How to format your references using the The Journal of Cell Biology citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for The Journal of Cell Biology. 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
Buckingham, S. 2003. Genomic mergers. Nature. 425:213.
A journal article with 2 authors
Lister, A.M., and A.V. Sher. 2015. Evolution and dispersal of mammoths across the Northern Hemisphere. Science. 350:805–809.
A journal article with 3 authors
Shoemaker, C.J., D.E. Eyler, and R. Green. 2010. Dom34:Hbs1 promotes subunit dissociation and peptidyl-tRNA drop-off to initiate no-go decay. Science. 330:369–372.
A journal article with 99 or more authors
Lai, Y.-K., Y.-X. Tang, J.-Y. Huang, F. Pan, Z. Chen, K.-Q. Zhang, H. Fuchs, and L.-F. Chi. 2013. Bioinspired TiO₂ nanostructure films with special wettability and adhesion for droplets manipulation and patterning. Sci. Rep. 3:3009.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Tschirhart, M., and W. Bielefeld. 2012. Managing Nonprofit Organizations. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., San Francisco.
An edited book
Chesney, M. 2016. Environmental Finance and Investments. 2nd ed. 2016. J. Gheyssens, A.C. Pana, and L. Taschini, editors. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. VII, 197 p. 72 illus., 36 illus. in color pp.
A chapter in an edited book
Ncube, M., N. Gumata, and E. Ndou. 2016. Spillovers from Euro Area Bond Yields into the South African Macro Economy. In Global Growth and Financial Spillovers and the South African Macro-economy. N. Gumata and E. Ndou, editors. Palgrave Macmillan UK, London. 67–80.

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 Cell Biology.

Blog post
Davis, J. 2016. Norway Is The First Country To Commit To Zero Deforestation. 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. 1999. Domestic Aviation: Effects of Changes in How Airline Tickets Are Sold. 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
Cuomo, A.P. 2013. SB 48 and social media: Constituing an audience for and against California’s LGBT education legislation. California State University, Long Beach, Long Beach, CA.

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
Hahamovitch, C. 2013. The Lessons of Belle Glade. New York Times. A25.

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by name and year in parentheses:

This sentence cites one reference (Buckingham, 2003).
This sentence cites two references (Buckingham, 2003; Lister and Sher, 2015).

Here are examples of in-text citations with multiple authors:

  • Two authors: (Lister and Sher, 2015)
  • Three or more authors: (Lai et al., 2013)

About the journal

Full journal titleThe Journal of Cell Biology
AbbreviationJ. Cell Biol.
ISSN (print)0021-9525
ISSN (online)1540-8140
ScopeCell Biology

Other styles