How to format your references using the The International Journal of Developmental Biology citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for The International Journal of Developmental Biology (IJDB). 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.
EndNoteFind the style here: output styles overview
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
BUCHANAN M (2005). Capturing chaos. Nature 435: 281.
A journal article with 2 authors
SINERVO B, CLOBERT J (2003). Morphs, dispersal behavior, genetic similarity, and the evolution of cooperation. Science 300: 1949–1951.
A journal article with 3 authors
GOEBEL T, WATERS MR, DIKOVA M (2003). The archaeology of Ushki Lake, Kamchatka, and the Pleistocene peopling of the Americas. Science 301: 501–505.
A journal article with 20 or more authors
YAO G, LUO Z, PAN F, XU W, FENG YP, WANG X-S (2013). Evolution of topological surface states in antimony ultra-thin films. Sci Rep 3: 2010.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
FRASER J, SIMKINS BJ (2009). Enterprise Risk Management. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ.
An edited book
BAI Z (2010). Spectral Analysis of Large Dimensional Random Matrices, Ed. JW Silverstein. Springer, New York, NY.
A chapter in an edited book
MORRIS LF, YEH MW (2016). Parathyroidectomy. In Illustrative Handbook of General Surgery (Ed. H Chen). Springer International Publishing, Cham, pp. 39–50.

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 International Journal of Developmental Biology.

Blog post
FANG J (2016). New Titanosaur Discovered in Argentina Had Big Eye Sockets And A Downturned Snout. 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 (1976). Procedures and Policies of the Energy Research and Development Administration. 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
FINNEGAN RJ (2010). Information food webs: A quantitative inquiry using a biological food web methodology. Doctoral dissertation, Capella University.

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
WILLIAMS J (2017). New Life for an Immortal Story. New York Times: BR4.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Buchanan, 2005).
This sentence cites two references (Buchanan, 2005; Sinervo and Clobert, 2003).

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

  • Two authors: (Sinervo and Clobert, 2003)
  • Three or more authors: (Yao et al., 2013)

About the journal

Full journal titleThe International Journal of Developmental Biology
AbbreviationInt. J. Dev. Biol.
ISSN (print)0214-6282
ISSN (online)1696-3547
ScopeDevelopmental Biology

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