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
Gophna, U. (2011). Microbiology. The guts of dietary habits. Science 334, 45–46.
A journal article with 2 authors
Kelley, L.A., and Endler, J.A. (2012). Illusions promote mating success in great bowerbirds. Science 335, 335–338.
A journal article with 3 authors
Hiraga, T. et al. (2004). Grain boundaries as reservoirs of incompatible elements in the Earth’s mantle. Nature 427, 699–703.
A journal article with 3 or more authors
Baptiste, K.E. et al. (2000). A function for guttural pouches in the horse. Nature 403, 382–383.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Orchin, M. et al. (2005). The Vocabulary and Concepts of Organic Chemistry Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
G. Rehm, and H. Uszkoreit (eds) (2012). The Norwegian Language in the Digital Age: Bokmalsversjon Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Eldib, H. et al. (2014). SMT-Based Verification of Software Countermeasures against Side-Channel Attacks. In: Tools and Algorithms for the Construction and Analysis of Systems: 20th International Conference, TACAS 2014, Held as Part of the European Joint Conferences on Theory and Practice of Software, ETAPS 2014, Grenoble, France, April 5-13, 2014. Proceedings, E. Ábrahám, and K. Havelund (eds). Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer, 62–77.

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
Andrew, E. (2015). DARPA Wants to Genetically Engineer Organisms to Terraform Mars. 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 (1991). Telecommunications: GSA Should Improve Oversight of Small Business Contracting 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
Childers, J.W. (2017). Evaluating parental opinions of healthy snack guidelines for youth soccer. Doctoral dissertation. California State University, Long Beach.

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
Wines, M., and Bidgood, J. (2014). Waters Warm, and Cod Catch Ebbs in Maine. New York Times A1.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Gophna, 2011).
This sentence cites two references (Gophna, 2011; Kelley and Endler, 2012).

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

  • Two authors: (Kelley and Endler, 2012)
  • Three or more authors: (Baptiste et al., 2000)

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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