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
Savage, N. (2011). Algae: The scum solution. Nature 474, S15-6.
A journal article with 2 authors
Winckler, G., and Fischer, H. (2006). 30,000 years of cosmic dust in Antarctic ice. Science 313, 491.
A journal article with 3 authors
Westover, K.D., Bushnell, D.A., and Kornberg, R.D. (2004). Structural basis of transcription: separation of RNA from DNA by RNA polymerase II. Science 303, 1014–1016.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Dor, Y., Brown, J., Martinez, O.I., and Melton, D.A. (2004). Adult pancreatic beta-cells are formed by self-duplication rather than stem-cell differentiation. Nature 429, 41–46.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Hens, H.S.L.C. (2012). Performance Based Building Design 2 (Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA).
An edited book
Boiti, C., Ferlazzo, A., Gaiti, A., and Pugliese, A. eds. (2013). Trends in Veterinary Sciences: Current Aspects in Veterinary Morphophysiology, Biochemistry, Animal Production, Food Hygiene and Clinical Sciences (Springer).
A chapter in an edited book
Zmudzinski, S., Steinebach, M., and Butt, M. (2012). Watermark Embedding Using Audio Fingerprinting. In Transactions on Data Hiding and Multimedia Security VIII: Special Issue on Pattern Recognition for IT Security Lecture Notes in Computer Science., Y. Q. Shi and S. Katzenbeisser, eds. (Springer), pp. 63–79.

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. (2017). The Unknown Crocodiles. 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 (1996). Human Factors: Status of Efforts to Integrate Research on Human Factors Into FAA’s Activities (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
Abraham, C. (2017). How Are Nonresident African American Fathers Involved in Their Children’s Academic Success?

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
Walsh, M.W. (2015). Puerto Rico Has Another Debt Worry on Horizon. New York Times, B1.

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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