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
Bocquet-Appel, J.-P., 2011. When the world’s population took off: the springboard of the Neolithic Demographic Transition. Science 333, 560–561.
A journal article with 2 authors
Jin, H.-J., Weissmüller, J., 2011. A material with electrically tunable strength and flow stress. Science 332, 1179–1182.
A journal article with 3 authors
Joo, W., Hippenmeyer, S., Luo, L., 2014. Neurodevelopment. Dendrite morphogenesis depends on relative levels of NT-3/TrkC signaling. Science 346, 626–629.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Johnston, R.J., Poholek, A.C., DiToro, D., Yusuf, I., Eto, D., Barnett, B., Dent, A.L., Craft, J., Crotty, S., 2009. Bcl6 and Blimp-1 are reciprocal and antagonistic regulators of T follicular helper cell differentiation. Science 325, 1006–1010.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Flynn, J.R., 2012. How to Improve Your Mind. Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK.
An edited book
Gussak, I., Antzelevitch, C., Wilde, A.A.M., Friedman, P.A., Ackerman, M.J., Shen, W.-K. (Eds.), 2008. Electrical Diseases of the Heart: Genetics, Mechanisms, Treatment, Prevention. Springer, London.
A chapter in an edited book
Taylor, A.S., Vincent, J., 2005. An SMS History, in: Hamill, L., Lasen, A., Diaper, D. (Eds.), Mobile World: Past, Present and Future, Computer Supported Cooperative Work. Springer, London, pp. 75–91.

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
Fang, J., 2014. First Ebola Case Diagnosed in the U.S. Confirmed [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, 1988. New L.A. Federal Courthouse: Evidence Is Insufficient To Suggest That Congress Reconsider Its Approval (No. GGD-88-43BR). 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
Ahn, M., 2017. Student Perception of Language Achievement and Learner Autonomy in a Blended Korean Language Course: The Case Study of Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center (Doctoral dissertation). Northcentral University, Scottsdale, AZ.

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
Kolomatsky, M., 2017. Singles in the House. New York Times RE2.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Bocquet-Appel, 2011).
This sentence cites two references (Bocquet-Appel, 2011; Jin and Weissmüller, 2011).

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

  • Two authors: (Jin and Weissmüller, 2011)
  • Three or more authors: (Johnston et al., 2009)

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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