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
Eisenstein M. Big data: The power of petabytes. Nature 2015; 527:S2-4.
A journal article with 2 authors
Cafaro J, Rieke F. Noise correlations improve response fidelity and stimulus encoding. Nature 2010; 468:964–7.
A journal article with 3 authors
Xu Y, Ramu Y, Lu Z. Removal of phospho-head groups of membrane lipids immobilizes voltage sensors of K+ channels. Nature 2008; 451:826–9.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Ishii D, Horiguchi H, Hirai Y, Yabu H, Matsuo Y, Ijiro K, Tsujii K, Shimozawa T, Hariyama T, Shimomura M. Water transport mechanism through open capillaries analyzed by direct surface modifications on biological surfaces. Sci Rep 2013; 3:3024.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Chu PP. RTL Hardware Design Using VHDL. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; 2006.
An edited book
Habib G, editor. Infective Endocarditis: Epidemiology, Diagnosis, Imaging, Therapy, and Prevention. Cham: Springer International Publishing; 2016.
A chapter in an edited book
Yoo Y, Hwang I, Choi S. Consonance Perception of Vibrotactile Chords: A Feasibility Study. In: Cooper EW, Kryssanov VV, Ogawa H, Brewster S, editors. Haptic and Audio Interaction Design: 6th International Workshop, HAID 2011, Kusatsu, Japan, August 25-26, 2011. Proceedings. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer; 2011. page 42–51.

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
Carpineti A. Tiny Satellites Discover Biggest Stellar Heartbeat. IFLScience2017;


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. GAO Reviews of USDA Biotechnology Research Efforts and Regulatory Programs and Activities. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 1986.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Morgan AJ. Analyzing Red and Gray Stages of Bark Beetle Attack in the San Bernardino National Forest Using Remote Sensing. 2017;

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
Murphy MJO. Looking Back (and Learning From) ‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show.’ New York Times2016; :C22.

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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