How to format your references using the The Journal of Biological Chemistry citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for The Journal of Biological Chemistry (JBC). 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
Alexander, R. M. (2001) Design by numbers. Nature. 412, 591
A journal article with 2 authors
Gilboa, L., and Lehmann, R. (2006) Soma-germline interactions coordinate homeostasis and growth in the Drosophila gonad. Nature. 443, 97–100
A journal article with 3 authors
Cho, Y., Lee, J. B., and Hong, J. (2014) Controlled release of an anti-cancer drug from DNA structured nano-films. Sci. Rep. 4, 4078
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Wang, J., Feng, C.-Q., Sun, Z.-Q., Chou, S.-L., Liu, H.-K., and Wang, J.-Z. (2014) In-situ one-step hydrothermal synthesis of a lead germanate-graphene composite as a novel anode material for lithium-ion batteries. Sci. Rep. 4, 7030

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Bisswanger, H. (2005) Enzymkinetik, Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim, FRG
An edited book
Chuang, T.-J., Anderson, P. M., Wu, M.-K., and Hsieh, S. (eds.) (2006) Nanomechanics of Materials and Structures, Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht
A chapter in an edited book
Stoffel-Wagner, B. (2010) Metabolism and Enzymology of Cholesterol and Steroids. in Handbook of Neurochemistry and Molecular Neurobiology: Neural Lipids (Lajtha, A., Tettamanti, G., and Goracci, G. eds), pp. 59–74, Springer US, Boston, MA

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 Journal of Biological Chemistry.

Blog post
Andrews, R. (2016) Chunks Of The Earth’s Upper Mantle Are Falling Off And Causing Earthquakes. IFLScience. [online] (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 (2003) DOD Business Systems Modernization: Continued Investment in Key Accounting Systems Needs to be Justified, 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
Hofmann, R. (2010) The fascist reflection Japan and Italy, 1919-1950. Doctoral dissertation thesis, Columbia University, New York, NY

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
Billard, M. (2010) Scouting Report. New York Times

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by sequential numbers in parentheses:

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 Journal of Biological Chemistry
AbbreviationJ. Biol. Chem.
ISSN (print)0021-9258
ISSN (online)1083-351X
Cell Biology
Molecular Biology

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