How to format your references using the Differentiation citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Differentiation. 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
Harnad, S., 2001. The self-archiving initiative. Nature 410, 1024–1025.
A journal article with 2 authors
Salazar-Ciudad, I., Marín-Riera, M., 2013. Adaptive dynamics under development-based genotype-phenotype maps. Nature 497, 361–364.
A journal article with 3 authors
True, H.L., Berlin, I., Lindquist, S.L., 2004. Epigenetic regulation of translation reveals hidden genetic variation to produce complex traits. Nature 431, 184–187.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Guarani, V., Deflorian, G., Franco, C.A., Krüger, M., Phng, L.-K., Bentley, K., Toussaint, L., Dequiedt, F., Mostoslavsky, R., Schmidt, M.H.H., Zimmermann, B., Brandes, R.P., Mione, M., Westphal, C.H., Braun, T., Zeiher, A.M., Gerhardt, H., Dimmeler, S., Potente, M., 2011. Acetylation-dependent regulation of endothelial Notch signalling by the SIRT1 deacetylase. Nature 473, 234–238.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Halstead, P., 2014. Two Oxen Ahead. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., Chichester, UK.
An edited book
Quirk, T.J., 2016. Excel 2016 for Biological and Life Sciences Statistics: A Guide to Solving Practical Problems, Excel for Statistics. Springer International Publishing, Cham.
A chapter in an edited book
Wilson, T.L., Rohlfs, K., Hüttemeister, S., 2013. Signal Processing and Receivers: Theory, in: Rohlfs, K., Hüttemeister, S. (Eds.), Tools of Radio Astronomy, Astronomy and Astrophysics Library. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, pp. 61–89.

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 Differentiation.

Blog post
Andrew, E., 2014. Watch The ESA’s Ariane 5 Rocket Launch Live! [WWW Document]. IFLScience. URL’s-ariane-5-rocket-launch-live/ (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, 1983. Telecommunications Security and Privacy (No. 122613). 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
Jones, G., 2009. The impact of song on repeated reading: An examination of comprehension, fluency, and engagement with texts of Hispanic second graders in a Title I urban school (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
Feeney, K., 2009. A Cafe That Caters. New York Times NJ9.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Harnad, 2001).
This sentence cites two references (Harnad, 2001; Salazar-Ciudad and Marín-Riera, 2013).

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

  • Two authors: (Salazar-Ciudad and Marín-Riera, 2013)
  • Three or more authors: (Guarani et al., 2011)

About the journal

Full journal titleDifferentiation
ISSN (print)0301-4681
ScopeCancer Research
Cell Biology
Developmental Biology
Molecular Biology

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