How to format your references using the Molecular Cell citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Molecular Cell. 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
Schnabel, J. (2011). Amyloid: little proteins, big clues. Nature 475, S12-4.
A journal article with 2 authors
Codelli, J.A., and Reisman, S.E. (2013). Chemistry. Pactamycin made easy. Science 340, 152–153.
A journal article with 3 authors
Suzuki, H., Imura, J.-I., and Aihara, K. (2013). Chaotic Ising-like dynamics in traffic signals. Sci. Rep. 3, 1127.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Higham, T., Compton, T., Stringer, C., Jacobi, R., Shapiro, B., Trinkaus, E., Chandler, B., Gröning, F., Collins, C., Hillson, S., et al. (2011). The earliest evidence for anatomically modern humans in northwestern Europe. Nature 479, 521–524.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Lakshminarayana, B. (2007). Fluid Dynamics and Heat Transfer of Turbomachinery (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.).
An edited book
Rohr, Z.E., and Benz, L. eds. (2016). Queenship, Gender, and Reputation in the Medieval and Early Modern West, 1060-1600 (Springer International Publishing).
A chapter in an edited book
Iwata, K., Nakashima, T., Anan, Y., and Ishii, N. (2012). Clustering and Analyzing Embedded Software Development Projects Data Using Self-Organizing Maps. In Software Engineering Research,Management and Applications 2011 Studies in Computational Intelligence., R. Lee, ed. (Springer), pp. 47–59.

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 Cell.

Blog post
Andrew, D. (2015). This Single Image Contains 6 Celestial Phenomena. How Many Can You Name? IFLScience.


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 (2015). Telecommunications Relay Service: FCC Should Strengthen Its Management of Program to Assist Persons with Hearing or Speech Disabilities (U.S. Government Printing Office).

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Klippel, S.A. (2005). The Celtic siren: A case study of William Sharp’s seduction experience in which the numinous other is understood and interpreted.

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
Kenigsberg, B. (2017). The Latest Word From Al Gore on Climate Change. New York Times, C8.

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by sequential numbers in superscript:

This sentence cites one reference 2.
This sentence cites two references 2,4.
This sentence cites four references 2,4,6,8.

About the journal

Full journal titleMolecular Cell
AbbreviationMol. Cell
ISSN (print)1097-2765
ISSN (online)1097-4164
ScopeCell Biology
Molecular Biology

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