How to format your references using the Developmental Cell citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Developmental Cell. 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.
EndNoteFind the style here: output styles overview
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
Chou, C.-P. (2014). Network robustness: detecting topological quantum phases. Sci. Rep. 4, 7526.
A journal article with 2 authors
Kidner, C.A., and Martienssen, R.A. (2004). Spatially restricted microRNA directs leaf polarity through ARGONAUTE1. Nature 428, 81–84.
A journal article with 3 authors
del Campo, A., Boshier, M.G., and Saxena, A. (2014). Bent waveguides for matter-waves: supersymmetric potentials and reflectionless geometries. Sci. Rep. 4, 5274.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Germano, G., Lamba, S., Rospo, G., Barault, L., Magrì, A., Maione, F., Russo, M., Crisafulli, G., Bartolini, A., Lerda, G., et al. (2017). Inactivation of DNA repair triggers neoantigen generation and impairs tumour growth. Nature 552, 116–120.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Bernatz, R.A. (2010). Fourier Series and Numerical Methods for Partial Differential Equations (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.).
An edited book
(2016). Quantitative Psychology Research: The 80th Annual Meeting of the Psychometric Society, Beijing, 2015 (Cham: Springer International Publishing).
A chapter in an edited book
Falcone, Y., Fernandez, J.-C., and Mounier, L. (2009). Runtime Verification of Safety-Progress Properties. In Runtime Verification: 9th International Workshop, RV 2009, Grenoble, France, June 26-28, 2009. Selected Papers, S. Bensalem, and D.A. Peled, eds. (Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer), pp. 40–59.

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 Cell.

Blog post
Carpineti, A. (2016). Earth-Sized Radio Telescope Spies A Star Falling Into Black Hole (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 (1977). Potential Problems That Should Be Considered in Evaluating the Experimental Technology Incentives Program (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
Gravano, A. (2009). Turn-taking and affirmative cue words in task-oriented dialogue. Doctoral dissertation. Columbia University.

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
Powell, M. (2017). Two Teams Diverge on a Common Path. New York Times B8.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Bers, 2002).
This sentence cites two references (Gammon, 2013; Tymoczko, 2006).

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

  • Two authors: (Kidner and Martienssen, 2004)
  • Three or more authors: (Meehl et al., 2005)

About the journal

Full journal titleDevelopmental Cell
AbbreviationDev. Cell
ISSN (print)1534-5807
ISSN (online)1878-1551
ScopeDevelopmental Biology

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