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. Rogers JA. Journal club. A materials scientist comments on two methods for three-dimensional nanofabrication. Nature. 2010;467:9.
A journal article with 2 authors
1. Kiermaier E, Sixt M. IMMUNOLOGY. Fragmented communication between immune cells. Science. 2015;349:1055–6.
A journal article with 3 authors
1. Magavi SS, Leavitt BR, Macklis JD. Induction of neurogenesis in the neocortex of adult mice. Nature. 2000;405:951–5.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
1. Leroy EM, Kumulungui B, Pourrut X, Rouquet P, Hassanin A, Yaba P, et al. Fruit bats as reservoirs of Ebola virus. Nature. 2005;438:575–6.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
1. O’Hara BT, Malisow B. CCSP® (ISC) 2® Certified Cloud Security Professional Official Study Guide. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; 2017.
An edited book
1. Gullotta TP, Plant RW, Evans MA, editors. Handbook of Adolescent Behavioral Problems: Evidence-Based Approaches to Prevention and Treatment. 2nd ed. 2015. Boston, MA: Springer US; 2015.
A chapter in an edited book
1. Chesi S, Giuliani GF. In-plane ferromagnetic instability in a two-dimensional electron liquid in the presence of Rashba spin-orbit coupling. In: Polini M, Vignale G, Pellegrini V, Jain JK, editors. No-nonsense Physicist: An overview of Gabriele Giuliani’s work and life. Pisa: Scuola Normale Superiore; 2016. p. 61–71.

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. Luntz S. Motor Neuron Disease Linked To Schizophrenia, And Treatment Might Be Getting Closer [Internet]. IFLScience. IFLScience; 2017 [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. Aviation Security: TSA Has Made Progress Implementing Requirements in the Aviation Security Act of 2016. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 2017 Sep. Report No.: GAO-17-662.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
1. Forlano L. When code meets place: Collaboration and innovation at WiFi hotspots [Doctoral dissertation]. [New York, NY]: Columbia University; 2008.

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. Wagner J. As Reed Departs the Mets, Prospects Are on Their Way. New York Times. 2017 Jul 31;B10.

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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