How to format your references using the Molecular Biology Reports citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Molecular Biology Reports. 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.
EndNoteFind the style here: output styles overview
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
Gehrels T (2000) Brains, courage and integrity. Nature 404:335
A journal article with 2 authors
Tao FF, Salmeron M (2011) In situ studies of chemistry and structure of materials in reactive environments. Science 331:171–174
A journal article with 3 authors
Monthoux P, Pines D, Lonzarich GG (2007) Superconductivity without phonons. Nature 450:1177–1183
A journal article with 5 or more authors
Block BA, Jonsen ID, Jorgensen SJ, et al (2011) Tracking apex marine predator movements in a dynamic ocean. Nature 475:86–90

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
King AM (2011) Internal Control of Fixed Assets. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ
An edited book
Carreiro MM, Song Y-C, Wu J (2008) Ecology, Planning, and Management of Urban Forests: International Perspectives. Springer, New York, NY
A chapter in an edited book
Mao X, Hou F, Wu W (2015) Multi-Agent System Approach for Modeling and Supporting Software Crowdsourcing. In: Li W, Huhns MN, Tsai W-T, Wu W (eds) Crowdsourcing: Cloud-Based Software Development. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, pp 73–89

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 Biology Reports.

Blog post
Andrew D (2016) 6 Surprising Downsides Of Being Extremely Intelligent. In: IFLScience. Accessed 30 Oct 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 (1974) Improvement Needed In Documenting Computer Systems. 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
Stuehling AL (2017) “We Speak ‘Hola’ In School”: A Case Study of Global Education in a Partial-Immersion Spanish Preschool. Doctoral dissertation, Indiana University

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 (2016) Diverting, but No Need to Stop the Presses. New York Times C1

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by sequential numbers in square brackets:

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 Biology Reports
AbbreviationMol. Biol. Rep.
ISSN (print)0301-4851
ISSN (online)1573-4978
Molecular Biology
General Medicine

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