How to format your references using the Molecular BioSystems citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Molecular BioSystems. 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
R. J. Marquis, Science, 2004, 305, 619–621.
A journal article with 2 authors
M. R. Showalter and J. J. Lissauer, Science, 2006, 311, 973–977.
A journal article with 3 authors
Y. H. Soung, K. Pruitt and J. Chung, Sci. Rep., 2014, 4, 3846.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Y. Sun, R. Olson, M. Horning, N. Armstrong, M. Mayer and E. Gouaux, Nature, 2002, 417, 245–253.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
H. R. Denny and S. J. Butterworth, A Guide to Canine and Feline Orthopaedic Surgery, Blackwell Science Ltd, Oxford, UK, 2008.
An edited book
O. G. Mouritsen, LIFE - AS A MATTER OF FAT: Lipids in a Membrane Biophysics Perspective, Springer International Publishing, Cham, 2nd ed. 2016., 2016.
A chapter in an edited book
A. M. Scheffers and D. H. Kelletat, in Lakes of the World with Google Earth: Understanding our Environment, ed. D. H. Kelletat, Springer International Publishing, Cham, 2016, pp. 181–241.

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 BioSystems.

Blog post
E. Andrew, Elephants May Have The Best Sense Of Smell Documented To Date,, (accessed 30 October 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, Federal Research: Additional Funds for Terminating the Super Collider Are Not Justified, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 1994.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
R. N. Williams, Doctoral dissertation, Capella University, 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
J. Williams, New York Times, 2017, C6.

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 titleMolecular BioSystems
AbbreviationMol. Biosyst.
ISSN (print)1742-206X
ISSN (online)1742-2051
Molecular Biology

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