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
Sloggett, J. J. (2013). Comment on “Invasive harlequin ladybird carries biological weapons against native competitors.” Science 341, 1342.
A journal article with 2 authors
Freiwald, W. A. and Tsao, D. Y. (2010). Functional compartmentalization and viewpoint generalization within the macaque face-processing system. Science 330, 845–851.
A journal article with 3 authors
Arce, S. H., Wu, P.-H. and Tseng, Y. (2013). Fast and accurate automated cell boundary determination for fluorescence microscopy. Sci. Rep. 3, 2266.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Martin, G., Asensi, V., Montes, A. H., Collazos, J., Alvarez, V., Carton, J. A., Taboada, F. and Valle-Garay, E. (2014). Role of plasma matrix-metalloproteases (MMPs) and their polymorphisms (SNPs) in sepsis development and outcome in ICU patients. Sci. Rep. 4, 5002.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Green, S. D. (2011). Making Sense of Construction Improvement. Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.
An edited book
Mukherjee, S., Aarts, R. M., Roovers, R., Widdershoven, F. and Ouwerkerk, M. eds. (2006). AmIware Hardware Technology Drivers of Ambient Intelligence. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands.
A chapter in an edited book
Keswani, C., Bisen, K., Singh, S. P., Sarma, B. K. and Singh, H. B. (2016). A Proteomic Approach to Understand the Tripartite Interactions Between Plant-Trichoderma-Pathogen: Investigating the Potential for Efficient Biological Control. In Plant, Soil and Microbes: Volume 2: Mechanisms and Molecular Interactions (ed. Hakeem, K. R.) and Akhtar, M. S.), pp. 79–93. 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. (2016). Ancient 3,800-Year-Old Underwater Garden Discovered In The Pacific Northwest. 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 (1982). Teenage Prostitution and Child Pornography. 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
Hudson, N. (2017). Undocumented Latino Student Activists’ Funds of Knowledge: Transforming Social Movements.

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
Vecsey, G. (2010). Changeups Aren’t Part of Washington’s Repertory. New York Times B16.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Sloggett, 2013).
This sentence cites two references (Freiwald and Tsao, 2010; Sloggett, 2013).

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

  • Two authors: (Freiwald and Tsao, 2010)
  • Three or more authors: (Martin et al., 2014)

About the journal

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

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