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
Butler D. 2005. Parasitology: Triple genome triumph. Nature 436:337.
A journal article with 2 authors
Yin J, Boyce MC. 2015. Materials science: Unique wrinkles as identity tags. Nature 520:164–165.
A journal article with 3 authors
Liang Y, Wu D, Fu R. 2013. Carbon microfibers with hierarchical porous structure from electrospun fiber-like natural biopolymer. Sci Rep 3:1119.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Siveter DJ, Sutton MD, Briggs DEG, Siveter DJ. 2004. A Silurian sea spider. Nature 431:978–980.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Alrifai T. 2015. Islamic Finance and the New Financial System. John Wiley & Sons Singapore Pte. Ltd, Singapore.
An edited book
2005. Positive Prevention: Reducing HIV Transmission among People Living with HIV/AIDS. Springer US, Boston, MA.
A chapter in an edited book
Fong J, Mok WY, Li H. 2011. Design Non-recursive and Redundant-Free XML Conceptual Schema with Hypergraph (Extended Abstract), p. 40–52. In Xu, J, Yu, G, Zhou, S, Unland, R (eds.), Database Systems for Adanced Applications: 16th International Conference, DASFAA 2011, International Workshops: GDB, SIM3, FlashDB, SNSMW, DaMEN, DQIS, Hong Kong, China, April 22-25, 2011. Proceedings. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

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
Hale T. 2017. Bronze Dildos And Jade Butt Plugs Show Life And Death In Ancient China. IFLScience. IFLScience. Retrieved 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. 2000. VA Student Financial Aid: Potential Effect of Providing Education Tax Benefit Eligibility to Students Receiving VA Assistance. HEHS-00-40R. 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
Lanza KM. 2008. The antecedents of automotive brand loyalty and repurchase intentions. Doctoral dissertation. University of Phoenix, Phoenix, AZ.

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
Ketner L. 2009. Quotation of the Day. 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