How to format your references using the The Journal of General Physiology citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for The Journal of General Physiology. 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
Prusiner, S.B. 2012. Cell biology. A unifying role for prions in neurodegenerative diseases. Science. 336:1511–1513.
A journal article with 2 authors
Rauch, W., and M. Kleidorfer. 2014. Water treatment. Replace contamination, not the pipes. Science. 345:734–735.
A journal article with 3 authors
Zhang, H., Z. Ma, and J.-F. Liu. 2014. Equilibrium spin current in graphene with Rashba spin-orbit coupling. Sci. Rep. 4:6464.
A journal article with 99 or more authors
Kadaba, N.S., J.T. Kaiser, E. Johnson, A. Lee, and D.C. Rees. 2008. The high-affinity E. coli methionine ABC transporter: structure and allosteric regulation. Science. 321:250–253.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Gabler, J. 2010. Sociology for Dummies®. Wiley Publishing, Inc., Hoboken, NJ.
An edited book
Kauffman, C.A., P.G. Pappas, J.D. Sobel, and W.E. Dismukes eds. . 2011. Essentials of Clinical Mycology. 2nd ed. Springer, New York, NY. XIII, 553 p pp.
A chapter in an edited book
Hoedt, E., G. Zhang, and T.A. Neubert. 2014. Stable Isotope Labeling by Amino Acids in Cell Culture (SILAC) for Quantitative Proteomics. In Advancements of Mass Spectrometry in Biomedical Research. A.G. Woods and C.C. Darie, editors. Springer International Publishing, Cham. 93–106.

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 General Physiology.

Blog post
Andrew, E. 2014. What To Do When You’re Dead: Science Edition. 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. 1996. CEC Sale of Federal Spectrum. 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
Wilkins, D. 2015. The Value of the Semantic Differential to the Art Educator. George Washington University, Washington, DC.

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
Kelly, C. 1998. Hyperion Using World’s Largest Mainsail. New York Times. 814.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Prusiner, 2012).
This sentence cites two references (Prusiner, 2012; Rauch and Kleidorfer, 2014).

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

  • Two authors: (Rauch and Kleidorfer, 2014)
  • Three or more authors: (Kadaba et al., 2008)

About the journal

Full journal titleThe Journal of General Physiology
AbbreviationJ. Gen. Physiol.
ISSN (print)0022-1295
ISSN (online)1540-7748

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