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Using the CBE Writing Style

Students and professionals in scientific disciplines make use of a whole variety of useful sources. They may come from other research studies, online resources, and so on. CBE citations and formatting requirements have become quite popular among researchers and scholars. We have created this guide to help you improve the quality of your writing. Learn the key components of CBE referencing:

  • All references must be parenthetical and included in the body of the text;
  • All citations must be included in the sentences that were taken from a different source before the period.
  • All citations must include author's name and date of publication;
  • Different pieces of information must be separated using space or punctuation. 

Citing Authors in CBE

When a sentence begins with the name of the author, it is enough to include publication year in the in-text parenthetical citation.

If the original source has two authors, they all must be mentioned using spacing and the word "and" before the name of the last author.

If the original source has more than three authors, it is enough to mention the first author's name, followed by "et al."

If two different sources feature different authors with the same last name and they were published the same year, it is necessary to include authors' initials to distinguish between these sources. No space should be used to separate the initials. No commas or periods are allowed.

If several different sources come from the same author published the same year, it is necessary to add some low-case component to differentiate between them. For example, Jackson (2010a) and Jackson (2010b). These low-case components should also be present on the reference page.

When the source was written by a governmental organization or a business entity, the reference must feature its abbreviated name. You will either have to make up an abbreviation or use the abbreviation that is already accepted for this name (e.g., FDA, CIA, etc.). A corresponding entry must also be found on the list of references. It must contain the abbreviated version of the name in square brackets.

When a source does not provide the name of its author, it should still be mentioned and referenced within the body of the text, either using the first words of the original title or an ellipsis instead of the author's name. The number of words should be considered when you are trying to distinguish this source from the rest of references you have included in your text.

Dates in CBE Formatting and Style

When the original source does not feature the date of its publication, you can reference the copyright date. However, you will have to include letter "c" before the date. If you cannot locate the date of publication or the copyright date, then you can consider the dates when the work was published online, revised or modified, etc. The words "revised" or "modified" should be included in square brackets. You can also use the words [date unknown] if you fail to find any date related to your source. The same words should be mentioned in the body of the text, whenever you use the same reference.

If you are using the author-date style for CBE referencing, you may reference several different works in the same citation; separate them by semicolon.

If you want to include several different references in the same in-text citation, you will have to order them chronologically. Each reference must have a semicolon after it. If you want to mention several works done by the same author but at different moments of time, you should include the author's name (once) and list years of publication. These should also be presented chronologically.