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
Birge, N. O. (2009) Physics. Sensing a small but persistent current. Science. 326, 244–245
A journal article with 2 authors
Yamaguchi, K. E., and Ohmoto, H. (2006) Comment on “Iron isotope constraints on the Archean and Paleoproterozoic ocean redox state.” Science. 311, 177; author reply 177
A journal article with 3 authors
Whittington, A. G., Hofmeister, A. M., and Nabelek, P. I. (2009) Temperature-dependent thermal diffusivity of the Earth’s crust and implications for magmatism. Nature. 458, 319–321
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Zhou, Q., Renard, J.-P., Le Friec, G., Brochard, V., Beaujean, N., Cherifi, Y., Fraichard, A., and Cozzi, J. (2003) Generation of fertile cloned rats by regulating oocyte activation. Science. 302, 1179

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Keene, J. (2008) Clients with Complex Needs: Interprofessional Practice, Blackwell Science Ltd, Oxford, UK
An edited book
Fisher, J., Pedaliu, E. G. H., and Smith, R. (eds.) (2016) The Foreign Office, Commerce and British Foreign Policy in the Twentieth Century, Palgrave Macmillan UK, London
A chapter in an edited book
Małachowski, B. (2016) Multiple Criteria Decision Support System for Tender Consortium Building Within the Cluster Organization. in New Frontiers in Information and Production Systems Modelling and Analysis: Incentive Mechanisms, Competence Management, Knowledge-based Production (Różewski, P., Novikov, D., Bakhtadze, N., and Zaikin, O. eds), pp. 105–117, Intelligent Systems Reference Library, Springer International Publishing, Cham

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
Andrew, E. (2015) World’s Most Lifelike Bionic Hand Developed. 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 (1988) Medical ADP Systems: Composite Health Care System Operational Test and Evaluation Costs, 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
Walsh, E. F. (2010) The development of comprehensive criminal justice leadership standards: A modified Delphi study approach. Doctoral dissertation thesis, University of Phoenix, Phoenix, AZ

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
Saslow, L. (2008) New Charter School Will Be Island’s 4th. 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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