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
Gravitz, L. Prevention: Tending the gut. Nature 2015, 521, S6-8.
A journal article with 2 authors
Xue, Y.; Sherman, D.H. Alternative modular polyketide synthase expression controls macrolactone structure. Nature 2000, 403, 571–575.
A journal article with 3 authors
Cwiok, S.; Heenen, P.-H.; Nazarewicz, W. Shape coexistence and triaxiality in the superheavy nuclei. Nature 2005, 433, 705–709.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Koekkoek, S.K.E.; Hulscher, H.C.; Dortland, B.R.; Hensbroek, R.A.; Elgersma, Y.; Ruigrok, T.J.H.; De Zeeuw, C.I. Cerebellar LTD and learning-dependent timing of conditioned eyelid responses. Science 2003, 301, 1736–1739.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Johnson Jr. MD, W.H.; Moller MD, J.H. Pediatric Cardiology; John Wiley & Sons, Ltd: Chichester, UK, 2014; ISBN 9781118503379.
An edited book
Cultural Robotics: First International Workshop, CR 2015, Held as Part of IEEE RO-MAN 2015, Kobe, Japan, August 31, 2015. Revised Selected Papers; Koh, J.T.K.V., Dunstan, B.J., Silvera-Tawil, D., Velonaki, M., Eds.; Lecture Notes in Computer Science; Springer International Publishing: Cham, 2016; Vol. 9549; ISBN 9783319429441.
A chapter in an edited book
Edge, D.; Blackwell, A.F. Peripheral Tangible Interaction. In Peripheral Interaction: Challenges and Opportunities for HCI in the Periphery of Attention; Bakker, S., Hausen, D., Selker, T., Eds.; Human–Computer Interaction Series; Springer International Publishing: Cham, 2016; pp. 65–93 ISBN 9783319295213.

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
Hale, T. Couple Wake Up To Find An Unexpected Guest On Their Porch Available online: (accessed on Oct 30, 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 FAA Oversight of Procedures and Technologies to Prevent and Mitigate the Effects of Dense, Continuous Smoke in the Cockpit; U.S. Government Printing Office: Washington, DC, 2013;

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Nguyen, M.S. Solid families: Community-based program for pregnant and parenting adolescents. Doctoral dissertation, California State University, Long Beach: Long Beach, CA, 2009.

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
McKINLEY, J.C., Jr Prosecutors Drop Charges Against a Bronx Teenager. New York Times 2017, A20.

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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