How to format your references using the BioSystems citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for BioSystems. 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
Alan Stern, S., 2003. The evolution of comets in the Oort cloud and Kuiper belt. Nature 424, 639–642.
A journal article with 2 authors
Wang, T., Overgaard, J., 2007. Ecology. The heartbreak of adapting to global warming. Science 315, 49–50.
A journal article with 3 authors
Rojas, J.P., Torres Sevilla, G.A., Hussain, M.M., 2013. Can we build a truly high performance computer which is flexible and transparent? Sci. Rep. 3, 2609.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Rubin, K.H., van der Zander, I., Smith, M.C., Bergmanis, E.C., 2005. Minimum speed limit for ocean ridge magmatism from 210Pb-226Ra-230Th disequilibria. Nature 437, 534–538.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Bell, S., 2005. Lean Enterprise Systems. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK.
An edited book
Sakkas, D., 2014. Gamete and Embryo Selection: Genomics, Metabolomics and Morphological Assessment, SpringerBriefs in Reproductive Biology. Springer, New York, NY.
A chapter in an edited book
Chatzikokolakis, K., Palamidessi, C., 2007. Making Random Choices Invisible to the Scheduler, in: Caires, L., Vasconcelos, V.T. (Eds.), CONCUR 2007 – Concurrency Theory: 18th International Conference, CONCUR 2007, Lisbon, Portugal, September 3-8, 2007. Proceedings, Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, pp. 42–58.

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 BioSystems.

Blog post
Luntz, S., 2015. Building Blocks Of Life Spotted In Alien System [WWW Document]. IFLScience. URL (accessed 10.30.18).


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, 1998. Land Management Systems: Actions Needed in Completing the Automated Land and Mineral Record System Development (No. AIMD-98-107). 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
Morgan, T.M., 2017. Do You See What I See? How Symbol Integration Facilitates Responsibility to Self and Culture (Doctoral dissertation). Pacifica Graduate Institute, Carpinteria, 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
JULIA C. MEAD; Linda Saslow contributed reporting for this article, 2006. A Grieving Family Questions a Police Policy. New York Times 14LI7.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Alan Stern, 2003).
This sentence cites two references (Alan Stern, 2003; Wang and Overgaard, 2007).

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

  • Two authors: (Wang and Overgaard, 2007)
  • Three or more authors: (Rubin et al., 2005)

About the journal

Full journal titleBioSystems
ISSN (print)0303-2647
ScopeGeneral Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
Applied Mathematics
Modelling and Simulation
Statistics and Probability
General Medicine

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