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
Smol, J. P. (2012). Climate Change: A planet in flux. Nature 483, S12-5.
A journal article with 2 authors
Peerapen, P. and Thongboonkerd, V. (2013). p38 MAPK mediates calcium oxalate crystal-induced tight junction disruption in distal renal tubular epithelial cells. Sci. Rep. 3, 1041.
A journal article with 3 authors
Ghosh, S., Sood, A. K. and Kumar, N. (2003). Carbon nanotube flow sensors. Science 299, 1042–1044.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Chan, J. R., Jolicoeur, C., Yamauchi, J., Elliott, J., Fawcett, J. P., Ng, B. K. and Cayouette, M. (2006). The polarity protein Par-3 directly interacts with p75NTR to regulate myelination. Science 314, 832–836.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Bell, M. (2016). Incremental Software Architecture. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Cobb, H., Harris, O. J. T., Jones, C. and Richardson, P. eds. (2012). Reconsidering Archaeological Fieldwork: Exploring On-Site Relationships Between Theory and Practice. Boston, MA: Springer US.
A chapter in an edited book
Dousay, T. A. (2014). Multimedia Design and Situational Interest: A Look at Juxtaposition and Measurement. In Educational Media and Technology Yearbook: Volume 38 (ed. Orey, M.), Jones, S. A.), and Branch, R. M.), pp. 69–82. 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
Davis, J. (2015). 80% Of Cervical Cancers Preventable With Latest HPV Vaccine. 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 (1987). Space Station: National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s 1987 Cost Estimate. 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
Darnell, C. (2017). Sharecropping in Higher Education: Case Study of the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University - Florida State University Joint College of Engineering.

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
Oestreich, J. R. (2017). Finding the Humanity in ‘St. John.’ New York Times C5.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Smol, 2012).
This sentence cites two references (Peerapen and Thongboonkerd, 2013; Smol, 2012).

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

  • Two authors: (Peerapen and Thongboonkerd, 2013)
  • Three or more authors: (Chan et al., 2006)

About the journal

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

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