How to format your references using the Molecular Cancer citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Molecular Cancer. 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. Fields S. Molecular biology. Site-seeing by sequencing. Science. 2007;316:1441–2.
A journal article with 2 authors
1. Zhang Y, Kalderon D. Hedgehog acts as a somatic stem cell factor in the Drosophila ovary. Nature. 2001;410:599–604.
A journal article with 3 authors
1. Nishimune H, Sanes JR, Carlson SS. A synaptic laminin-calcium channel interaction organizes active zones in motor nerve terminals. Nature. 2004;432:580–7.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
1. Cheng H, Edwards RL, Broecker WS, Denton GH, Kong X, Wang Y, et al. Ice age terminations. Science. 2009;326:248–52.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
1. Morris SA. Food and Package Engineering. Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell; 2011.
An edited book
1. Amit M, Itskovitz-Eldor J, editors. Atlas of Human Pluripotent Stem Cells: Derivation and Culturing. Totowa, NJ: Humana Press; 2012.
A chapter in an edited book
1. de Borst R, Rethore J, Abellan M-A. A Precis Of Two-Scale Approaches For Fracture In Porous Media. In: Borst R de, Sadowski T, editors. Lecture Notes on Composite Materials: Current Topics and Achievements. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands; 2009. p. 149–71.

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 Cancer.

Blog post
1. Fang J. Polar Bears in Summer Low-Energy Modes Don’t Save That Much. IFLScience. IFLScience; 2015.


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. Why Performance of Automatic Voice Network (AUTOVON) Service Needs Improvement. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 1974 Sep. Report No.: B-169857.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
1. Espinoza M. A Latina’s educational attainment and her observations of foster youth’s educational struggles: A narrative [Doctoral dissertation]. [Long Beach, CA]: California State University, Long Beach; 2010.

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. Wilson M. In Chelsea Bombing Trial, a Lesson on How a Cellphone Becomes a Trigger. New York Times. 2017 Oct 10;A20.

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 Cancer
AbbreviationMol. Cancer
ISSN (online)1476-4598
ScopeCancer Research
Molecular Medicine

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