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
Bassham DC. Plant biology: Pigments on the move. Nature 2015; 526:644–5.
A journal article with 2 authors
Clardy J, Walsh C. Lessons from natural molecules. Nature 2004; 432:829–37.
A journal article with 3 authors
Bazin E, Glémin S, Galtier N. Population size does not influence mitochondrial genetic diversity in animals. Science 2006; 312:570–2.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Johnson MW, Amin MHS, Gildert S, Lanting T, Hamze F, Dickson N, Harris R, Berkley AJ, Johansson J, Bunyk P, et al. Quantum annealing with manufactured spins. Nature 2011; 473:194–8.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Matthews GA. Pesticides. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd; 2015.
An edited book
Potegal M, Stemmler G, Spielberger C, editors. International Handbook of Anger: Constituent and Concomitant Biological, Psychological, and Social Processes. New York, NY: Springer; 2010.
A chapter in an edited book
Zauner K-P. From Prescriptive Programming of Solid-State Devices to Orchestrated Self-organisation of Informed Matter. In: Banâtre J-P, Fradet P, Giavitto J-L, Michel O, editors. Unconventional Programming Paradigms: International Workshop UPP 2004, Le Mont Saint Michel, France, September 15-17, 2004, Revised Selected and Invited Papers. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer; 2005. page 47–55.

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
Hamilton K. NASA To Use Hoverboard Technology To Control CubeSats In Space [Internet]. IFLScience2015 [cited 2018 Oct 30]; Available from:


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. Commuter Rail Service in Wisconsin and Illinois. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 1996.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Wilbur LJ. Perceptions of Missouri Public School Early Childhood Teachers and Administrators in Regard to Technology and Current Practices. 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
Pilon M. A Lawyer by Day, a Runner Always. New York Times2014; :B18.

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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