How to format your references using the Metabolites citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Metabolites. 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
Smaglik, P. Bricks and Mortar. Arizona Plots a Course. Nature 2004, 428, 782.
A journal article with 2 authors
Patrinos, A.A.N.; Bradley, R.A. Environment. Energy and Technology Policies for Managing Carbon Risk. Science 2009, 325, 949–950.
A journal article with 3 authors
Berciu, M.; Rappoport, T.G.; Jankó, B. Manipulating Spin and Charge in Magnetic Semiconductors Using Superconducting Vortices. Nature 2005, 435, 71–75.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Li, D.; Zhao, R.; Lilyestrom, W.; Gai, D.; Zhang, R.; DeCaprio, J.A.; Fanning, E.; Jochimiak, A.; Szakonyi, G.; Chen, X.S. Structure of the Replicative Helicase of the Oncoprotein SV40 Large Tumour Antigen. Nature 2003, 423, 512–518.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Ehrlich, E.; Fanelli, D. The Financial Services Marketing Handbook; John Wiley & Sons, Inc.: Hoboken, NJ, 2012; ISBN 9781118531716.
An edited book
Max, M.D. Exploration and Production of Oceanic Natural Gas Hydrate: Critical Factors for Commercialization; Johnson, A.H., Ed.; Springer International Publishing: Cham, 2016; ISBN 9783319433844.
A chapter in an edited book
Capasso, F. Preparazione e Conservazione Delle Droghe Vegetali. In Farmacognosia: Botanica, chimica e farmacologia delle piante medicinali; Capasso, F., Ed.; Springer: Milano, 2011; pp. 33–37 ISBN 9788847016514.

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 Metabolites.

Blog post
Andrew, E. Stories From The Sky: Astronomy In Indigenous Knowledge (accessed on 30 October 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 Next Generation Air Transportation System: Preliminary Analysis of the Joint Planning and Development Office’s Planning, Progress, and Challenges; U.S. Government Printing Office: Washington, DC, 2006;

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Ochse, A.R. Targeted Killing, Drones and International Law: How U.S. Practice Is Shaping International Law. Doctoral dissertation, George Washington University: Washington, DC, 2013.

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
Schwartz, J. Exxon’s Unlikely Enemy. New York Times 2016, D1.

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 titleMetabolites
ISSN (online)2218-1989
Molecular Biology
Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

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