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
Freeman MR (2010) Specification and morphogenesis of astrocytes. Science 330: 774–778
A journal article with 2 authors
Janak PH & Tye KM (2015) From circuits to behaviour in the amygdala. Nature 517: 284–292
A journal article with 3 authors
Jeffery WR, Strickler AG & Yamamoto Y (2004) Migratory neural crest-like cells form body pigmentation in a urochordate embryo. Nature 431: 696–699
A journal article with 21 or more authors
Niemela JJ, Skrbek L, Sreenivasan KR & Donnelly RJ (2000) Turbulent convection at very high Rayleigh numbers. Nature 404: 837–840

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Parke RD (2013) Future Families Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons
An edited book
Seruca I, Cordeiro J, Hammoudi S & Filipe J eds. (2006) Enterprise Information Systems VI Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands
A chapter in an edited book
Al-Shaer E & Rahman MA (2016) Security Analytics for EMS Modules. In Security and Resiliency Analytics for Smart Grids: Static and Dynamic Approaches, Rahman MA (ed) pp 61–103. Cham: Springer International Publishing

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
Carpineti A (2016) Some Of Your Suntan Comes From Beyond The Milky Way. 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 (2001) BIA and DOD Schools: Student Achievement and Other Characteristics Often Differ from Public Schools’ 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
Young JL (2010) A community college’s loss of accreditation: A case study.

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
Oestreich JR (2017) Finding the Humanity in ‘St. John’. New York Times: C5

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Freeman, 2010).
This sentence cites two references (Freeman, 2010; Janak & Tye, 2015).

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

  • Two authors: (Janak & Tye, 2015)
  • Three or more authors: (Niemela et al, 2000)

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