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
Gong P. China’s new leaders must keep science in focus. Nature 2012; 491:161.
A journal article with 2 authors
Hastings A, Palmer MA. Mathematics and biology. A bright future for biologists and mathematicians? Science 2003; 299:2003–4.
A journal article with 3 authors
Cicerone RJ, Molina MJ, Blake DR. Retrospective. F. Sherwood Rowland (1927-2012). Science 2012; 336:170.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Büntgen U, Tegel W, Nicolussi K, McCormick M, Frank D, Trouet V, Kaplan JO, Herzig F, Heussner K-U, Wanner H, et al. 2500 years of European climate variability and human susceptibility. Science 2011; 331:578–82.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Dauphiné A. Fractal Geography. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc; 2012.
An edited book
Sumi A, Fukushi K, Hiramatsu A, editors. Adaptation and Mitigation Strategies for Climate Change. Tokyo: Springer Japan; 2010.
A chapter in an edited book
Hirschel EH, Weiland C. Aerothermodynamic Design Problems of Non-Winged Re-Entry Vehicles. In: Weiland C, editor. Selected Aerothermodynamic Design Problems of Hypersonic Flight Vehicles. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer; 2009. page 211–78.

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
Davis J. Giant Ancient Skull Unearthed In Alaska May Have Once Belonged To A “King Bear” [Internet]. IFLScience2017 [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. Air Traffic Control: Status of FAA’s Modernization Effort. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 1991.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Finley S. How online communication and social media networking are used in alcohol use treatment. 2014;

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 MW. Sanford Sigoloff, 80, Expert at Turnarounds. New York Times2011; :B14.

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

Other styles