Online Guide to Writing and Research

Chapter 5: Academic Integrity and Documentation

Types of Documentation

In-Text or Parenthetical Citations

CBE Style

The CBE style manual, written by the Council of Biology Editors in 1994, is used to advise writers in the natural sciences—such as biology, biotechnology, and medicine—about style and formatting of scientific papers, journals, and books for publications. Some scientific fields, e.g., chemistry, horticulture, medicine, and physics, have their own style manuals.

The CBE manual, Scientific Style and Format: The CBE Manual for Authors, Editors, and Publishers, recommends two methods for citing and documenting sources,

  • the name-year system and
  • the citation-sequence system.

The name-year system is based on the APA; the citation-sequence system lists the sources in numerical sequence based on their occurrences in the scientific paper and keys all in-text citations to that list.

Since there are two systems, you'll need to ask your teacher which he or she prefers. Keep in mind that the target journal for publication may still dictate any modification to these systems to meet editorial guidelines.

Since the style and format for in-text citations as well as reference lists vary for each type of entry (e.g., one author, multiple authors, books, journals, newspapers), you should consult the CBE Manual for details regarding usage. In addition to print copy of the manual, you can find this manual online. For citations in the CBE Manual style, see the following sites:

UMUC students writing papers in astronomy, biology, chemistry, geology, health, microbiology, natural science, nutrition, and physics courses should ask their teachers about the preferred documentation style.