How to format your references using the The EMBO Journal citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for The EMBO Journal. 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
Stephanopoulos G (2007) Challenges in engineering microbes for biofuels production. Science 315: 801–804
A journal article with 2 authors
Bourne HR & Weiner O (2002) A chemical compass. Nature 419: 21
A journal article with 3 authors
Head IM, Jones DM & Larter SR (2003) Biological activity in the deep subsurface and the origin of heavy oil. Nature 426: 344–352
A journal article with 21 or more authors
Spake JJ, Sing DK, Evans TM, Oklopčić A, Bourrier V, Kreidberg L, Rackham BV, Irwin J, Ehrenreich D, Wyttenbach A, Wakeford HR, Zhou Y, Chubb KL, Nikolov N, Goyal JM, Henry GW, Williamson MH, Blumenthal S, Anderson DR, Hellier C, et al (2018) Helium in the eroding atmosphere of an exoplanet. Nature 557: 68–70

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Cowan JP (2016) The Effects of Sound on People Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd
An edited book
Snoeyink J, Lu P, Su K & Wang L eds. (2012) Frontiers in Algorithmics and Algorithmic Aspects in Information and Management: Joint International Conference, FAW-AAIM 2012, Beijing, China, May 14-16, 2012. Proceedings Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer
A chapter in an edited book
Marianecci C, Di Marzio L, Rinaldi F, Esposito S & Carafa M (2013) Niosomes. In Fundamentals of Pharmaceutical Nanoscience, Uchegbu IF Schätzlein AG Cheng WP & Lalatsa A (eds) pp 65–90. New York, NY: Springer

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 The EMBO Journal.

Blog post
Evans K (2017) Documentary Reveals 90% of Minke Whales Hunted By Norway Are Female And Pregnant. IFLScience Available at: [Accessed October 30, 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) Transportation Accessibility: Lack of Data and Limited Enforcement Options Limit Federal Oversight Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Pence PL (2010) Emotional intelligence, motivation, and retention among undergraduate students attending associate-degree nursing programs in Illinois.

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
Paulson M (2017) Tomorrow’s Marquee Names. New York Times: AR26

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Solis, 2014).
This sentence cites two references (Dalton, 2005; Damasio, 2003).

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

  • Two authors: (Bourne & Weiner, 2002)
  • Three or more authors: (Huang et al, 2013)

About the journal

Full journal titleThe EMBO Journal
AbbreviationEMBO J.
ISSN (print)0261-4189
ISSN (online)1460-2075
ScopeGeneral Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
Molecular Biology
General Immunology and Microbiology
General Neuroscience

Other styles