How to format your references using the Mobile Genetic Elements citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Mobile Genetic Elements. 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
Carthew RW. Molecular biology. A new RNA dimension to genome control. Science 2006; 313:305–6.
A journal article with 2 authors
Lippincott-Schwartz J, Patterson GH. Development and use of fluorescent protein markers in living cells. Science 2003; 300:87–91.
A journal article with 3 authors
Skourti-Stathaki K, Kamieniarz-Gdula K, Proudfoot NJ. R-loops induce repressive chromatin marks over mammalian gene terminators. Nature 2014; 516:436–9.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Kao RR, Gravenor MB, Baylis M, Bostock CJ, Chihota CM, Evans JC, Goldmann W, Smith AJA, McLean AR. The potential size and duration of an epidemic of bovine spongiform encephalopathy in British sheep. Science 2002; 295:332–5.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Duffy DJ. Introduction to C++ for Financial Engineers. Oxford, UK: John Wiley & Sons Ltd; 2006.
An edited book
Mathaudhu SN, Sillekens WH, Neelameggham NR, Hort N, editors. Magnesium Technology 2012. Cham: Springer International Publishing; 2016.
A chapter in an edited book
Yu CW-M, Velde C. The Changing Context of Business Education: Competency Requirements for the New Paradigm. In: Velde CR, editor. International Perspectives on Competence in the Workplace: Implications for Research, Policy and Practice. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands; 2009. page 57–85.

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 Mobile Genetic Elements.

Blog post
Andrew E. What On Earth Is This? IFLScience2015;


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. Space Programs: NASA’s Independent Cost Estimating Capability Needs Improvement. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 1992.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Dixon-Thompson TL. The relationship between the usage of a Computer Assisted Instructional (CAI) program, Ticket to Read (T2R) and reading achievement in third grade. 2015;

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
Brantley B. You Only Turn 40 One Time. New York Times2017; :C1.

In-text citations

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

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 titleMobile Genetic Elements
AbbreviationMob. Genet. Elements
ISSN (print)2159-2543
ISSN (online)2159-256X

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