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
Wang, C.-C. (2015) Perspective: Give youth a chance. Nature. 520, S36
A journal article with 2 authors
Grimmer, M. R., and Costello, J. F. (2016) Cancer: Oncogene brought into the loop. Nature. 529, 34–35
A journal article with 3 authors
Dillin, A., Crawford, D. K., and Kenyon, C. (2002) Timing requirements for insulin/IGF-1 signaling in C. elegans. Science. 298, 830–834
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Wang, Y., Xie, Y., Wei, P., King, R. B., Schaefer, H. F., 3rd, von R Schleyer, P., and Robinson, G. H. (2008) A stable silicon(0) compound with a Si=Si double bond. Science. 321, 1069–1071

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Davey, K. J. (2014) Building Winning Algorithmic Trading Systems, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ
An edited book
Kwuida, L., and Sertkaya, B. (eds.) (2010) Formal Concept Analysis: 8th International Conference, ICFCA 2010, Agadir, Morocco, March 15-18, 2010. Proceedings, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
A chapter in an edited book
Finset, A., and Piccolo, L. D. (2011) Nonverbal Communication in Clinical Contexts. in Communication in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (Rimondini, M. ed), pp. 107–128, 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 Journal of Biological Chemistry.

Blog post
Davis, J. (2016) Trees “Sleep” At Night Too. 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 (2014) Federal Student Loans: Oversight of Defaulted Loan Rehabilitation Needs Strengthening, 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
Yao, D. (2009) In situ activity of NAC11-7 roseobacters in coastal waters off the Chesapeake Bay based on ftsZ expression. Doctoral dissertation thesis, University of Maryland, College Park, College Park, MD

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
St. John Kelly, E. (1994) PLAYING IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD. 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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