How to format your references using the Biological Cybernetics citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Biological Cybernetics. 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
Brooks BA (2012) Geophysics. Seeing is believing. Science 338:207–208
A journal article with 2 authors
Williamson R, Duncan R (2002) DNA testing for all. Nature 418:585–586
A journal article with 3 authors
Khan SUM, Al-Shahry M, Ingler WB Jr (2002) Efficient photochemical water splitting by a chemically modified n-TiO2. Science 297:2243–2245
A journal article with 5 or more authors
Min MS, Yang SY, Bonett RM, et al (2005) Discovery of the first Asian plethodontid salamander. Nature 435:87–90

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Pouly M, Kohlas J (2011) Generic Inference. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ
An edited book
Block P, Knippers J, Mitra NJ, Wang W (eds) (2015) Advances in Architectural Geometry 2014. Springer International Publishing, Cham
A chapter in an edited book
Bashir S, Rauber A (2010) Improving Retrievability and Recall by Automatic Corpus Partitioning. In: Hameurlain A, Küng J, Wagner R, et al. (eds) Transactions on Large-Scale Data- and Knowledge-Centered Systems II. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, pp 122–140

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 Biological Cybernetics.

Blog post
Taub B (2016) Wolves Are Gamblers But Dogs Play It Safe. In: IFLScience. Accessed 30 Oct 2018


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 (2015) School Meals: USDA Could Improve Verification Process for Program Access. 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
Green RB (2013) Bluetooth telemetry system for a wearable electrocardiogram. Doctoral dissertation, Mississippi State University

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
Rothenberg B (2017) An American Teenager Who Lives for Big Moments Produces One. New York Times B16

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Brooks 2012).
This sentence cites two references (Williamson and Duncan 2002; Brooks 2012).

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

  • Two authors: (Williamson and Duncan 2002)
  • Three or more authors: (Min et al. 2005)

About the journal

Full journal titleBiological Cybernetics
AbbreviationBiol. Cybern.
ISSN (print)0340-1200
ISSN (online)1432-0770
General Computer Science

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