How to format your references using the Bioinformatics citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Bioinformatics. 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
Baker,D. (2000) A surprising simplicity to protein folding. Nature, 405, 39–42.
A journal article with 2 authors
Eroglu,C. and Barres,B.A. (2010) Regulation of synaptic connectivity by glia. Nature, 468, 223–231.
A journal article with 3 authors
Deuss,A. et al. (2010) Regional variation of inner core anisotropy from seismic normal mode observations. Science, 328, 1018–1020.
A journal article with 3 or more authors
Blair,K.M. et al. (2008) A molecular clutch disables flagella in the Bacillus subtilis biofilm. Science, 320, 1636–1638.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Grinyer,A. (2012) Palliative and End of Life Care for Children and Young People John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., West Sussex, UK.
An edited book
Jimenez,J. (2016) Spectroscopic Analysis of Optoelectronic Semiconductors Tomm,J.W. (ed) Springer International Publishing, Cham.
A chapter in an edited book
Coutinho,F.Â. et al. (2014) Building a Profile for the Biological Concept of Life. In, Mortimer,E.F. and El-Hani,C.N. (eds), Conceptual Profiles: A Theory of Teaching and Learning Scientific Concepts, Contemporary Trends and Issues in Science Education. Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht, pp. 115–142.

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 Bioinformatics.

Blog post
Hale,T. (2016) Professor Brian Cox Brought A Graph To Take On A Climate Change Denying Politician On Live TV. 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 (1979) Overpayment of Title I Funds at the Richmond City Public School System During FY 1978 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
Kramer-Duffield,J. (2010) Beliefs and uses of tagging among undergraduates.

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
Wagner,J. (2016) Cabrera Puts End to Wild Game With 1 1th-Inning Homer. New York Times, B9.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Baker, 2000).
This sentence cites two references (Baker, 2000; Eroglu and Barres, 2010).

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

  • Two authors: (Eroglu and Barres, 2010)
  • Three or more authors: (Blair et al., 2008)

About the journal

Full journal titleBioinformatics
AbbreviationComput. Appl. Biosci.
ISSN (print)1367-4803
ISSN (online)1460-2059
Molecular Biology
Computational Theory and Mathematics
Computer Science Applications
Computational Mathematics
Statistics and Probability

Other styles