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
Marty, T. 2012. Research efficiency: Clean up the waste. Nature. 484:27–28.
A journal article with 2 authors
Ma, Y., and C. Lin. 2013. Microbial oxidation of Fe2+ and pyrite exposed to flux of micromolar H₂O₂ in acidic media. Sci. Rep. 3:1979.
A journal article with 3 authors
Powell, A., S. Shennan, and M.G. Thomas. 2009. Late Pleistocene demography and the appearance of modern human behavior. Science. 324:1298–1301.
A journal article with 99 or more authors
Inoue, K., T. Kohda, M. Sugimoto, T. Sado, N. Ogonuki, S. Matoba, H. Shiura, R. Ikeda, K. Mochida, T. Fujii, K. Sawai, A.P. Otte, X.C. Tian, X. Yang, F. Ishino, K. Abe, and A. Ogura. 2010. Impeding Xist expression from the active X chromosome improves mouse somatic cell nuclear transfer. Science. 330:496–499.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Paul, S. 2010. Digital Video Distribution in Broadband, Television, Mobile and Converged Networks. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
An edited book
Bain, A. 2009. Fundamentals of Stochastic Filtering. New York, NY: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Wilcox, A.B. 2015. Leveraging Electronic Health Records for Phenotyping. In: Payne PRO, PJ Embi, editors. Translational Informatics: Realizing the Promise of Knowledge-Driven Healthcare. London: Springer. pp. 61–74.

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. New Theory Could Explain Why Hot Water Freezes Faster Than Cold Water. 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. 1992. Intercollegiate Athletics: Revenues and Expenses, Gender and Minority Profiles, and Compensation in Athletic Departments. 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
Grosso, T. 2015. Exploring How Older Adults Who Qualify for the Association on Aging with Developmental Disabilities (AADD) Programs and Services Learn to Successfully Age in Place. .

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
Markoff, J. 2016. Looking Beyond Silicon to Squeeze More Out of Chips. New York Times. B3.

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

Other styles