How to format your references using the Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews (MMBR). 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
French C. 2010. Archaeology. People, societies, and landscapes. Science 328:443–444.
A journal article with 2 authors
Sepúlveda J, Murray C. 2014. The state of global health in 2014. Science 345:1275–1278.
A journal article with 3 authors
Clutton-Brock TH, Coulson T, Milner JM. 2004. Red deer stocks in the Highlands of Scotland. Nature 429:261–262.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Tzallas P, Charalambidis D, Papadogiannis NA, Witte K, Tsakiris GD. 2003. Direct observation of attosecond light bunching. Nature 426:267–271.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Robson Wright M. 2005. An Introduction to Chemical Kinetics. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK.
An edited book
2014. Multibody Dynamics: Computational Methods and Applications. Springer International Publishing, Cham.
A chapter in an edited book
Bonate PL. 2016. Controversies in Oncology: Size Based vs. Fixed Dosing, p. 59–76. In Bonate, PL, Howard, DR (eds.), Pharmacokinetics in Drug Development: Problems and Challenges in Oncology, Volume 4. Springer International Publishing, Cham.

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 Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews.

Blog post
Andrew E. 2016. Do You Even Lift? Why Lifting Weights Is More Important For Your Health Than You Think. IFLScience. 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. 1976. Problems Associated With D.C. Public Schools Payroll Reporting System. 089538. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Remon G. 2010. Not Here Not Now. Doctoral dissertation, California State University, Long Beach, Long Beach, CA.

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
Wagner J. 2016. Yankees Trade McCann to the Astros. New York Times.

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by sequential numbers in parentheses:

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 titleMicrobiology and Molecular Biology Reviews
AbbreviationMicrobiol. Mol. Biol. Rev.
ISSN (print)1092-2172
ISSN (online)1098-5557
ScopeMolecular Biology
General Immunology and Microbiology

Other styles