How to format your references using the Genetics citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Genetics. 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
McNally R. J., 2006 Psychology. Psychiatric casualties of war. Science 313: 923–924.
A journal article with 2 authors
Hor H., and M. Tafti, 2009 Physiology. How much sleep do we need? Science 325: 825–826.
A journal article with 3 authors
Molnar P., G. A. Houseman, and P. C. England, 2006 Earth science: palaeo-altimetry of Tibet. Nature 444: E4; discussion E4-5.
A journal article with 6 or more authors
Azevedo R. B. R., R. Lohaus, S. Srinivasan, K. K. Dang, and C. L. Burch, 2006 Sexual reproduction selects for robustness and negative epistasis in artificial gene networks. Nature 440: 87–90.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Heuer A., 2012 Der perfekte Tipp. Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim, Germany.
An edited book
Hofstede A. T., B. Benatallah, and H.-Y. Paik (Eds.), 2008 Business Process Management Workshops: BPM 2007 International Workshops, BPI, BPD, CBP, ProHealth, RefMod, semantics4ws, Brisbane, Australia, September 24, 2007, Revised Selected Papers. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.
A chapter in an edited book
Otnes R., A. Asterjadhi, P. Casari, M. Goetz, T. Husøy, et al., 2012 Logical Link Layer Topics, pp. 49–61 in Underwater Acoustic Networking Techniques, edited by Asterjadhi A., Casari P., Goetz M., Husøy T., Nissen I., et al. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

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 Genetics.

Blog post
Davis J., 2015 Endangered Sawfish Have Virgin Births. 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, 2013 National Science Foundation: Steps Taken to Improve Contracting Practices, but Opportunities Exist to Do More. 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
McCollough K. D., 2017 Applying Military Developments in Netcentricity to Civilian Emergency Management

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
Brantley B., 2016 Insanity Most Genteel. New York Times C1.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (McNally 2006).
This sentence cites two references (McNally 2006; Hor and Tafti 2009).

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

  • Two authors: (Hor and Tafti 2009)
  • Three or more authors: (Azevedo et al. 2006)

About the journal

Full journal titleGenetics
ISSN (print)0016-6731
ISSN (online)1943-2631

Other styles