How to format your references using the Journal of Developmental Biology citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Journal of Developmental Biology. 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
Benner, S.A. Chemistry. Redesigning Genetics. Science 2004, 306, 625–626.
A journal article with 2 authors
Pasteris, J.D.; Wopenka, B. Laser-Raman Spectroscopy: Images of the Earth’s Earliest Fossils? Nature 2002, 420, 476–477; discussion 477.
A journal article with 3 authors
Redhu, S.K.; Castronovo, M.; Nicholson, A.W. Digital Imprinting of RNA Recognition and Processing on a Self-Assembled Nucleic Acid Matrix. Sci. Rep. 2013, 3, 2550.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Ogden, S.K.; Fei, D.L.; Schilling, N.S.; Ahmed, Y.F.; Hwa, J.; Robbins, D.J. G Protein Galphai Functions Immediately Downstream of Smoothened in Hedgehog Signalling. Nature 2008, 456, 967–970.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Levene, M. An Introduction to Search Engines and Web Navigation; John Wiley & Sons, Inc.: Hoboken, NJ, 2010; ISBN 9780470874233.
An edited book
Computational Science and Its Applications – ICCSA 2013: 13th International Conference, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, June 24-27, 2013, Proceedings, Part I; Murgante, B., Misra, S., Carlini, M., Torre, C.M., Nguyen, H.-Q., Taniar, D., Apduhan, B.O., Gervasi, O., Eds.; Lecture Notes in Computer Science; Springer: Berlin, Heidelberg, 2013; Vol. 7971; ISBN 9783642396366.
A chapter in an edited book
Li, X.; Shannon, D.; Ghosh, I.; Ogawa, M.; Rajan, S.P.; Khurshid, S. Context-Sensitive Relevancy Analysis for Efficient Symbolic Execution. In Programming Languages and Systems: 6th Asian Symposium, APLAS 2008, Bangalore, India, December 9-11, 2008. Proceedings; Ramalingam, G., Ed.; Lecture Notes in Computer Science; Springer: Berlin, Heidelberg, 2008; pp. 36–52 ISBN 9783540893295.

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 Journal of Developmental Biology.

Blog post
Hamilton, K. Why Getting Babies Into Strict Routines Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up To Be Available online: (accessed on 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 Physical Infrastructure: Challenges and Investment Options for the Nation’s Infrastructure; U.S. Government Printing Office: Washington, DC, 2008;

Theses and dissertations

Theses including Ph.D. dissertations, Master's theses or Bachelor theses follow the basic format outlined below.

Doctoral dissertation
Wyers, M.L. An Investigation of Teacher Understanding and Perceptions of the Effectiveness of the Use of Learning Targets in the Classroom. Doctoral dissertation, Lindenwood University: St. Charles, MO, 2015.

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
Medina, J.; Pérez-Peña, R.; Schmidt, M.S.; Goodstein, L. Arms Stockpile Is Found in Home of Two Suspects. New York Times 2015, A1.

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by sequential numbers in square brackets:

This sentence cites one reference [1].
This sentence cites two references [1,2].
This sentence cites four references [1–4].

About the journal

Full journal titleJournal of Developmental Biology
AbbreviationJ. Dev. Biol.
ISSN (online)2221-3759

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