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
Wuethrich, B. (2000) CONSERVATION BIOLOGY: Feds Team Up With a Company to Protect 17 Threatened Fish Species. Science. 289, 385
A journal article with 2 authors
Brooks, T., and Smith, M. L. (2001) Ecology. Caribbean catastrophes. Science. 294, 1469–1471
A journal article with 3 authors
Shay, J. W., Reddel, R. R., and Wright, W. E. (2012) Cancer. Cancer and telomeres--an ALTernative to telomerase. Science. 336, 1388–1390
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Craig, C. M., Delay, D., Grealy, M. A., and Lee, D. N. (2000) Guiding the swing in golf putting. Nature. 405, 295–296

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Burnett, R., Brunstrom, A., and Nilsson, A. G. (2005) Perspectives on Multimedia, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK
An edited book
Kurokawa, R. (ed.) (2015) Long Noncoding RNAs: Structures and Functions, Springer Japan, Tokyo
A chapter in an edited book
Babagholami-Mohamadabadi, B., Roostaiyan, S. M., Zarghami, A., and Baghshah, M. S. (2015) Multi-Modal Distance Metric Learning: ABayesian Non-parametric Approach. in Computer Vision - ECCV 2014 Workshops: Zurich, Switzerland, September 6-7 and 12, 2014, Proceedings, Part III (Agapito, L., Bronstein, M. M., and Rother, C. eds), pp. 63–77, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 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
Taub, B. (2016) Ancient Lost City Discovered Underground. IFLScience


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 (1978) Developing State Automated Information Systems To Support Federal Assistance Programs: Problems and Opportunities, 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
Tomko, P. R. (2012) Understanding the factors affecting the influence of children on their parents’ total purchases. Doctoral dissertation thesis, Capella University, Minneapolis, MN

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
Haberman, M., Mazzetti, M., and Apuzzo, M. (2017) Kushner is Said to Have Mulled Russia Channel. 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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