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
Barish,B. (2012) Physics: Let US physics commit to collaboration. Nature, 491, 522.
A journal article with 2 authors
Santner,A. and Estelle,M. (2009) Recent advances and emerging trends in plant hormone signalling. Nature, 459, 1071–1078.
A journal article with 3 authors
Morford,S.L. et al. (2011) Increased forest ecosystem carbon and nitrogen storage from nitrogen rich bedrock. Nature, 477, 78–81.
A journal article with 3 or more authors
Berry,M.P.R. et al. (2010) An interferon-inducible neutrophil-driven blood transcriptional signature in human tuberculosis. Nature, 466, 973–977.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Kenny,T. (2014) The Nuts and Bolts of Implantable Device Therapy Pacemakers John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK.
An edited book
Shelley,M.C. et al. eds. (2009) Quality Research in Literacy and Science Education: International Perspectives and Gold Standards Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht.
A chapter in an edited book
Silva,M.F. et al. (2005) Integer vs. Fractional Order Control of a Hexapod Robot. In, González Santos,P. de (ed), Climbing and Walking Robots: Proceedings of the 7th International Conference CLAWAR 2004. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, pp. 73–83.

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
Andrew,E. (2015) How Did Wild Boar Become Farmyard Pigs? Genetic Data Reveals The Answer. 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 (1991) Global Positioning System: Production Should Be Limited Until Receiver Reliability Problems Are Resolved 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
Sorensen,T.R. (2010) The Use of Classroom Walk-Through Observations as a Strategy to Improve Teaching and Learning: A Student Centered Perspective.

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
Schwartz,J. (2017) Where Do All the Disgraced C.E.O.s Go? New York Times, BU12.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Barish, 2012).
This sentence cites two references (Barish, 2012; Santner and Estelle, 2009).

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

  • Two authors: (Santner and Estelle, 2009)
  • Three or more authors: (Berry et al., 2010)

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