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
Cardinale, B. (2012). Ecology. Impacts of biodiversity loss. Science 336, 552–553.
A journal article with 2 authors
Weiss, B. P. and Tikoo, S. M. (2014). The lunar dynamo. Science 346, 1246753.
A journal article with 3 authors
Blum, R., Kafitz, K. W. and Konnerth, A. (2002). Neurotrophin-evoked depolarization requires the sodium channel Na(V)1.9. Nature 419, 687–693.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Fraidenraich, D., Stillwell, E., Romero, E., Wilkes, D., Manova, K., Basson, C. T. and Benezra, R. (2004). Rescue of cardiac defects in id knockout embryos by injection of embryonic stem cells. Science 306, 247–252.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Nikrityuk, P. A. (2011). Computational Thermo-Fluid Dynamics. Weinheim, Germany: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.
An edited book
Bianchi, M. T. ed. (2014). Sleep Deprivation and Disease: Effects on the Body, Brain and Behavior. New York, NY: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Ganesamoni, R. and Singh, S. K. (2012). Epidemiology of Stone Disease in Northern India. In Urolithiasis: Basic Science and Clinical Practice (ed. Talati, J. J.), Tiselius, H.-G.), Albala, D. M.), and Ye, Z.), pp. 39–46. London: Springer.

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
Andrew, E. (2015). The 2015 Flu Vaccine – What’s New, Who Should Get It And Why. 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 (2008). Chemical Assessments: EPA’s New Assessment Process Will Further Limit the Productivity and Credibility of Its Integrated Risk Information System. 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
Eldridge, Z. (2017). The Empowerment of a Forgotten Population.

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
Kanter, J. and Castle, S. (2016). ‘Brexit,’ Migration, Trade: The E.U.’s List of Crises Keeps Growing. New York Times A6.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Cardinale, 2012).
This sentence cites two references (Cardinale, 2012; Weiss and Tikoo, 2014).

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

  • Two authors: (Weiss and Tikoo, 2014)
  • Three or more authors: (Fraidenraich et al., 2004)

About the journal

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

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