How to format your references using the Developmental Biology citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Developmental Biology. 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
Conrad, J., 2015. Reproducibility: Don’t cry wolf. Nature 523, 27–28.
A journal article with 2 authors
Wickware, P., Smaglik, P., 2001. Labs and companies seek their niches as work continues after the draft. Nature 409, 961–963.
A journal article with 3 authors
Jaffer, H., Adjei, I.M., Labhasetwar, V., 2013. Optical imaging to map blood-brain barrier leakage. Sci. Rep. 3, 3117.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Chen, D., Cane, M.A., Kaplan, A., Zebiak, S.E., Huang, D., 2004. Predictability of El Niño over the past 148 years. Nature 428, 733–736.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Courant, R., McShane, E.J., 1988. Differential and Integral Calculus. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ.
An edited book
Cao, Y., 2015. Radiation-Tolerant Delta-Sigma Time-to-Digital Converters, Analog Circuits and Signal Processing. Springer International Publishing, Cham.
A chapter in an edited book
Li, J., Huang, W., 2014. Extension and Generalization of the EMMS Principle, in: Huang, W. (Ed.), Towards Mesoscience: The Principle of Compromise in Competition, SpringerBriefs in Applied Sciences and Technology. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, pp. 33–44.

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 Developmental Biology.

Blog post
Andrew, E., 2014. Exozodiacal Light Could Hinder Direct Imaging of Earth-Like Exoplanets [WWW Document]. IFLScience. URL (accessed 10.30.18).


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, 2014. Information Technology: HUD Can Take Additional Actions to Improve Its Governance (No. GAO-15-56). U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Arendt, K.R., 2015. Symbiosis establishment and ecological effects of endohyphal bacteria on foliar fungi (Doctoral dissertation). University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ.

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
Shear, M.D., 2017. How White House Officials Explained That 18-Day Wait. New York Times A20.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Conrad, 2015).
This sentence cites two references (Conrad, 2015; Wickware and Smaglik, 2001).

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

  • Two authors: (Wickware and Smaglik, 2001)
  • Three or more authors: (Chen et al., 2004)

About the journal

Full journal titleDevelopmental Biology
AbbreviationDev. Biol.
ISSN (print)0012-1606
ScopeCell Biology
Developmental Biology
Molecular Biology

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