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

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for The FEBS 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
1 Abbott A (2003) Axeing of website article sparks row at Max Planck. Nature 422, 460.
A journal article with 2 authors
1 Burns NZ & Jacobsen EN (2012) Organic chemistry: catalysis in tight spaces. Nature 483, 278–279.
A journal article with 3 authors
1 Verbeeck J, Tian H & Schattschneider P (2010) Production and application of electron vortex beams. Nature 467, 301–304.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
1 Elde NC, Child SJ, Geballe AP & Malik HS (2009) Protein kinase R reveals an evolutionary model for defeating viral mimicry. Nature 457, 485–489.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
1 Kirwan MJ (2013) Handbook of Paper and Paperboard Packaging Technology John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Oxford.
An edited book
1 Bang-Jensen J (2009) Digraphs: Theory, Algorithms and Applications (G. Z. Gutin, ed.) Springer, London.
A chapter in an edited book
1 Kaźmierczak A (2010) Gibberellic Acid and Ethylene Control Male Sex Determination and Development of Anemia phyllitidis Gametophytes. In Working with Ferns: Issues and Applications (Kumar A, Fernández H, & Revilla MA, eds), pp. 49–65. Springer, New York, NY.

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 FEBS Journal.

Blog post
1 Andrews R (2015) Massive Methane Reservoirs Being Unleashed By Global Warming. IFLScience.


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
1 Government Accountability Office (1996) Energy Management: Technology Development Program Taking Action to Address Problems U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
1 Peterson DG (2012) An application of geotechnical techniques to quantitative regional slope stability analysis San Clemente, California. .

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
1 Sisario B (2016) Kings of Leon Finally Top the Chart. New York Times, C3.

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 titleThe FEBS Journal
AbbreviationFEBS J.
ISSN (print)1742-464X
ISSN (online)1742-4658
Cell Biology
Molecular Biology

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