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
Myers, E.G., 2014. Fundamental constants: The teamwork of precision. Nature 506, 440–441.
A journal article with 2 authors
Lee, J.-W., Helmann, J.D., 2006. The PerR transcription factor senses H2O2 by metal-catalysed histidine oxidation. Nature 440, 363–367.
A journal article with 3 authors
Frey, S., Richter, R.P., Görlich, D., 2006. FG-rich repeats of nuclear pore proteins form a three-dimensional meshwork with hydrogel-like properties. Science 314, 815–817.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Sparrow, C., Martín-López, E., Maraviglia, N., Neville, A., Harrold, C., Carolan, J., Joglekar, Y.N., Hashimoto, T., Matsuda, N., O’Brien, J.L., Tew, D.P., Laing, A., 2018. Simulating the vibrational quantum dynamics of molecules using photonics. Nature 557, 660–667.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
J.G. Upton, G., 2016. Categorical Data Analysis by Example. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ.
An edited book
Rathgeber, W., Schrogl, K.-U., Williamson, R.A. (Eds.), 2010. The Fair and Responsible Use of Space: An International Perspective, Studies in Space Policy. Springer, Vienna.
A chapter in an edited book
Jo, H.-S., Yang, J.-D., Choi, W., 2012. Concept Based Orchestration of Web Services Using XOT, in: Khachidze, V., Wang, T., Siddiqui, S., Liu, V., Cappuccio, S., Lim, A. (Eds.), Contemporary Research on E-Business Technology and Strategy: International Conference, ICETS 2012, Tianjin, China, August 29-31, 2012, Revised Selected Papers, Communications in Computer and Information Science. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, pp. 41–53.

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
Andrew, E., 2014. Planck Reveals Most Detailed Map Yet Of The Milky Way’s Magnetic Field [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, 2014. Aviation: Impact of Fuel Price Increases on the Aviation Industry (No. GAO-14-331). 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
Bustillo, M.F., 2010. Heart and Art: Post-adoption program: A grant proposal (Doctoral dissertation). California State University, Long Beach, Long Beach, 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
Beschloss, M., 2017. The Buck Shouldn’t Stop Here. New York Times BR8.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Myers, 2014).
This sentence cites two references (Lee and Helmann, 2006; Myers, 2014).

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

  • Two authors: (Lee and Helmann, 2006)
  • Three or more authors: (Sparrow et al., 2018)

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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