How to format your references using the RNA Biology citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for RNA Biology. 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
von Andrian UH. Immunology. T cell activation in six dimensions. Science 2002; 296:1815–7.
A journal article with 2 authors
Roe GH, Baker MB. Why is climate sensitivity so unpredictable? Science 2007; 318:629–32.
A journal article with 3 authors
Driscoll R, Hudson A, Jackson SP. Yeast Rtt109 promotes genome stability by acetylating histone H3 on lysine 56. Science 2007; 315:649–52.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
McManus TM, Valiente-Kroon JA, Horsley SAR, Hao Y. Illusions and cloaks for surface waves. Sci Rep 2014; 4:5977.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Dimond BC. Legal Aspects of Radiography and Radiology. Oxford, UK: Blackwell Science Ltd; 2008.
An edited book
Tran HT. Intraplate Magmatism and Metallogeny of North Vietnam. Cham: Springer International Publishing; 2016.
A chapter in an edited book
Hane JK. Calculating RIP Mutation in Fungal Genomes Using RIPCAL. In: van den Berg MA, Maruthachalam K, editors. Genetic Transformation Systems in Fungi, Volume 2. Cham: Springer International Publishing; 2015. page 69–78.

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 RNA Biology.

Blog post
Andrew E. How A Week Of Camping Resets The Body Clock [Internet]. IFLScience2015 [cited 2018 Oct 30]; Available from:


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. Wallop-Breaux Trust Fund. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 1988.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Lin L-M. Transformation in Chinese Theatre Works’ the Legend of White Snake. 2010;

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
Novick SM. Turkey and Trimmings, Without Dishes to Do. New York Times2015; :LI11.

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by sequential numbers in superscript:

This sentence cites one reference 1.
This sentence cites two references 1,2.
This sentence cites four references 1–4.

About the journal

Full journal titleRNA Biology
AbbreviationRNA Biol.
ISSN (print)1547-6286
ISSN (online)1555-8584
ScopeCell Biology
Molecular Biology

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