How to format your references using the Seminars in Cell and Developmental Biology citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Seminars in Cell and Developmental 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
K. Gammon, Drug discovery: Leaving no stone unturned, Nature. 509 (2014) S10-2.
A journal article with 2 authors
F.M. Jiggins, G.D.D. Hurst, Microbiology. Rapid insect evolution by symbiont transfer, Science. 332 (2011) 185–186.
A journal article with 3 authors
D. Van Dyck, J.R. Jinschek, F.-R. Chen, “Big Bang” tomography as a new route to atomic-resolution electron tomography, Nature. 486 (2012) 243–246.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
O. Namy, S.J. Moran, D.I. Stuart, R.J.C. Gilbert, I. Brierley, A mechanical explanation of RNA pseudoknot function in programmed ribosomal frameshifting, Nature. 441 (2006) 244–247.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
G. McGee, Bioethics for beginners, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK, 2012.
An edited book
S. Simjee, ed., Foodborne Diseases, Humana Press, Totowa, NJ, 2007.
A chapter in an edited book
X. Liu, J. Kline, Selection and Monitoring of Patients for Immunotherapy (Peptide Vaccines), in: Y. Nakamura (Ed.), Immunopharmacogenomics, Springer Japan, Tokyo, 2015: pp. 63–84.

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 Seminars in Cell and Developmental Biology.

Blog post
K. Evans, Bookworms Are Nicer, Kinder, And More Empathetic People, According To New Study, IFLScience. (2017).


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, Health Information Technology: HHS Has Taken Important Steps to Address Privacy Principles and Challenges, Although More Work Remains, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 2008.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
M.A. Tengco, Quality Home Care: Providing Personal Care and Homemaking Services for Seniors in the Community, Doctoral dissertation, California State University, Long Beach, 2017.

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
F. Santos, New Mexico: 2 Students Wounded In Shooting at Middle School, New York Times. (2014) A16.

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by sequential numbers in square brackets:

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 titleSeminars in Cell and Developmental Biology
AbbreviationSemin. Cell Dev. Biol.
ISSN (print)1084-9521
ScopeCell Biology
Developmental Biology

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