How to format your references using the Biological Journal of the Linnean Society citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Biological Journal of the Linnean Society (BJLS). 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
Smaglik P. 2004. Back on track? Nature 430: 381.
A journal article with 2 authors
Jansen VAA & Stumpf MPH. 2005. Ecology. Making sense of evolution in an uncertain world. Science (New York, N.Y.) 309: 2005–2007.
A journal article with 3 authors
Esper J, Cook ER & Schweingruber FH. 2002. Low-frequency signals in long tree-ring chronologies for reconstructing past temperature variability. Science (New York, N.Y.) 295: 2250–2253.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Hedman MM, Burns JA, Tiscareno MS, Porco CC, Jones GH, Roussos E, Krupp N, Paranicas C & Kempf S. 2007. The source of Saturn’s G ring. Science (New York, N.Y.) 317: 653–656.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Martinelli RJ & Milosevic DZ. 2015. Project Management ToolBox. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Laird NM. 2011. The Fundamentals of Modern Statistical Genetics (C Lange, Ed.). New York, NY: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Anshakov OM & Gergely T. 2010. Constructing a Model of a Cognizing Agent. In: Anshakov OM, ed. Cognitive Reasoning: A Formal Approach. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer, 41–49.

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 Journal of the Linnean Society.

Blog post
Hamilton K. 2016. What Can A 1.7-Million-Year-Old Hominid Fossil Teach Us About Cancer? 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. 1975. Management of the Community Action Against Addiction Program in Cleveland, Ohio. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

Theses and dissertations

Theses including Ph.D. dissertations, Master's theses or Bachelor theses follow the basic format outlined below.

Doctoral dissertation
Valenzuela J. 2014. Medicare advantage’s population make-up and its impact on the future of Medicare financing.

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
Greenhouse L. 2007. Legal Victory for Families of Disabled Students. New York Times: A14.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Smaglik, 2004).
This sentence cites two references (Smaglik, 2004; Jansen & Stumpf, 2005).

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

  • Two authors: (Jansen & Stumpf, 2005)
  • Three authors: (Esper, Cook, & Schweingruber, 2002)
  • 4 or more authors: (Hedman et al., 2007)

About the journal

Full journal titleBiological Journal of the Linnean Society
AbbreviationBiol. J. Linn. Soc. Lond.
ISSN (print)0024-4066
ISSN (online)1095-8312
ScopeEcology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Other styles