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

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Journal of Molecular 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.
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
M. McCarty, Discovering genes are made of DNA, Nature. 421 (2003) 406.
A journal article with 2 authors
M.A. Wulder, N.C. Coops, Satellites: Make Earth observations open access, Nature. 513 (2014) 30–31.
A journal article with 3 authors
Y. Lu, W. Wang, M.W. Kirschner, Specificity of the anaphase-promoting complex: a single-molecule study, Science. 348 (2015) 1248737.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
F.S. Cataliotti, S. Burger, C. Fort, P. Maddaloni, F. Minardi, A. Trombettoni, A. Smerzi, M. Inguscio, Josephson junction arrays with Bose-Einstein condensates, Science. 293 (2001) 843–846.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
B.M. Smirnov, Fundamentals of Ionized Gases, Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim, Germany, 2011.
An edited book
M.P. Wattjes, D. Fischer, eds., Neuromuscular Imaging, Springer, New York, NY, 2013.
A chapter in an edited book
S. Marsaudon, C. Bernard, D. Dietzel, C.V. Nguyen, A.M. Bonnot, J.-P. Aimé, R. Boisgard, Carbon Nanotubes as SPM Tips: Mechanical Properties of Nanotube Tips and Imaging, in: B. Bhushan, H. Fuchs, M. Tomitori (Eds.), Applied Scanning Probe Methods VIII: Scanning Probe Microscopy Techniques, Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 2008: pp. 137–181.

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 Molecular Biology.

Blog post
J. Davis, Chimpanzees Craft “Dipping Sticks” To Drink Hard To Reach Water, IFLScience. (2017). (accessed October 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, Why Is GAO Necessary and What Does It Hope To Accomplish?, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 1968.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
P.M. Tiedemann-Fuller, A descriptive Rorschach study of children who have experienced chronic complex abuse, Doctoral dissertation, Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2008.

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
J. Kanter, E.U. Moves to Set Up Military Training, New York Times. (2017) A6.

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 Molecular Biology
AbbreviationJ. Mol. Biol.
ISSN (print)0022-2836
ScopeMolecular Biology

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