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

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Journal of Molecular Cell Biology (JMCB). 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
Grenier, I.A. (2000). Gamma-ray astronomy. A needle in a cosmic haystack. Nature 404, 344–345.
A journal article with 2 authors
Zhou, S., and Bongiorno, A. (2013). Origin of the chemical and kinetic stability of graphene oxide. Sci. Rep. 3, 2484.
A journal article with 3 authors
Isaacs, F.J. et al. (2005). Molecular biology. Signal processing in single cells. Science 307, 1886–1888.
A journal article with 3 or more authors
Dai, Z. et al. (2014). Detection of the Three Gorges Dam influence on the Changjiang (Yangtze River) submerged delta. Sci. Rep. 4, 6600.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Pike, A. (2015). Origination Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
An edited book
N.W. Paton et al. (eds) (2009). Data Integration in the Life Sciences: 6th International Workshop, DILS 2009, Manchester, UK, July 20-22, 2009. Proceedings Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Scheinman, V., and McCarthy, J.M. (2008). Mechanisms and Actuation. In: Springer Handbook of Robotics, B. Siciliano, and O. Khatib (eds). Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer, 67–86.

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 Cell Biology.

Blog post
Hamilton, K. (2016). Why We Need To Pay More Attention To Negative Clinical Trials. IFLScience.


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 (1992). Law Enforcement: Information on the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Gang Reporting, Evaluation, and Tracking System Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Emmerling-Baker, D. (2017). A Qualitative Interpretive Phenomenological Study of K5 Teacher Perceptions of Classroom Empathy Instruction. Doctoral dissertation. Northcentral University.

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
David Goodman, J., and White, R. (2015). 2nd Victim Found in Rubble of Brooklyn Building That Exploded. New York Times A26.

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by name and year in parentheses:

This sentence cites one reference (Grenier, 2000).
This sentence cites two references (Grenier, 2000; Zhou and Bongiorno, 2013).

Here are examples of in-text citations with multiple authors:

  • Two authors: (Zhou and Bongiorno, 2013)
  • Three or more authors: (Dai et al., 2014)

About the journal

Full journal titleJournal of Molecular Cell Biology
AbbreviationJ. Mol. Cell Biol.
ISSN (print)1674-2788
ISSN (online)1759-4685
ScopeCell Biology
Molecular Biology
General Medicine

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