How to format your references using the Biophysical Journal citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Biophysical Journal. 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
Frank, L. 2002. Biotechnology in the Medicon Valley. Nature. 420:A27, A29, A31 passim.
A journal article with 2 authors
Webby, R.J., and R.G. Webster. 2003. Are we ready for pandemic influenza? Science. 302:1519–1522.
A journal article with 3 authors
Xiang, C., C.-K. Chan, and J. Wang. 2014. Proposal and numerical study of ultra-compact active hybrid plasmonic resonator for sub-wavelength lasing applications. Sci. Rep. 4:3720.
A journal article with 99 or more authors
Meckes, B., F.T. Arce, L.S. Connelly, and R. Lal. 2014. Insulated conducting cantilevered nanotips and two-chamber recording system for high resolution ion sensing AFM. Sci. Rep. 4:4454.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Möller, G. 2012. Geotechnik. Weinheim, Germany: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.
An edited book
Bonnin, M. 2012. The Knee Joint: Surgical Techniques and Strategies. Paris: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Greiner, A., and B. Fincke. 2009. Public Debt, Productive Public Spending and Economic Growth with Full Employment. In: Fincke B, editor. Public Debt and Economic Growth. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer. pp. 83–110.

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 Biophysical Journal.

Blog post
O`Callaghan, J. 2017. Super-Earth Discovered Around Nearby Red Dwarf Star. 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. 2009. Federal Student Loans: Audits and Reviews of the Federal Family Education Loan and Federal Direct Loan Programs. 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
Saperstein, A.M. 2009. Susceptibility to smoking and nicotine dependence in schizophrenia. .

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
Vecsey, G. 2013. They Left Their Hearts at Coogan’s Bluff. New York Times. D1.

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by sequential numbers in parentheses:

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 titleBiophysical Journal
AbbreviationBiophys. J.
ISSN (print)0006-3495
ISSN (online)1542-0086

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