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Biol 200: An Introduction to Cell Biology: Citing References

cell structure, cell function, cytology, cytological techniques, cell membrane, cell-cell interactions, extra cellular matrix. cell organelles, cytoskeleton, cell movement, signal transduction

Citing Your References

The guidelines provided below are for the modified CSE style in the Journal of Cell Science. They provide some specific details for formatting e.g. multiple authors.

For specific examples of complete citations of journal articles, please review the Reference Lists at the end of full text articles published in this journal.


Below is an example (fictional journal article):


Fable, E. G., Wizard, K. M. and Magic, S. (2015).  Protein structure of epithelial

      cytoskeletal filament scaffold. J. Cell Sci. 844, 56-105.



[Remember to indent the citation, after the first line.]

Citing Your References for Biol 200

The brief  ‘crib sheet’ below was provided by the Journal of Cell Science and is used by their copy editors.


References in the text

References are cited as Smith (Smith, 1990) or as (Smith et al., 1992). Separate entries in the same brackets with semi colons and group entries by the same authors but in different years: (Smith et al., 1990; Jones, 1990; Jones, 1993; Roberts et al., 1999a; Roberts et al., 1999b).

Where two authors with the same surname, and year (and same type of ref - e.g. single author or et al.) include their initials and add a,b to the year;

e.g. (Smith, A., 2000a; Smith, B., 2000b)

e.g. (Smith, A. et al., 2000a; Smith, B. et al., 2000b)


Unpublished material

Unpublished data cannot be included in the reference list.

Use personal communication or unpublished in parentheses with the authors’ names. Use et al. if more than three authors (e.g. S.D., B.A. and Q. Cumber-Patch et al., unpublished). If the unpublished observations are made by authors of the paper, use initials (A.D. and L.A., unpublished)

If unpublished observations are made by authors not included on the paper, written permission must be obtained to cite the work and cite as ‘personal communication’.

PhD and MSc theses should be cited in the text in the following style: (R. Arthur Goode, Title of thesis, PhD thesis, University of Hawaii, 1988).

Results/papers presented at scientific meetings should only be cited in the text (give as much information as possible) and not listed in the reference list. Reference list is for PubMed-listed articles and books only.


In the reference list

References are listed in alphabetical order as follows:

Single-author papers by year, then by year letter.

Double-author papers by second-author name, then year, then year letter

Same first author surname et al. papers by year and, if same authors and year, by year letter

Within a group of papers with the same first author, list single authors first, then papers with two authors, then et al. papers. If more than one ref exists for each type, arrange in alphabetical order (use second-author name, unless they have the same date). Use a and b for papers published in the same year by first author with the same surname and initials, and same type of ref (i.e single author/ et al.).

Smith, A. (2000a)

Smith, B. (2000b)

Smith, B. (2000c)

Smith, B. and Boyd, B. A. (2004)      alphabetically not chronologically sorted

Smith, B. and Taylor, B. A. (1999)

Smith, C. (1980)

Smith, C. and Price, J. P. (1999)

Smith, G. A. (1990)

Smith, G. A. (1992)

Smith, G. A. and Brown, T. A. (1995)

Smith, G. A. and Jones, T. A. (1992)

Smith, G. A., Adams, T. A. [et al.] (1996)

Smith, G. A., Jones, T. A. [et al.] (1994)


Unpublished citations should not be included – remove and add to the text.

The phrase ‘(in press)’ is allowed if a paper has been accepted by a named journal, but try to complete the reference before publication if possible – DO include estimated year of publication.


For authors’ names:

•Initials always follow the surname (e.g. Carrie, O. K.).

•Double-barrelled initials have two points (e.g. McDonald, E.-I. E.-I. O.).

•Two-part surnames are not split (e.g. van Dahl, U. R. A.).

•Jr, Sr, III, ed. and eds come after the ultimate initial (e.g. Davis, S., Jr – note that Jr, Sr and eds are contractions and do not take full points).

•Use and between last two author names, and omit the comma before ‘and’.

•Use et al. if paper has more than ten authors (but list the first ten).


Journal and book titles are italic with all the main words capitalised. Journal titles should be abbreviated in the standard form (e.g. J. Mol. Biol.). Note that in the USA Proc. Natl. Acad. USA is closed up with no stops.


References to journals include article titles (with period) and books include chapter titles (with period):

Author, A. and Author, B. (1993). Article title. Journal 3, 89-90.

Author, C., Sr, Author, X. and Author, Z. (2010). Article title. Journal (in press).

Author, X., Author, X.-H., Author, C., Author, C., Author, C., Author, C. P., Author, C., Author, C.-L. P., Author, C., Jr, Author, C. et al. (1994). Article title. Journal 40 Suppl. 3, 100-200.


Page numbers are given in full and separated by a hyphen (i.e. 123-124 not 123-4).


Use full publishing names (e.g. Cambridge University Press not CUP), but omit addresses and Inc., Co. and Ltd. Use ‘&’ in publishers’ names where appropriate (e.g. Chapman & Hall).


Electronic-only journals. Usually no page numbers, just an ‘e’ locator.

e.g.  Author, A. and Author, B. (2003). Article title. PLoS Biol. 3, e23.


For advance online publication use

Author, A. and Author, B. (2003). Article title. J. Cell Sci. [Epub ahead of print] doi:012345, OR PMID: 9878765.

If the paper has been published in print, use final print date, not epub date (this situation might arise if a paper was published online in 2008 and printed in 2009).


URLs may be used in text, but should be avoided where possible.


The style for references to books depends on whether the reference is to the whole book:

Author, D. (ed.) (1993). Book Title: Book Subtitle, Vol. 2, 2nd edn. Place: Publisher.

Author, E.-F. (2001). Book Title: Book Subtitle (Series Title). Place: Publisher (in press).

or to a chapter in a book:

Author, G. S., II (1993). Chapter title. In Book Title: Book Subtitle, Vol. 2, 2nd edn (ed. A. Smith and B. Jones), pp. 123-234. Place: Publisher.

Author, H. (2001). Chapter title. In Book Title: Book Subtitle (Series Title) (ed. T. Burrell and L. A. Roberts). Place: Publisher (in press).


For one page, use p. 145


Use the following abbreviations in the following order: Vol. 3, Pt 6, 3rd edn


Page numbers are given in full and separated by a hyphen (i.e. 123-124 not 123-4).


Use full publishing names (e.g. Cambridge University Press not CUP), but omit addresses and Inc., Co. and Ltd. Use & in publishers' names where appropriate (e.g. Chapman & Hall).

Citing References in the Sciences

The CSE Style Guide (Council of Science Editors), also called the Scientific Style and Format guide, is one of the main style guides used when citing resources in a research paper for many of the natural sciences.  (It was formerly called the CBE style or manual.)

Other Citation References

The complete CSE print guide is located in the VIU Library:

Scientific style and format: the CSE manual for authors, editors, and publishers. (Council of Science Editors), 2006,  7th edition.   Call Number   T 11 S386 2006  (Stacks – 4th floor)


The following links go to brief online guides for the CSE style (8th ed.):

Journal Title Abbreviations & Acronyms

Citation Management Software/Tools

Students can use this software to manage and format their research citations (e.g. from journal articles & books) which must be listed at the end of each research paper (Bibliography/Reference List).

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