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
Ward, C. 2000. Regenesis. Nature. 404:708.
A journal article with 2 authors
Myers, M.G., Jr, and D.P. Olson. 2012. Central nervous system control of metabolism. Nature. 491:357–363.
A journal article with 3 authors
Little, A.F., M.J.H. van Oppen, and B.L. Willis. 2004. Flexibility in algal endosymbioses shapes growth in reef corals. Science. 304:1492–1494.
A journal article with 99 or more authors
Meyer, J., P.R. Kidambi, B.C. Bayer, C. Weijtens, A. Kuhn, A. Centeno, A. Pesquera, A. Zurutuza, J. Robertson, and S. Hofmann. 2014. Metal oxide induced charge transfer doping and band alignment of graphene electrodes for efficient organic light emitting diodes. Sci. Rep. 4:5380.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Adams, F., and K. Aizawa. 2010. The Bounds of Cognition. Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK.
An edited book
Trümper, J.E., and G. Hasinger eds. . 2008. The Universe in X-Rays. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. XIX, 498 p pp.
A chapter in an edited book
Chippendale, P., and O. Lanz. 2008. Optimised Meeting Recording and Annotation Using Real-Time Video Analysis. In Machine Learning for Multimodal Interaction: 5th International Workshop, MLMI 2008, Utrecht, The Netherlands, September 8-10, 2008. Proceedings. A. Popescu-Belis and R. Stiefelhagen, editors. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. 50–61.

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
Hale, T. 2016. This Map Tells You If You’ll Be Vaporized By An Atomic Bomb. 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. 1992. Attack Warning: Lack of System Architecture Contributes to Major Development Problems. 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
Brightbill, R.G. 2012. Bradenton, FL: A Patchwork City. University of South Florida, Tampa, FL.

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
Crow, K. 2001. A Seminary’s Proud Tower Brings Unease to Neighbors. New York Times. 145.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Ward, 2000).
This sentence cites two references (Ward, 2000; Myers and Olson, 2012).

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

  • Two authors: (Myers and Olson, 2012)
  • Three or more authors: (Meyer et al., 2014)

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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