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
Ruttimann, J., 2007. Cell mates. Nature 450, 756–757.
A journal article with 2 authors
O’Sullivan, D., Pearce, E.L., 2015. Immunology. Expanding the role of metabolism in T cells. Science 348, 976–977.
A journal article with 3 authors
Li, J., Sato, T., Kageyama, A., 2002. Repeated and sudden reversals of the dipole field generated by a spherical dynamo action. Science 295, 1887–1890.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Reimold, A.M., Iwakoshi, N.N., Manis, J., Vallabhajosyula, P., Szomolanyi-Tsuda, E., Gravallese, E.M., Friend, D., Grusby, M.J., Alt, F., Glimcher, L.H., 2001. Plasma cell differentiation requires the transcription factor XBP-1. Nature 412, 300–307.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Stoute, K., 2014. Help, I’m Rich! John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK.
An edited book
Brucker, P., 2006. Complex Scheduling, GOR ■ Publications. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.
A chapter in an edited book
Mavroudis, C., 2015. Coarctation of the Aorta, in: Mavroudis, C., Backer, C.L. (Eds.), Atlas of Pediatric Cardiac Surgery. Springer, London, pp. 73–82.

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. The Five Biggest Threats To Human Existence [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, 1996. Coast Guard’s Marine Safety Program Staffing (No. RCED-96-162R). 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
Harrison, A.B., 2012. Knowing the familiar (Doctoral dissertation). California State University, Long Beach, Long Beach, CA.

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
Otis, J., 2017. Staring Down Homelessness With a Wayfaring Spirit. New York Times A21.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Ruttimann, 2007).
This sentence cites two references (O’Sullivan and Pearce, 2015; Ruttimann, 2007).

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

  • Two authors: (O’Sullivan and Pearce, 2015)
  • Three or more authors: (Reimold 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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