How to format your references using the Biological Reviews citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Biological Reviews. 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
Bronner-Fraser, M. (2004) Development. Making sense of the sensory lineage. Science (New York, N.Y.) 303, 966–968.
A journal article with 2 authors
Bers, D.M. & Harris, S.P. (2011) Translational medicine: to the rescue of the failing heart. Nature 473, 36–39.
A journal article with 3 authors
Clevers, H., Loh, K.M. & Nusse, R. (2014) Stem cell signaling. An integral program for tissue renewal and regeneration: Wnt signaling and stem cell control. Science (New York, N.Y.) 346, 1248012.
A journal article with 16 or more authors
Zhang, F., Wang, M., Liang, C., Jiang, H., Shen, J. & Li, H. (2014) Thin-layer polymer wrapped enzymes encapsulated in hierarchically mesoporous silica with high activity and enhanced stability. Scientific reports 4, 4421.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
bauforumstahl e.V. (2011) Beispiele zur Bemessung von Stahltragwerken nach DIN EN 1993 Eurocode 3. Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim, Germany.
An edited book
Bebis, G., Boyle, R., Parvin, B., Koracin, D., Kuno, Y., Wang, J., Wang, J.-X., Pajarola, R., Lindstrom, P., Hinkenjann, A., Encarnação, M.L., Silva, C.T. & Coming, D. (eds) (2009) Advances in Visual Computing: 5th International Symposium, ISVC 2009, Las Vegas, NV, USA, November 30 - December 2, 2009, Proceedings, Part I. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.
A chapter in an edited book
Rudolf, D. & Mould, D. (2010) An Interactive Fluid Model of Jellyfish for Animation. In Computer Vision, Imaging and Computer Graphics. Theory and Applications: International Joint Conference, VISIGRAPP 2009, Lisboa, Portugal, February 5-8, 2009. Revised Selected Papers (eds A. Ranchordas, J.M. Pereira, H.J. Araújo & J.M.R.S. Tavares), pp. 59–72. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

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 Reviews.

Blog post
Davis, J. (2015) According To New Study, A Blood Test Could Predict Suicide Risk. IFLScience. IFLScience. Https:// [accessed 30 October 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 (2012) Information Technology: Census Bureau Needs to Implement Key Management Practices. 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
Buckley, M.K. (2012) A study of at-risk students’ perceptions of an online academic credit recovery program in an urban North Texas independent school district. Doctoral dissertation, Pepperdine University, Malibu, CA.

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
Hodgman, J. (2017) Bonus Advice From Judge John Hodgman. New York Times, MM16.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Bronner-Fraser, 2004).
This sentence cites two references (Bronner-Fraser, 2004; Bers & Harris, 2011).

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

  • Two authors: (Bers & Harris, 2011)
  • Three authors: (Clevers, Loh, & Nusse, 2014)
  • 4 or more authors: (Zhang et al., 2014)

About the journal

Full journal titleBiological Reviews
AbbreviationBiol. Rev. Camb. Philos. Soc.
ISSN (print)1464-7931
ISSN (online)1469-185X
ScopeGeneral Agricultural and Biological Sciences
General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology

Other styles