How to format your references using the EMBnet.journal citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for EMBnet.journal. 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
Alford MH (2003) Redistribution of energy available for ocean mixing by long-range propagation of internal waves. Nature 423 (6936), 159–162.
A journal article with 2 authors
Smith NGC and Eyre-Walker A (2002) Adaptive protein evolution in Drosophila. Nature 415 (6875), 1022–1024.
A journal article with 3 authors
Fedorov AV, Brierley CM, and Emanuel K (2010) Tropical cyclones and permanent El Niño in the early Pliocene epoch. Nature 463 (7284), 1066–1070.
A journal article with 6 or more authors
Soucek L, Whitfield J, Martins CP, Finch AJ, Murphy DJ, et al. (2008) Modelling Myc inhibition as a cancer therapy. Nature 455 (7213), 679–683.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Stewart JM (2001) Managing for World Class Safety John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ,.
An edited book
Van Gorp P and Engels G eds. (2016) Theory and Practice of Model Transformations: 9th International Conference, ICMT 2016, Held as Part of STAF 2016, Vienna, Austria, July 4-5, 2016, Proceedings Springer International Publishing, Cham,.
A chapter in an edited book
Díaz C and Martín F (2013) Using Molecular Reflectivity to Explore Reaction Dynamics at Metal Surfaces. In: Díez MuiñoR and BusnengoHF (eds) Dynamics of Gas-Surface Interactions: Atomic-level Understanding of Scattering Processes at Surfaces. Springer Series in Surface Sciences. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, Berlin, Heidelberg,pp. 75–100

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 EMBnet.journal.

Blog post
Andrew E (2015) Scientists Take First X-Ray Images Of Living Bacteria. IFLScience (accessed 30 October 2018).


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 (1998) Rail Transportation: Federal Railroad Administration’s Safety Programs 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
Maafi N (2017) Assessment of Volatile Metabolites for In Situ Detection of Fungal Decay of Wood.

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
Barron J (2016) Where Presidential Aspirations Are Finally Laid to Rest.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Alford, 2003).
This sentence cites two references (Alford, 2003; Smith and Eyre-Walker, 2002).

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

  • Two authors: (Smith and Eyre-Walker, 2002)
  • Three or more authors: (Soucek et al., 2008)

About the journal

Full journal titleEMBnet.journal
ISSN (online)2226-6089

Other styles