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
Stefánsson, K. (2011) Genome-sequencing anniversary. An anniversary party. Science (New York, N.Y.) 331, 691.
A journal article with 2 authors
Roeb, M. & Sattler, C. (2013) Chemistry. Isothermal water splitting. Science (New York, N.Y.) 341, 470–471.
A journal article with 3 authors
Tripathi, S., Li, H. & Poulos, T.L. (2013) Structural basis for effector control and redox partner recognition in cytochrome P450. Science (New York, N.Y.) 340, 1227–1230.
A journal article with 16 or more authors
Shao, W., Dong, H., Wang, Z. & Hu, W. (2014) Touching polymer chains by organic field-effect transistors. Scientific reports 4, 6387.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Dubuisson, S. (2015) Tracking with Particle Filter for High-Dimensional Observation and State Spaces. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ.
An edited book
Amunts, K., Grandinetti, L., Lippert, T. & Petkov, N. (eds) (2016) Brain-Inspired Computing: Second International Workshop, BrainComp 2015, Cetraro, Italy, July 6-10, 2015, Revised Selected Papers. Springer International Publishing, Cham.
A chapter in an edited book
Zhang, K. & Shen, X. (2015) Privacy-Preserving Health Data Processing. In Security and Privacy for Mobile Healthcare Networks (ed X. (sherman) Shen), pp. 81–98. Springer International Publishing, Cham.

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
Taub, B. (2016) New Genetic Evidence Reveals Gaétan Dugas Was Not “Patient Zero” For HIV In North America. 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 (2007) Transportation Security: DHS Efforts to Eliminate Redundant Background Check Investigations. 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
Matheny, A.L. (2009) Home gardener preferences, perceptions, knowledge and behaviors associated with pest management strategies and information acquisition. Doctoral dissertation, University of Maryland, College Park, College Park, MD.

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
Sisario, B. (2017) The Pianist Behind Dylan’s Nobel Lecture. New York Times, C2.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Stefánsson, 2011).
This sentence cites two references (Stefánsson, 2011; Roeb & Sattler, 2013).

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

  • Two authors: (Roeb & Sattler, 2013)
  • Three authors: (Tripathi, Li, & Poulos, 2013)
  • 4 or more authors: (Shao 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