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
Hodson R (2015) Prostate cancer: 4 big questions. Nature 528:S137
A journal article with 2 authors
Vollmer SV, Palumbi SR (2002) Hybridization and the evolution of reef coral diversity. Science 296:2023–2025
A journal article with 3 authors
Mason AC, Oshinsky ML, Hoy RR (2001) Hyperacute directional hearing in a microscale auditory system. Nature 410:686–690
A journal article with 5 or more authors
Rossiter SJ, Ransome RD, Faulkes CG, et al (2005) Mate fidelity and intra-lineage polygyny in greater horseshoe bats. Nature 437:408–411

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Dowd K (2005) Measuring Market Risk. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Oxford, UK
An edited book
Dragutan V, Demonceau A, Dragutan I, Finkelshtein ES (eds) (2010) Green Metathesis Chemistry. Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht
A chapter in an edited book
Calvillo-Gámez EH, Cairns P, Cox AL (2010) Assessing the Core Elements of the Gaming Experience. In: Bernhaupt R (ed) Evaluating User Experience in Games: Concepts and Methods. Springer, London, pp 47–71

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
Taub B (2016) New Study Lights Up The Dark Web Drugs Markets. 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 (2017) K-12 Education: Education Needs to Improve Oversight of Its 21st Century Program. 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
Al azze Q (2014) Field-Oriented Control of Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motors Based on DSP Controller. Doctoral dissertation, Southern Illinois University

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
Williams J (2016) A Laugh Factory Looks Back. New York Times BR4

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Hodson 2015).
This sentence cites two references (Vollmer and Palumbi 2002; Hodson 2015).

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

  • Two authors: (Vollmer and Palumbi 2002)
  • Three or more authors: (Rossiter et al. 2005)

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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