How to format your references using the Molecular Brain citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Molecular Brain. 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
1. Eisenstein M. Plant breeding: Discovery in a dry spell. Nature. 2013;501:S7-9.
A journal article with 2 authors
1. Kessler MA, Werner BT. Self-organization of sorted patterned ground. Science. 2003;299:380–3.
A journal article with 3 authors
1. Abramson J, Paz A, Philipson KD. Structural biology. It’s all in the symmetry. Science. 2012;335:669–70.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
1. Sun Q-Q, Wang L-H, Yang W, Zhou P, Wang P-F, Ding S-J, et al. Atomic scale investigation of a graphene nano-ribbon based high efficiency spin valve. Sci Rep. 2013;3:2921.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
1. Gywat O, Krenner HJ, Berezovsky J. Spins in Optically Active Quantum Dots. Weinheim, Germany: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA; 2009.
An edited book
1. Schubert H, Kuznetsov A, editors. Detection of Liquid Explosives and Flammable Agents in Connection with Terrorism. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands; 2008.
A chapter in an edited book
1. Amálio N, Kelsen P, Ma Q, Glodt C. Using VCL as an Aspect-Oriented Approach to Requirements Modelling. In: Katz S, Mezini M, Kienzle J, editors. Transactions on Aspect-Oriented Software Development VII: A Common Case Study for Aspect-Oriented Modeling. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer; 2010. p. 151–99.

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 Brain.

Blog post
1. Luntz S. New State of Matter Discovered [Internet]. IFLScience. IFLScience; 2014 [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
1. Government Accountability Office. Participation in the National School Lunch Program. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 1984 Mar. Report No.: RCED-84-132.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
1. Koval BC. Undergraduate Students in Paraprofessional Roles and their Use of Online Social Networks [Doctoral dissertation]. [Washington, DC]: George Washington University; 2016.

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. Kelly C. Physical Therapy and the Camaraderie of Healing. New York Times. 2009 Feb 17;D5.

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 Brain
AbbreviationMol. Brain
ISSN (online)1756-6606
ScopeMolecular Biology
Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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