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. (2013). Resources: Mine, all mine! Nature 495, S2-3. .
A journal article with 2 authors
Stein, E., and Tessier-Lavigne, M. (2001). Hierarchical organization of guidance receptors: silencing of netrin attraction by slit through a Robo/DCC receptor complex. Science 291, 1928–1938. .
A journal article with 3 authors
Phelps, J., Webb, E.L., and Agrawal, A. (2010). Land use. Does REDD+ threaten to recentralize forest governance? Science 328, 312–313. .
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Bardgett, R.D., Smith, R.S., Shiel, R.S., Peacock, S., Simkin, J.M., Quirk, H., and Hobbs, P.J. (2006). Parasitic plants indirectly regulate below-ground properties in grassland ecosystems. Nature 439, 969–972. .

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Eggert, H., and Kauschke, W. (2012). Structural Bearings (Berlin, Germany: Ernst & Sohn Verlag für Architektur und technische Wissenschaften GmbH & Co. KG).
An edited book
Tibon-Czopp, S. (2016). Rorschach Assessment of Adolescents: Theory, Research, and Practice (New York, NY: Springer).
A chapter in an edited book
Figueiredo, B.R., Litter, M.I., Silva, C.R., Mañay, N., Londono, S.C., Rojas, A.M., Garzón, C., Tosiani, T., Di Giulio, G.M., De Capitani, E.M., et al. (2010). Medical Geology Studies in South America. In Medical Geology: A Regional Synthesis, O. Selinus, R.B. Finkelman, and J.A. Centeno, eds. (Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands), pp. 79–106.

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, E. (2015). Scientists Freeze Atoms to Near Absolute Zero (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 (1973). Challenges and Problems in the Evaluation of Government Programs (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
DeLutis-Eichenberger, A.N. (2010). El proceso semiótico de un héroe decimonónico: Un estudio en torno a los “textos-tumbas” de Andrés Bello. Doctoral dissertation. University of Maryland, College Park.

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
Koblin, J. (2017). ‘True Detective’ To Return on HBO. New York Times C3. .

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Savage, 2013).
This sentence cites two references (Savage, 2013; Stein and Tessier-Lavigne, 2001).

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

  • Two authors: (Stein and Tessier-Lavigne, 2001)
  • Three or more authors: (Bardgett et al., 2006)

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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