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
Brook EJ (2005) Atmospheric science. Tiny bubbles tell all. Science 310:1285–1287
A journal article with 2 authors
Norton DA, Didham RK (2007) Comment on “Why are there so many species of herbivorous insects in tropical rainforests?” Science 315:1666; author reply 1666
A journal article with 3 authors
Garlaschelli D, Caldarelli G, Pietronero L (2003) Universal scaling relations in food webs. Nature 423:165–168
A journal article with 5 or more authors
Zhang Y, Pan Q, Chai G, et al (2013) Synthesis and luminescence mechanism of multicolor-emitting g-C3N4 nanopowders by low temperature thermal condensation of melamine. Sci Rep 3:1943

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Dujmović D, Androić B, Lukačević I (2014) Composite Structures According to Eurocode 4. Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH, D-69451 Weinheim, Germany
An edited book
Shiffman MA (ed) (2009) Breast Augmentation: Principles and Practice. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
A chapter in an edited book
Lone SH, Bhat KA, Khuroo MA (2015) Biological Profile of Artemisia amygdalina. In: Bhat KA, Khuroo MA (eds) Chemical and Pharmacological Perspective of Artemisia amygdalina. Springer International Publishing, Cham, pp 39–58

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
Davis J (2016) Pinching Figs Could Help Explain The Origin Of Our Fine Motor Skills. 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 (1994) Technology Transfer: Improving the Use of Cooperative R&D Agreements at DOE’s Contractor-Operated Laboratories. 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
Marquez RA (2009) Examining coping skills used to deal with daily stressors of law enforcement. Doctoral dissertation, California State University, Long Beach

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
Sophia Kishkovsky; Compiled by (2005) Arts, Briefly; Russian News Anchor Barred From Studio. New York Times B10

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Brook 2005).
This sentence cites two references (Brook 2005; Norton and Didham 2007).

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

  • Two authors: (Norton and Didham 2007)
  • Three or more authors: (Zhang et al. 2013)

About the journal

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

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