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
H.H. Kampinga, Molecular biology: It takes two to untangle, Nature. 524 (2015) 169–170.
A journal article with 2 authors
M.M. Smith, Z. Johanson, Separate evolutionary origins of teeth from evidence in fossil jawed vertebrates, Science. 299 (2003) 1235–1236.
A journal article with 3 authors
S. Saavedra, F. Reed-Tsochas, B. Uzzi, A simple model of bipartite cooperation for ecological and organizational networks, Nature. 457 (2009) 463–466.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
A. Mateja, A. Szlachcic, M.E. Downing, M. Dobosz, M. Mariappan, R.S. Hegde, R.J. Keenan, The structural basis of tail-anchored membrane protein recognition by Get3, Nature. 461 (2009) 361–366.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
D.F. Taber, Organic Synthesis: State of the 2005-2007, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, 2008.
An edited book
V. Gorodetsky, J. Liu, V.A. Skormin, eds., Autonomous Intelligent Systems: Agents and Data Mining: International Workshop, AIS-ADM 2005, St. Petersburg, Russia, June 6-8, 2005. Proceedings, Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 2005.
A chapter in an edited book
F. Li, R. Klette, Partitioning a Polygon or the Plane, in: R. Klette (Ed.), Euclidean Shortest Paths: Exact or Approximate Algorithms, Springer, London, 2011: pp. 127–169.

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
C. Carpineti, Incredible Footage Shows A Baby Being Born Via A “Natural C-Section,” 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, Health Care: National Strategy Needed to Accelerate the Implementation of Information Technology, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 2004.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
L.V. Davis, Oxidation Effects on the Magnetic Properties of Iron Phthalocyanine Thin Films, Doctoral dissertation, California State University, Long Beach, 2017.

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
C. Clarey, Halep Puts Up a Fight, but Williams Rolls On, New York Times. (2016) B13.

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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