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
Farr, N.L. Questioning placebo controls. Science 2000, 288, 1747c.
A journal article with 2 authors
Kosaka, Y.; Xie, S.-P. Recent global-warming hiatus tied to equatorial Pacific surface cooling. Nature 2013, 501, 403–407.
A journal article with 3 authors
Ledderose, J.; Dieter, S.; Schwarz, M.K. Maturation of postnatally generated olfactory bulb granule cells depends on functional γ-protocadherin expression. Sci. Rep. 2013, 3, 1514.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Waters, M.R.; Stafford, T.W., Jr; McDonald, H.G.; Gustafson, C.; Rasmussen, M.; Cappellini, E.; Olsen, J.V.; Szklarczyk, D.; Jensen, L.J.; Gilbert, M.T.P.; et al. Pre-Clovis mastodon hunting 13,800 years ago at the Manis site, Washington. Science 2011, 334, 351–353.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Kay, R. Statistical Thinking for Non-Statisticians in Drug Regulation; John Wiley & Sons, Ltd: Oxford, 2014; ISBN 9781118470961.
An edited book
Optical Measurements, Modeling, and Metrology, Volume 5: Proceedings of the 2011 Annual Conference on Experimental and Applied Mechanics; Proulx, T., Ed.; Conference Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Mechanics Series; Springer: New York, NY, 2011; ISBN 9781461402275.
A chapter in an edited book
Katz, M.; Shaikovsky, I. Rich Input and Select Components. In Practical RichFaces; Shaikovsky, I., Ed.; Apress: Berkeley, CA, 2011; pp. 95–132 ISBN 9781430234494.

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
Andrew, E. Scientist Spotlight: Barbara McClintock 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 ADP Systems: Concerns About the Acquisition Plan for DOD’s Composite Health Care System; U.S. Government Printing Office: Washington, DC, 1986;

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Arendse, E.M. A textual Caribbean: Voices of the multitude in Junot Díaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. Doctoral dissertation, California State University, Long Beach: Long Beach, CA, 2014.

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
Greenhouse, L. Justices Narrow Money-Laundering Law. New York Times 2008, A15.

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

Other styles