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
Howie, A. (2012). Akira Tonomura (1942-2012). Nature 486, 324.
A journal article with 2 authors
Cobey, S., and Lipsitch, M. (2012). Niche and neutral effects of acquired immunity permit coexistence of pneumococcal serotypes. Science 335, 1376–1380.
A journal article with 3 authors
He, C.Y., Pypaert, M., and Warren, G. (2005). Golgi duplication in Trypanosoma brucei requires Centrin2. Science 310, 1196–1198.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Wang, Y., Cao, S.-E., Tian, J., Liu, G., Zhang, X., and Li, P. (2013). Auraptenol attenuates vincristine-induced mechanical hyperalgesia through serotonin 5-HT1A receptors. Sci. Rep. 3, 3377.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Rahman, R.O.A., Rakhimov, R.Z., Rakhimova, N.R., and Ojovan, M.I. (2014). Cementitious Materials for Nuclear Waste Immobilization (Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd).
An edited book
Argatov, I. (2015). Contact Mechanics of Articular Cartilage Layers: Asymptotic Models (Cham: Springer International Publishing).
A chapter in an edited book
Akkermans, B. (2014). Property Law. In Introduction to Law, J. Hage, and B. Akkermans, eds. (Cham: Springer International Publishing), pp. 71–99.

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 Cell.

Blog post
Carpineti, A. (2017). The Magnetic Field Across The Magellanic Clouds Has Been Mapped for the First Time (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 (1979). Honeywell Computer Equipment Supplied to DOD (Washington, DC: 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
Brady, D.C. (2008). The transforming Rho family GTPase, Wrch -1, regulates epithelial cell morphogenesis through modulating cell junctions and actin cytoskeletal dynamics. Doctoral dissertation. University of North Carolina.

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
Wagner, J. (2016). Reyes May Dabble in Outfield as Mets Seek More Versatility. New York Times B12.

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by name and year in parentheses:

This sentence cites one reference (Howie, 2012).
This sentence cites two references (Cobey and Lipsitch, 2012; Howie, 2012).

Here are examples of in-text citations with multiple authors:

  • Two authors: (Cobey and Lipsitch, 2012)
  • Three or more authors: (Wang et al., 2013)

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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