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.
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
Mackas, D.L. (2011). Does blending of chlorophyll data bias temporal trend? Nature 472, E4-5; discussion E8-9. .
A journal article with 2 authors
Knudsen, B.M., and Andersen, S.B. (2001). Geophysics. Longitudinal variation in springtime ozone trends. Nature 413, 699–700. .
A journal article with 3 authors
Gneezy, U., Keenan, E.A., and Gneezy, A. (2014). Behavioral economics. Avoiding overhead aversion in charity. Science 346, 632–635. .
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Degroote, P., Aerts, C., Baglin, A., Miglio, A., Briquet, M., Noels, A., Niemczura, E., Montalban, J., Bloemen, S., Oreiro, R., et al. (2010). Deviations from a uniform period spacing of gravity modes in a massive star. Nature 464, 259–261. .

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Tattar, P.N., Ramaiah, S., and Manjunath, B.G. (2016). A Course in Statistics With R (Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd).
An edited book
(2014). Handbook of Anticancer Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics (New York, NY: Springer).
A chapter in an edited book
Puviani, M., Cabri, G., Capodieci, N., and Leonardi, L. (2015). Building Self-adaptive Systems by Adaptation Patterns Integrated into Agent Methodologies. In Agents and Artificial Intelligence: 7th International Conference, ICAART 2015, Lisbon, Portugal, January 10-12, 2015, Revised Selected Papers, B. Duval, J. van den Herik, S. Loiseau, and J. Filipe, eds. (Cham: Springer International Publishing), pp. 58–75.

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
Luntz, S. (2015). New York Males Have More Aggressive Sperm (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 (1989). Federal Research: Determination of the Best Qualified Sites for DOE’s Super Collider (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
Skiold-Hanlin, S. (2015). Functional and Ecological Aspects of the Mucus Trails of the Freshwater Gastropod Elimia potosiensis. Doctoral dissertation. Southern Illinois 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
Forsythe, M., and Stevenson, A. (2017). Chief of Chinese Firm Is Detained. New York Times B1. .

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Mackas, 2011).
This sentence cites two references (Knudsen and Andersen, 2001; Mackas, 2011).

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

  • Two authors: (Knudsen and Andersen, 2001)
  • Three or more authors: (Degroote et al., 2010)

About the journal

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

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