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
Chyba, C. F. (2010). Atmospheric science. Countering the early faint Sun. Science 328, 1238–1239.
A journal article with 2 authors
Cantrell, R. P. and Reeves, T. G. (2002). The rice genome. The cereal of the world’s poor takes center stage. Science 296, 53.
A journal article with 3 authors
Psaltis, D., Quake, S. R. and Yang, C. (2006). Developing optofluidic technology through the fusion of microfluidics and optics. Nature 442, 381–386.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Navin, N., Kendall, J., Troge, J., Andrews, P., Rodgers, L., McIndoo, J., Cook, K., Stepansky, A., Levy, D., Esposito, D., et al. (2011). Tumour evolution inferred by single-cell sequencing. Nature 472, 90–94.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Goldstein, L. S. B. and Schneider, M. (2010). Stem Cells for Dummies®. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Publishing, Inc.
An edited book
Yakhno, T. ed. (2005). Advances in Information Systems: Third International Conference, ADVIS 2004, Izmir, Turkey, October 20-22, 2004. Proceedings. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Monaghan, K. G. and Van Dyke, D. L. (2006). Laboratory Testing for Prader-Willi Syndrome. In Management of Prader-Willi Syndrome (ed. Butler, M. G.), Lee, P. D. K.), and Whitman, B. Y.), pp. 74–93. New York, NY: 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
Luntz, S. (2015). Scientists and Engineers Warn Of The Dangers Of Artificial Intelligence. 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 (2016). West Coast Ports: Better Supply Chain Information Could Improve DOT’s Freight 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
Wahid, R. (2012). Quality of life of cancer patients receiving chemotherapy.

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
Wagner, J. (2017). Big Setback For Wright; Season Ends For Cespedes. New York Times B9.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Chyba, 2010).
This sentence cites two references (Cantrell and Reeves, 2002; Chyba, 2010).

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

  • Two authors: (Cantrell and Reeves, 2002)
  • Three or more authors: (Navin et al., 2011)

About the journal

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

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