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
Emlen, D.J. 2001. Costs and the diversification of exaggerated animal structures. Science. 291:1534–1536.
A journal article with 2 authors
McPhaden, M.J., and D. Zhang. 2002. Slowdown of the meridional overturning circulation in the upper Pacific Ocean. Nature. 415:603–608.
A journal article with 3 authors
Cumings, J., P.G. Collins, and A. Zettl. 2000. Peeling and sharpening multiwall nanotubes. Nature. 406:586.
A journal article with 99 or more authors
Breyton, C., W. Haase, T.A. Rapoport, W. Kühlbrandt, and I. Collinson. 2002. Three-dimensional structure of the bacterial protein-translocation complex SecYEG. Nature. 418:662–665.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Baker, H.K., and P. English. 2011. Capital Budgeting Valuation. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
2010. Unconventional Computation: 9th International Conference, US 2010, Tokyo, Japan, June 21-25, 2010. Proceedings. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Baeza, I., and M. De la Fuente. 2013. The Role of Polyphenols in Menopause. In: Hollins Martin CJ, RR Watson, VR Preedy, editors. Nutrition and Diet in Menopause. Totowa, NJ: Humana Press. pp. 51–63.

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
Hamilton, K. 2015. This Is What It Would Look Like If A Huge Asteroid Hit The Earth. 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. Compensatory Education: Most Chapter 1 Funds in Eight Districts Used for Classroom Services. 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
Hollenbeck, J.L. 2017. The Challenge of U.S. West Coast Earthquake Response: Federal Urban Search and Rescue. .

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
Burghardt, L.F. 2006. An Animal Sanctuary Is Under Pressure to Move. New York Times. 14LI6.

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