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
Habib, S., 2001. Quantum physics. No mere anarchy. Science 293, 221–223.
A journal article with 2 authors
Popp, M.W., Maquat, L.E., 2015. RNA. A TRICK’n way to see the pioneer round of translation. Science 347, 1316–1317.
A journal article with 3 authors
Maffione, M., Morris, A., Anderson, M.W., 2013. Recognizing detachment-mode seafloor spreading in the deep geological past. Sci. Rep. 3, 2336.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Monnin, E., Indermühle, A., Dällenbach, A., Flückiger, J., Stauffer, B., Stocker, T.F., Raynaud, D., Barnola, J.M., 2001. Atmospheric CO2 concentrations over the last glacial termination. Science 291, 112–114.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Kirwan, M.J., 2013. Handbook of Paper and Paperboard Packaging Technology. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Oxford.
An edited book
Khare, M., 2007. Artificial Neural Networks in Vehicular Pollution Modelling, Studies in Computational Intelligence. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.
A chapter in an edited book
Chiarugi, F., Colantonio, S., Emmanouilidou, D., Moroni, D., Salvetti, O., 2008. Biomedical Signal and Image Processing for Decision Support in Heart Failure, in: Perner, P., Salvetti, O. (Eds.), Advances in Mass Data Analysis of Images and Signals in Medicine, Biotechnology, Chemistry and Food Industry: Third International Conference, MDA 2008 Leipzig, Germany, July 14, 2008 Proceedings, Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, pp. 38–51.

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. Why Are Women Stripy? [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, 2003. Information Technology: Homeland Security Needs to Improve Entry Exit System Expenditure Planning (No. GAO-03-563). 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
Smith, T., 2012. Outsider leadership transitions: A phenomenological study of Army Reserve General Officers (Doctoral dissertation). University of Phoenix, Phoenix, 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
Walsh, M.W., Corkery, M., 2015. Senate Panel Seeks More Details About Puerto Rico’s Debt and Long-Term Needs. New York Times B4.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Habib, 2001).
This sentence cites two references (Habib, 2001; Popp and Maquat, 2015).

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

  • Two authors: (Popp and Maquat, 2015)
  • Three or more authors: (Monnin et al., 2001)

About the journal

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

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