How to format your references using the Biological Research citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Biological Research. 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.
EndNoteFind the style here: output styles overview
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
1. Blandford RD. A century of general relativity: astrophysics and cosmology. Science. 2015;347:1103–8.
A journal article with 2 authors
1. Chameides WL, Bergin M. Climate change. Soot takes center stage. Science. 2002;297:2214–5.
A journal article with 3 authors
1. Kah LC, Lyons TW, Frank TD. Low marine sulphate and protracted oxygenation of the Proterozoic biosphere. Nature. 2004;431:834–8.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
1. Shimojima T, Sakaguchi F, Ishizaka K, Ishida Y, Kiss T, Okawa M, et al. Orbital-independent superconducting gaps in iron pnictides. Science. 2011;332:564–7.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
1. Boulanger J-L. Safety Management for Software-based Equipment. Hoboken, NJ USA: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; 2013.
An edited book
1. Natarajan V, Parinandi NL, editors. Mitochondrial Function in Lung Health and Disease. New York, NY: Springer; 2014.
A chapter in an edited book
1. Collas P, Taranger CK. Toward Reprogramming Cells to Pluripotency. In: Morser J, Nishikawa S-I, Schöler HR, editors. Stem Cells in Reproduction and in the Brain. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer; 2006. p. 47–67.

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 Research.

Blog post
1. Andrew E. Here be Dragons: the Supermassive Black Hole That’s Growing Impossibly Fast [Internet]. IFLScience. IFLScience; 2015 [cited 2018 Oct 30]. Available from:


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
1. Government Accountability Office. Applicability of Service Contract Act to Service Employees of ADP and High-Technology Companies. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 1980 Nov. Report No.: 113769.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
1. Priddy JD-J. As Tufa to Sapphire: Gendering the Roles of Medieval Women in Combat [Doctoral dissertation]. [Washington, DC]: George Washington University; 2014.

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
1. Murphy MJO. Looking Back (and Learning From) ‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show.’ New York Times. 2016 Aug 5;C22.

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by sequential numbers in square brackets:

This sentence cites one reference [1].
This sentence cites two references [1,2].
This sentence cites four references [1–4].

About the journal

Full journal titleBiological Research
ISSN (online)0717-6287

Other styles