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
Bordignon, C., 2006. Stem-cell therapies for blood diseases. Nature 441, 1100–1102.
A journal article with 2 authors
Mas-Ballesté, R., Que, L., Jr, 2006. Chemistry. Targeting specific C-H bonds for oxidation. Science 312, 1885–1886.
A journal article with 3 authors
Morris, M., Uchida, K., Do, T., 2006. A magnetic torsional wave near the Galactic Centre traced by a “double helix” nebula. Nature 440, 308–310.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Dil, H., Lobo-Checa, J., Laskowski, R., Blaha, P., Berner, S., Osterwalder, J., Greber, T., 2008. Surface trapping of atoms and molecules with dipole rings. Science 319, 1824–1826.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Knight, H.J., 2012. Patent Strategy. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK.
An edited book
George, A.M. (Ed.), 2016. ABC Transporters - 40 Years on. Springer International Publishing, Cham.
A chapter in an edited book
Pannocchia, G., 2015. Distributed Model Predictive Control, in: Baillieul, J., Samad, T. (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Systems and Control. Springer, London, pp. 301–308.

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
O`Callaghan, J., 2015. Don’t Miss The “Blood Moon” Eclipse Later This Month [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, 2006. Active Commuter Rail Agency Service Contracts (No. GAO-06-820R). 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
Azios, M., 2017. The College Experience of Stuttering: An Ethnographic Study (Doctoral dissertation). University of Louisiana, Lafayette, LA.

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
Conte, L., 2011. Scouting Report. New York Times E5.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Bordignon, 2006).
This sentence cites two references (Bordignon, 2006; Mas-Ballesté and Que, 2006).

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

  • Two authors: (Mas-Ballesté and Que, 2006)
  • Three or more authors: (Dil et al., 2008)

About the journal

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

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