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
Thomas, J.M., 2012. Centenary: The birth of X-ray crystallography. Nature 491, 186–187.
A journal article with 2 authors
Olsen, S.R., Wilson, R.I., 2008. Lateral presynaptic inhibition mediates gain control in an olfactory circuit. Nature 452, 956–960.
A journal article with 3 authors
Schummers, J., Yu, H., Sur, M., 2008. Tuned responses of astrocytes and their influence on hemodynamic signals in the visual cortex. Science 320, 1638–1643.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Milner, J.J., Toma, C., Yu, B., Zhang, K., Omilusik, K., Phan, A.T., Wang, D., Getzler, A.J., Nguyen, T., Crotty, S., Wang, W., Pipkin, M.E., Goldrath, A.W., 2017. Runx3 programs CD8+ T cell residency in non-lymphoid tissues and tumours. Nature 552, 253–257.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Leibowitz, M.L., Bova, A., Hammond, P.B., 2010. The Endowment Model of Investing. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ.
An edited book
Dundas, B.I., Levine, M., Østvær, P.A., Röndigs, O., Voevodsky, V. (Eds.), 2007. Motivic Homotopy Theory: Lectures at a Summer School in Nordfjordeid, Norway, August 2002, Universitext. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.
A chapter in an edited book
Ki, D.-H., Jung, Y.-D., 2012. Atomic Processes in Dusty Plasmas, in: Shevelko, V., Tawara, H. (Eds.), Atomic Processes in Basic and Applied Physics, Springer Series on Atomic, Optical, and Plasma Physics. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, pp. 103–121.

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., 2015. Vitamin Pills Could Increase Cancer Risk [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, 2007. Higher Education: Issues Related to Law School Accreditation (No. GAO-07-314). 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
Vaughan, L., 2008. Executive function in daily life: Age-related influences of executive processes on instrumental activities of daily living (Doctoral dissertation). University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC.

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
Vecsey, G., 2010. U.S. Loss Reveals a Shrinking Talent Gap. New York Times B13.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Thomas, 2012).
This sentence cites two references (Olsen and Wilson, 2008; Thomas, 2012).

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

  • Two authors: (Olsen and Wilson, 2008)
  • Three or more authors: (Milner et al., 2017)

About the journal

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

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