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
Powell,K. (2004) Stars in the making. Nature, 429, 786–787.
A journal article with 2 authors
Hussain,N.K. and Sheng,M. (2005) Neuroscience. Making synapses: a balancing act. Science, 307, 1207–1208.
A journal article with 3 authors
Lutolf,M.P. et al. (2009) Designing materials to direct stem-cell fate. Nature, 462, 433–441.
A journal article with 3 or more authors
Chan,C.X. et al. (2014) Inferring phylogenies of evolving sequences without multiple sequence alignment. Sci. Rep., 4, 6504.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Lütolf-Carroll,C. et al. (2009) From Innovation to Cash Flows John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ.
An edited book
Teschendorff,A.E. ed. (2015) Computational and Statistical Epigenomics Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht.
A chapter in an edited book
Llamas,J. et al. (2016) Applying Deep Learning Techniques to Cultural Heritage Images Within the INCEPTION Project. In, Ioannides,M. et al. (eds), Digital Heritage. Progress in Cultural Heritage: Documentation, Preservation, and Protection: 6th International Conference, EuroMed 2016, Nicosia, Cyprus, October 31 – November 5, 2016, Proceedings, Part II, Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Springer International Publishing, Cham, pp. 25–32.

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) What Makes Our Brains Unique? 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 (1996) Content Analysis: A Methodology for Structuring and Analyzing Written Material 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
Taylor,T.E. (2016) Characterizing EGFRvIII-independent glioblastoma maintenance.

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
Kelly,C. (2007) Three Win Grant to Start Online Paper. New York Times, WE5.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Powell, 2004).
This sentence cites two references (Powell, 2004; Hussain and Sheng, 2005).

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

  • Two authors: (Hussain and Sheng, 2005)
  • Three or more authors: (Chan et al., 2014)

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