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
Maskin E. 2008. Economics. Can neural data improve economics? Science (New York, N.Y.) 321: 1788–1789.
A journal article with 2 authors
Rogulja D & Young MW. 2012. Control of sleep by cyclin A and its regulator. Science (New York, N.Y.) 335: 1617–1621.
A journal article with 3 authors
Kim SF, Huri DA & Snyder SH. 2005. Inducible nitric oxide synthase binds, S-nitrosylates, and activates cyclooxygenase-2. Science (New York, N.Y.) 310: 1966–1970.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Nagpal P, Lindquist NC, Oh SH, et al. 2009. Ultrasmooth patterned metals for plasmonics and metamaterials. Science (New York, N.Y.) 325: 594–597.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Soustelle M. 2016. Phase Transformations. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Reimer P, Parizel PM & Stichnoth FA (Eds.). 2006. Clinical MR Imaging: A Practical Approach. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Semeraro G, Basile P, de Gemmis M, et al. 2007. Discovering User Profiles from Semantically Indexed Scientific Papers. In: Berendt B, Hotho A, Mladenic D, et al., eds. From Web to Social Web: Discovering and Deploying User and Content Profiles: Workshop on Web Mining, WebMine 2006, Berlin, Germany, September 18, 2006. Revised Selected and Invited Papers. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer, 61–81.

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
Fang J. 2014. Test: How Old Are Your Ears? 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. 2001. Major Management Challenges and Program Risks: National Aeronautics and Space Administration. 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
Meghani HP. 2017. Med-Equip Solutions LLC: A wheelchair distributor company business plan.

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 KKK, formerly the on-air television critic for WNBC-TV’s ’ ’Live at Five & ’ ’ teaches English to Amerasian children in Vietnam. 1990. A Polar Bear’s Picnic. New York Times: 514.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Smith, 2013).
This sentence cites two references (Gal-Yam, 2012; O’Neill, 2014).

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

  • Two authors: (Rogulja & Young, 2012)
  • Three or more authors: (Wu et al., 2014)

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