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
Chang HY. 2009. Anatomic demarcation of cells: genes to patterns. Science 326:1206–1207.
A journal article with 2 authors
Sato M, Sato K. 2011. Degradation of paternal mitochondria by fertilization-triggered autophagy in C. elegans embryos. Science 334:1141–1144.
A journal article with 3 authors
Bruhn D, Groebner N, Kohlstedt DL. 2000. An interconnected network of core-forming melts produced by shear deformation. Nature 403:883–886.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Xiang Y, Meng S, Wang J, Li S, Liu J, Li H, Li T, Song W, Zhou W. 2014. Two novel DNA motifs are essential for BACE1 gene transcription. Sci Rep 4:6864.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Saleh JH, Castet J-F. 2011. Spacecraft Reliability and Multi-State Failures. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK.
An edited book
2011. Advances in Distributed Agent-Based Retrieval Tools. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.
A chapter in an edited book
Miglinaitė R. 2015. Global Civil Society as a Humanitarian Actor: Constituting a Right of Humanitarian Assistance, p. 71–87. In Gibbons, P, Heintze, H-J (eds.), The Humanitarian Challenge: 20 Years European Network on Humanitarian Action (NOHA). 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
Luntz S. 2014. DNA Scissors Can Perform Surgery On Your Genes. 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. 1990. Treasury ADP Procurement: Contracting and Market Share Information. IMTEC-91-8FS. 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
Bravo D. 2013. Parents’ perspectives of undocumented students’ transition from high school. 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
Vecsey G. 2014. An Alluring Summer Song, Echoed Through Eight World Cups. 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