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
Mank, J. E. (2009) Journal club. An evolutionary biologist compares genomic complexity to modern art. Nature. 461, 701
A journal article with 2 authors
Chemla, Y. R., and Ha, T. (2014) Biophysics. Ultraslow relaxation of confined DNA. Science. 345, 380–381
A journal article with 3 authors
Wuchty, S., Jones, B. F., and Uzzi, B. (2007) The increasing dominance of teams in production of knowledge. Science. 316, 1036–1039
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Paytan, A., Kastner, M., Campbell, D., and Thiemens, M. H. (2004) Seawater sulfur isotope fluctuations in the Cretaceous. Science. 304, 1663–1665

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Ghaye, T. (2008) Building the Reflective Healthcare Organisation, Blackwell Publishing Ltd, Oxford, UK
An edited book
Björn, L. O. (ed.) (2008) Photobiology: The Science of Life and Light, Second Edition, Springer, New York, NY
A chapter in an edited book
Mitchell, G. R., Wangsoub, S., Nogales, A., Davis, F. J., and Olley, R. H. (2016) Controlling Morphology Using Low Molar Mass Nucleators. in Controlling the Morphology of Polymers: Multiple Scales of Structure and Processing (Mitchell, G. R., and Tojeira, A. eds), pp. 145–161, 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) 22,000-Year-Old Skull Could Represent Unknown Lineage Of Humans. 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 (1974) Problems of the Upward Bound Program in Preparing Disadvantaged Students for a Postsecondary Education, 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
Stanfill, D. L. (2010) Teacher perception of the alignment of enhancing Missouri’s Instructional Networked Teaching Strategies (eMINTS) with the National Staff Development Council (NSDC) Standards. Doctoral dissertation thesis, Lindenwood University, St. Charles, MO

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
Van Gelder, S. K. C. by L. (2005) Arts, Briefly; A New Yorker Clone Folds. 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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