  • Two authors: (Boyd and Mathew, 2007)
  • Three or more authors: (Nguyen et al., 2001)

About the journal

Full journal titleDevelopment
ISSN (print)0950-1991
ISSN (online)1477-9129
ScopeDevelopmental Biology
Molecular Biology

Other styles