How to format your references using the Protein & Cell citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Protein & 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
Glotzer SC (2004) Materials science. Some Assembly Required. Science 306:419–420
A journal article with 2 authors
Mello CC, Conte D Jr (2004) Revealing the world of RNA interference. Nature 431:338–342
A journal article with 3 authors
Kaochar S, Paek AL, Weinert T (2010) Genetics. Replication error amplified. Science 329:911–913
A journal article with 5 or more authors
Richardson LJ, Deming D, Horning K, et al (2007) A spectrum of an extrasolar planet. Nature 445:892–895

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Stamp M (2005) Information Security. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ
An edited book
Rajendram R, Preedy VR, Patel VB (eds) (2015) Diet and Nutrition in Critical Care. Springer, New York, NY
A chapter in an edited book
Grefenstette E, Sadrzadeh M, Clark S, et al (2014) Concrete Sentence Spaces for Compositional Distributional Models of Meaning. In: Bunt H, Bos J, Pulman S (eds) Computing Meaning: Volume 4. Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht, pp 71–86

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 Protein & Cell.

Blog post
Andrew E (2014) Deep Sleep-Promoting Brain Region Discovered. In: IFLScience. Accessed 30 Oct 2018


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 (2007) Motor Carrier Safety: Preliminary Information on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Efforts to Identify and Follow Up with High-risk Carriers. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Chappel AM (2012) A Longitudinal Investigation of Stress, Complete Mental Health, and Social Support among High School Students. Doctoral dissertation, University of South Florida

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
Cooper M, Pogrebin R (2017) Concern Over Gala As Trumps Bow Out. New York Times C1

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Glotzer 2004).
This sentence cites two references (Mello and Conte 2004; Glotzer 2004).

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

  • Two authors: (Mello and Conte 2004)
  • Three or more authors: (Richardson et al. 2007)

About the journal

Full journal titleProtein & Cell
AbbreviationProtein Cell
ISSN (print)1674-800X
ISSN (online)1674-8018
Cell Biology
Drug Discovery

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