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
Kampinga, H.H., 2015. Molecular biology: It takes two to untangle. Nature 524, 169–170.
A journal article with 2 authors
Sommer, M.A., Wurtz, R.H., 2002. A pathway in primate brain for internal monitoring of movements. Science 296, 1480–1482.
A journal article with 3 authors
Griffin, A.S., West, S.A., Buckling, A., 2004. Cooperation and competition in pathogenic bacteria. Nature 430, 1024–1027.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Yokouchi, Y., Noijiri, Y., Barrie, L.A., Toom-Sauntry, D., Machida, T., Inuzuka, Y., Akimoto, H., Li, H.J., Fujinuma, Y., Aoki, S., 2000. A strong source of methyl chloride to the atmosphere from tropical coastal land. Nature 403, 295–298.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Ciana, P., 2011. New Frontiers in Technical Analysis. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ.
An edited book
Akerkar, R., 2016. Intelligent Techniques for Data Science. Springer International Publishing, Cham.
A chapter in an edited book
Ruan, J., Zhang, W., 2007. Identification and Evaluation of Functional Modules in Gene Co-expression Networks, in: Ideker, T., Bafna, V. (Eds.), Systems Biology and Computational Proteomics: Joint RECOMB 2006 Satellite Workshops on Systems Biology and on Computational Proteomics, San Diego, CA, USA, December 1-3, 2006, Revised Selected Papers, Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, pp. 57–76.

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
Taub, B., 2016. “Lost Mayan City” Discovered By Teenager May Not Be A City After All [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, 1993. Federal Research: Aging Federal Laboratories Need Repairs and Upgrades (No. T-RCED-93-71). 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
Yasami, S., 2015. Ultra-Low Power RFIC for Space/Medical/Mobile Applications (Doctoral dissertation). University of Louisiana, Lafayette, LA.

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
Hodgman, J., 2016. Bonus Advice From Judge John Hodgman. New York Times MM30.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Kampinga, 2015).
This sentence cites two references (Kampinga, 2015; Sommer and Wurtz, 2002).

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

  • Two authors: (Sommer and Wurtz, 2002)
  • Three or more authors: (Yokouchi et al., 2000)

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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