How to format your references using the Molecular and Cellular Biology citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB). 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
1.
Boyle E. 2002. Oceanography. Oceanic salt switch. Science 298:1724–1725.
A journal article with 2 authors
1.
Miller AI, Foote M. 2009. Epicontinental seas versus open-ocean settings: the kinetics of mass extinction and origination. Science 326:1106–1109.
A journal article with 3 authors
1.
Langmore NE, Hunt S, Kilner RM. 2003. Escalation of a coevolutionary arms race through host rejection of brood parasitic young. Nature 422:157–160.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
1.
Gu M, Xiao X-C, Liu G, Thevuthasan S, Baer DR, Zhang J-G, Liu J, Browning ND, Wang C-M. 2014. Mesoscale origin of the enhanced cycling-stability of the Si-conductive polymer anode for Li-ion batteries. Sci Rep 4:3684.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
1.
Afoakwa EO. 2016. Chocolate Science and Technology. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK.
An edited book
1.
2016. The 1940 Vrancea Earthquake. Issues, Insights and Lessons Learnt: Proceedings of the Symposium Commemorating 75 Years from November 10, 1940 Vrancea Earthquake1st ed. 2016. Springer International Publishing, Cham.
A chapter in an edited book
1.
Fishman LM, Wilkins AN. 2011. Treating Neurological Thoracic Outlet Syndrome Identified by a Provoked Electromyographic Sign: Analysis of the Data, p. 65–75. In Wilkins, AN (ed.), Functional Electromyography: Provocative Maneuvers in Electrodiagnosis. Springer US, Boston, MA.

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 Molecular and Cellular Biology.

Blog post
1.
Fang J. 2014. Cockatoos Learn How To Make and Use Tools From Each Other. IFLScience. IFLScience.

Reports

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
1.
Government Accountability Office. 2007. Telecommunications: GSA Has Accumulated Adequate Funding for Transition to New Contracts but Needs Cost Estimation Policy. GAO-07-268. 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
1.
Henning JN. 2014. Top ten effective community college board trustees self-perceived leadership attributes. Doctoral dissertation, Pepperdine University, Malibu, 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
1.
Murphy MJO. 2016. Ethel M. Smyth, Opera Composer, Met a Chorus of Critical Disdain in 1903. 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 titleMolecular and Cellular Biology
AbbreviationMol. Cell. Biol.
ISSN (print)0270-7306
ISSN (online)1098-5549
ScopeCell Biology
Molecular Biology

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